Hamlet2B sad clown

WARNING: May contain angst.

You may recall that last time we spoke (blogged?) that I was cautiously anticipating much less angst and a happier, more productive second term. Remember? Yeah. Well. Scratch that.

As society (and my Principal) frequently reminds us: “if it’s easy, you aren’t learning”. If this is true, I should be in the performing arts equivalent of MENSA by now. With lifelong membership. And a free pen.

I believe I can best sum up my drama school experience thus far with the following slogan: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?”

For the past two weeks, I seem to be on a real downer. My scene work, of which I spoke in the previous blog, is nosediving because (and I freely admit this is at least 50% my own fault) I can’t seem to access what my teacher requires. I understand, of course, that every line must have an objective that requires the actor to imbue it with the most coherent  reason to say it in order to achieve a goal. Makes sense. Brain agrees. Body does something entirely alien and ridiculous, making my inner stage-struck seven-year-old scream “LET ME JUST PLAY AND BE ENTERTAINING LIKE THE STRIPPER IN GYPSY!!!!” and throw an embarrassing tantrum. This is, however, NotWhatWeDoHere (TM) – we follow the formula (in this particular class, I hasten to add) and we DoItRight. Well, I’m wrong, then, and it’s taking quite a lot of my inner self-esteem to keep telling myself that.

To add insult the injury I have had guest lectures in, amongst others, comedy and clowning techniques. Now, to read my writing, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m fairly funny. Turns out, I’m not – at least not in terms of what I’ve had to do over the past fortnight. “Be Funny.” Erm, okay…?

Simply put, I have died on my feet repeatedly – even my vast array of silly walks (thank you John Cleese) and ridiculous throat noises have let me down and simply being honest (“I’m crap at this – can I go for a wee?”) was probably my most successful attempt at entertaining the crowd. I had high hopes that I might be the next big thing in clowning and that it may be an undiscovered talent in which I would miraculously flourish… Tumbleweed. (Also, attempting the ‘Single Ladies’ dance probably won’t go down as my finest hour…)

So here you have me, ladies and gents – admitting to myself (and to you) that sometimes I lie in bed and wonder “Is this really worth it?”.

That’s drama school. That’s the profession. It’s the glamour, sophistication and emotional security that keeps me coming back for more.


Image: The ultimate sad clown