Acting I: The Best Class I Almost Never Took

This fall, I decided that I would take Acting I, just to see if the dream everyone has of one day being a professional actor is realistic. So far, it has been the most challenging and rewarding class I have taken here at WUSTL. As an introductory level acting class, most of the focus so far has been on self-awareness and learning body language and speaking tone. Even after 5 weeks of the class, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my everyday interactions with people. However, this isn’t just something that happened one day. The assignments have been tough.

On the second week of class, we were given the prompt for our first performance: a 3-5 minute presentation where we could only use 5 different words. It had to be an event that actually happened, and we were allowed to use any props we wanted. Luckily for me, I pretty much wrecked my knee playing rugby during my freshman year, so finding source material wasn’t too challenging. The hard part was doing it with 5 words. After far more practice runs than I had planned, I ended up with ‘rugby’, ‘cramp’, ‘my’, ‘knee’, and ‘mom’. Even with something that had actually happened, it took a lot of effort to convey the scene realistically with my body language. The skit went well, and I managed to not re-injure my knee as I re-enacted the injury.

After the nearly-silent skit, the teacher ramped up the difficulty by giving us a 2-4 minute performance, this time with words. This time, we were assigned to integrate a quote from a book or movie into our own story, trying to seamlessly connect them with one voice so the reader couldn’t tell the difference. This is where things got tricky. I have never memorized a monologue before, and have gained a new-found respect for actors by doing so. It was tough, but incredibly satisfying. In 5 days, I memorized an entire page. I never thought I’d be able to do that.

Our next project is a shorter monologue, entirely memorized from a play. I’ve already picked a piece from “The Shape of Things” by Neil LaBute. The character isn’t much like me, and I’m excited to take on the challenge of this role. Score for Acting I.

One thought on “Acting I: The Best Class I Almost Never Took

  1. Pingback: Spring Awakening | admissionshenry

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