Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The First Day of the Rest of Your Week!

The first half of today was taken up by the training session for the UCSF Standardized Patient Program. Last night and this morning I was excited ($20 bucks an hour!) and nervous (what the fuck is happening?!) about the whole experience. I also thought that it might be a good thing for exposure to other actors and try the whole networking thing that I seem to be terrible at. You know, the real job that all actors have? Networking? Yeah, that one.

Getting there was slightly confusing; the parking garage was open on a side street, so I pulled the car in and looked around to see many spaces reserved for surgery patients or cancer patients or burn patients. I couldn't really get mad, I mean... they do have bigger cars than I do.

Entering the realm of the SP program was interesting. Since I was there a half an hour early, I was the only one in the office for about 15 minutes until a nice man shows up. His name eluded me every single time I tried to pronounce it, so we joked about how I was an American and therefore didn't need to know how to pronounce things, and then told him my name was Be'en. It was a lot funnier if you were there. He seemed very nice and an interesting chap, studying his lines for A Thousand Clowns or was it Ten Thousand Clowns? Well he was studying for An Indeterminate Number of Clowns.

After Balarahgmpsdgaohi came a stream of Actors. These people are different from actors because they:
  1. Can do no wrong.
  2. Are amazing at everything they do.
  3. Better than you.

One fine chap had been signed with Stars (You know, that agency I was going and continue to go for, that one, the one that won't sign me? Yeah, that one.) and his dad was giving him acting lessions and is a "prominent" workshop person in San Rafael. Oho! I say to myself, That's how he gets everything! Unless he is a terrific actor. That's probably the case. I won't judge. At least if I do judge, I'll stick to italics.

Lets just say that I really should be in Stars. And I stuck to italics.

One was very friendly, but very much an Actor. He stayed in character as Toby Ettinger (the patient) for almost the entire time. Method actors, ha! His name was William.

When Bernie Miller, the organizer of the whole thingamajigger came in, I did my traditional thing of reintroducing myself; I figured that since I can never remember everyone's name, I might as well and take the initiative and reintroduce myself, I just wish more people did that to me. There's some people who I never remembered their names in the first place, and now, almost a year later, I can't ask them. Yeah, I'm an asshole.

Anyway, he replied, "I know." In the sense that he didn't really know, he just wanted to show you that he did know. Just so you know. He knows who you are. Then, going into the other room, I saw my headshot on the top (along with the others) so, yeah, he probably did know who I was. He just didn't need to be defensive.

The process of "training" was really just going through stuff that my four plus years of theatre training have covered an amazing amount over. Oh well, it's good practice, and it's good to see what NOT to do in the process of acting in this program, or acting in general. Honestly, I learn more about what not to do in theatre than what to do. Chalk it all up to experience and collect 20 bucks an hour, and I'm set.

The only really interesting thing was watching the process of the check-up. Anyone who's been in an examination knows what it is, but it was neat to see it from the other perspective, and what they're doing, what they're looking for, etc. It made me realize what I was there for, you know? We're training these people to be doctors, and we definetly need more and more of those. It really seems like I'm doing something good with my art with this project.


After my round of auditions starting this weekend and continuing for 3 weeks (At least 2 a weekend.), I'm going to send my stuff out to agencies again. Hopefully someone will snap me up. Then after my hopes and dreams are shattered, at least I'll have a friend in Ray of Light theatre. I'm sure I'll have something with them.

First up on the audition list: TheatreWorks in Palo Alto! Then Marin Shakespeare on Sunday! Then next week the Grad School ones start... YIKES.

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