While Keith and I were on our walk tonight (and I was bitching my ass off about some things I’d read recently that were really pissing me off), I finally GOT it.
I will always feel like this every now and then, as long as I continue to dole out advice for actors just starting out.
Just like the grad student who teaches Freshman English to a hundred
eager required-to-attend 18 year olds each fall, I will end the semester having really REACHED about twenty of ’em (and hope that they remember to thank me for having taught them about the wondrousness of the language and its power), having passed-on-through the majority of ’em (as they head on to whatever else it is they want to do with their college careers), and having flunked a couple who I know I’ll be seeing again next year, as we do it all again.
And when the new school year starts up, I’ll occasionally feel the need to say, “Don’t y’all REMEMBER this from when I went over it last year?” But I can’t, because almost none of these students were IN this class a year ago… and even if a few of them were, they sure as heck aren’t BACK here because they GOT all of this the first time around.
I guess I get pissy about it from time to time because, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, sometimes I just answer questions by providing links back to where I’ve answered the same questions before. And before that. And before that too. And sometimes even if someone emails me and says, “I’ve read EVERYTHING you’ve ever written and I love your advice,” that same someone will end the email with, “But I just need to ask you ONE QUICK QUESTION.” And that question will be nothing more than that actor’s inability to READ what I’ve written and APPLY it.
Just because I didn’t say, “And you, Chris, this last part of this week’s column is especially for YOU,” doesn’t mean that Chris can’t assume that it might somehow apply… and not just in general terms.
Just needed to vent. I love what I do. I don’t mind answering a zillion questions. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that people feel they can reach out to me with questions. But what I REALLY love is when someone shows me they GOT what I meant when I said something, and asks something that BUILDS upon that concept, challenging ME to help them get better information.
But there will always be a freshman class. And I have to be okay with teaching the fundamentals over and over again sometimes. Or I have to not be a teacher. And that’s not my style, now is it?