Class Trips

Yesterday readership of this blog hiked up to the high heavens.  Apparently UCB people are big blog readers, and people were doing key word searches.  Word Press lets you know what searches brought people to the blog.  Someone actually did a search on “Kurt Fitzpatrick theater,” which is interesting.  I currently feel like anything I’ve done is hereby dwarfed by Bobby’s brass ring achievement.  And I don’t mean to jump the gun, because now the poor guy has to live up to these expectations!  But, the fact is, they hired one person for this coming season.  One.  One.  One.  That would be three, but, no, it was one.

I was actually going to take a class at UCB for pure fun, but when I checked the website I saw that the people teaching it are people I’ve worked with over the years.  That would’ve been a little weird for me.  I wanted to do it anonymously.  I actually did three levels of UCB some years back.  The first class I had was with George Badecker, who was great.  That was an amazing group of people, which included Alison Becker, who ended up being on MTV’s Boiling Points and a bunch of major commercials, and Rob Blatt, who is in the Riegel and Blatt comedy duo.  This video they did is pretty funny:

I’m not going to name check everyone in that class, but Ryan Sturt, Matt Stinton, yap, yap, funny, talented peeps.  Good times.  If we had all stuck together, who knows what would happened?  But about half the class took level two with Armando Diaz and the other half went somewhere else.  Armando’s class was going well, but I had to leave to do a children’s theater tour in Texas for two months.  So I couldn’t stick with the group either.

I lucked out again in a big way with my Level 2 class, which was taught by Sean Conroy.  This class included Shii Ann Huang, who ended up being on Survivor.  I didn’t watch it, but I did contribute to the downfall of society by obsessively watching Survivor All-Stars, which she also was on.  Before her reality fame I went to a birthday party she had at a bar that was packed like yoke in an egg.  She had a massive network of friends, apparently.  I don’t think she was a serious performer, but she just did all kinds of different things.  I’m a little surprised that a few people in that class I haven’t heard more from.  Maybe their time is coming.  I need to get in touch with a few of them.

Level 3 was not a charm.  Once again, life was interrupted, probably because of acting jobs, so I was with a new group again: a bunch of lame ducks who often wouldn’t even show up.  It was on a Sunday morning, so people would arrive with post Saturday night hangovers.  When we did our warm up for our class show, we all tried to do the group mind exercise where you all stand in a circle and count to twenty.  Anyone can say a number, but no one can talk at the same time.  If you get to six, but then two people say “seven” at the same time, you’re back to one.  This was the only group of people I’ve ever worked with where we absolutely could not get to twenty.  There was no group mind and no cohesion there.  When doing that exercise, I’ve found that it’s good to hold hands in the circle to get more of a connection.  The dimwitted girl next to me refused to hold my hand, which I thought was rude, but pretty much par for the course for that class.

At some point, you’ve got to stop with the classes and start working, although I’ve looked at classes as a good way to meet people who I can continue to work with.  I don’t take too many classes anymore, although I just took one at HB Studios, which I enjoyed.  In classes there is usually a mix of dabblers, like someone whose spouse got them an improv class for fun and excitement (and to get their spouse out of the house?), and actual committed performers.  You can distinguish the two pretty fast.  I’ve also found consistent “types” in classes, like The Yelling Guy.  Every scene he does, he’s yelling.  Maybe he thinks he’s being committed to the scene and character.  Nah, he’s just yelling, and it gets annoying.

Anyway.  The summer is almost over, so my Summer Solo Short Film Trilogy is going to have to be completed soon, right?  Principal photography on Quaker Love has indeed begun.


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