After, oh, a 20 year hiatus, I’m taking acting classes again. Muscle (including the brain) memory is a funny thing. 5 weeks into the class, I haven’t done anything for the first time. My body remembers what it’s like to let go, my mind knows that acting classes are safe spaces, my cheekbones remember how to float under the soft touch of Alexander Technique. What is new, or at the very least different, is the me of today. I’m not a teenager at a performing arts school – deeply insecure in a pool of talent, or a college student second guessing the future financial worth of spending a lot of time rolling around on the floor when university is filled with choices. I’m a woman, a wife, an aunt, an executive. In short, someone who has played role after role, ironically, after leaving the world of acting. I’m twice as old as I was when I decided acting was too playful, too frivolous.
I love my Sunday class; I look forward to it all week. I try to separate my mind from my body, to turn my judgmental voice off, to relish the three hours of playtime. Last week, I found myself in an improv session where the phrase, placid raccoon, came out of my mouth and the memory of this truly spontaneous, utterly ridiculous utterance has kept me laughing all week – a happiness nugget that I can hold on to.