First Meisner class

I had my first of eight two-hour classes tonight. My first reaction is a feeling of serious inferiority and inadequacy; my second reaction is that I learned a lot and this is going to be a very productive month.

My first reaction was due to, I think, the instructor’s style–very candid, blunt and sometimes abrasive–and the fact that two of the four people in the class have studied acting and Meisner before. It was stressful and very humbling for me and I hope I can really step it up on Wednesday.

My second reaction came in hindsight as I drove home. I realized that, although it was really difficult and I felt inferior, I learned a lot and came out of my shell some. My biggest problem is not that my mind won’t keep up, but that my body won’t do what my mind knows it should. I often spend too much time analyzing and not enough time reacting; but that’s what this class is all about. “Getting out of your head” is a phrase I heard several times tonight. I also heard “Being real in imaginary circumstances” several times.

Ironically, a huge part of the class seems to be reading and reacting to people. I normally do this very well, but in the class setting, I was thinking too much and overanalyzing to the point where I wasn’t trusting my reads and everything to stay flat. Mostly, I think it’s a self-confidence thing. In situations where I feel outgunned, I often fall back on thinking to bail me out. That doesn’t work with this stuff, so I have to dispose of a long used crutch.

All in all, it’s going to be a difficult four weeks because I don’t think I’ll ever be at the level of the other three in the class (at least not before the course is up). So I feel pretty ignorant, naive and slow. That being said, I guess it’s not really how I do in relation to the others in the class, but how I do in relation to how I was before the class began.

One other side effect of the class: I’m freakin’ tired. I haven’t been this tired in a while. I’m going to sleep.