Acting was the first thing I knew I wanted to do. I had a great teacher whose name was Geraldine Teagarden. We bonded. I loved acting. She liked my enthusiasm. When I came out of my shell I could be very good. We were both Virgos too. She had a sign in her office that said, “those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do.”
We never did improv that I can remember, though maybe we did. That’s a big thing in acting classes now. What I remember about the classes were trust exercises, and relaxation. Hardly any acting. Just activities to get you control of your body and out of yourself. And then we would put on a play. A full scale complete production. Where else? It was a unique experience.
And though we didn’t do improv, I remember improvising spontaneously just for fun.
I don’t even know how it would start. I’m inclined to think I started it. For example, I’d suggest to someone somehow that we were engaged to be married and get into a fight with her. She’d go along, and we’d keep it going for as long as we could.
Just the other day I blogged about how great it would be to live in another country so that I could find out what it would be like to be someone else. That’s what that felt like.
I didn’t hate myself, it was how I liked myself. It was spiritual. It connected me to others.
When I lost my way, I also felt like I lost my bond with Geri. I wasn’t what she thought I was. But what she didn’t know is that I always regretted not acting. And then I felt like the window closed and I could never be that anymore.
Years later I sought her out, and we met, and talked. I’m sure it must have been obvious to her then that those times meant a lot to me. Until I got distracted by other interests it was the thing.
After all those years, feeling so much older, though I was still young, I showed her, I think, that I was still the same person. But I was substituting writing for acting. And she encouraged that. She was always encouraging.