Had my Level 1 Conservatory tonight. During a warm-up game designed to help us get to know one another's names and become comforable with each other, we stand in a large circle and throw/hand imaginary things to each other, while the instructor periodically adds a new object to the mix. So daggers were being thrown and caught, mice transferred gingerly, wrestling belts buckled, subpoenas gravely served, and a red ball (because even imaginary things have color)was hurled to people who were called out by name. All at once.
At one point, the instructor, a middle-aged man, walked up to me appearing to hold...a fire extinguisher? A baton?
He smiled. "This is a big, greasy, dildo."
And I thought, "I auditioned for THIS?"
I don't really need to desribe the rest of the class. I sat there, bored and annoyed, and observed the toxic gender dynamics that this kind of instructor brings out in this age group (the boys become more outspoken, dominant and rude; the girls become quieter and less assertive, more willing to be put into uncomfortable situations). Since I am not interested in once again fighting the power that decides that a woman in a scene must be a wife, daughter, or hooker, and...
OK; I'll say it. Since I think I'm already better than most of the Conservatory grads I've seen, I've decided to forfeit the tuition, bypass the aggravation, and give it up. My old group, for all of its flaws, was remarkably mature and good at supporting each other. This group spent a goodly amount of time discussing how to tell head hair from pubic hair, and the instructor steamrollers over everyone. It's very reminiscent of the OLD! director's style.
I'm just not in the mood for another arrested-development demagogue. I like most of the people in my class, one girl in particular who's very quick and funny, and looks the spitting image of the Margaret Yang character from Rushmore. But I was feeling old and disconnected. I didn't enjoy myself at all. It's sad, but perhaps it's time to move on from this chapter of my life, and focus on my own creativity, find an outlet whre I can be challenged and feel more rewarded. The Neofuturists have a program; perhaps I'll look into that. They seem more age diverse, and they have good writers. They're also a hell of a lot closer. We'll see. I have many options.