Overheard the following conversation tonight, on the subway. I was on my way home, from, ironically, an acting class.
FACT: The more times you use the word “acting” when you’re talking about your acting, the less likely it is that you’re a good actor. That’s just how it is.
“MY ACTING” a short play
transcribed from reality by Nicole Stamp
Two middle-aged people who are obviously not professional actors.
HIM: A very tall man in a jean jacket. Sort of oafish, scruffy, and loud.
HER: A fading Blanche Dubois-type blonde in overly dramatic clothing. Her hair is oddly askew.
HER: When I’m acting I sometimes feel self-conscious but it gets in the way of my acting so I try to just let it go.
HIM: Yeah, I really think that’s not a good way to feel when you’re acting.
HER: It really isn’t. It gets in the way of my acting. I have to just not think about it so I can act.
HIM: Yeah, I get that. I really need to, like, let loose and just be myself when I act.
HER: Yeah. So that scene you were acting in tonight, how was it?
HIM: I have to say, it was weird. It was weird. To be acting with her, acting like I’m her husband, I’m like, “but she’s married”. That makes it weird to act like I’m her husband.
HER: But you’re acting.
HIM: I know, but I’m acting like I’m her husband, right? If I’m her husband, listen, as a heterosexual male, acting or no acting, I’m gonna be doing SOMETHING, right?
HER: You mean kissing her?
HIM: Not exactly, more like–
HER: Lovemaking? Making love to her?
HIM: I mean like holding her hand or something!
HER: Well that’s OK! You’re acting!
HIM: No! I mean she has a husband! And I’m acting like–
HER: But you’re acting!
HIM: I know I’m acting! That’s the point, my acting can make me get carried away when I’m acting!
HER: I think that’s ok. When you’re acting.
HIM: Listen, you know Tim Allen?
HIM: From Tool Time?
HER: Well I know there is someone named Tim Allen. He does Santa.
HIM: Yeah, him. Well he acted in Tool Time, and on Tool Time, his wife was hot! I thought she was hot! That brunette who acted the role of his wife–
HER: Whose wife, yours? You’re married?
HIM: No. I mean Tim Allen’s wife on Tool Time.
HER: Oh, Tim Allen, yeah. Santa.
HIM: Well when he was acting on that show–
HER: On what show?
HIM: Tool Time.
And then I had to leave the subway and I almost cried, I was so sad to miss the magic. AMAZING.
UPDATE: “My Acting” has received its first off-off-off-off-off-off-off-off-off-Broadway performance, in my friend Shannon’s living room. Click here to watch Shannon and Shannon acting “My Acting”.