Friday, February 24, 2017

Nothing is Ever Wasted

I am deep into writing the 12 Crochet Mystery which means I start looking around me for descriptions of places information about situations I'm wring about. I’m always surprised when I realize some experience I have had in the past is suddenly useful.

Since the Crochet Mysteries take place in Tarzana which is technically part of Los Angeles, the entertainment industry is part of the backdrop. This time there is an acting teacher who puts on acting workshops. It was only as an afterthought that I remembered I had my own experiences in similar workshops.

Over the years I have taken a number of classes through the local community college’s extension program. On a dare, I signed up for am improv class. It was certainly not in my comfort zone, but turned out to be an interesting experience in a way I hadn’t expected. The people in the class all had different reasons for being there. One woman was a professional actress who thought it would help her with auditions. A guy who stuttered wanted to be a stand up comedian. Another man wanted to start a second career as an actor and go out on auditions. Then there was the very proper looking woman. Her hair was always neatly combed and her clothing very proper looking. I want to say round collars and skirts, but I think that was more the image I had of her than the reality.

Pierce College where the class was held has an agricultural school and a large part of the 400 acres is devoted to farm animals and crops. Our class was held in a small building in the midst of a very dark area and we parked near the farm area. Anyway, I gave the prim and proper woman a ride to her car after the first night of class because she was nervous about going to her car in the dark. She seemed pleasant and on the dull side and didn’t seem to have a story like the others in the class.

And then on the last meeting of the class, the teacher suggested that we continue the workshop outside of the college. There didn’t seem to be anything inflammatory about what he said, but all of a sudden Miss Prim and Proper starting screaming at him and the group. Every other word was the f one. And then she stormed out. We all just looked at each other mystified and surprised that none of that had showed up during the weekly classes. And I kept thinking about being alone in my car with her as I drove her to some dark isolated part of the campus.

I also took an acting class. It was more about a challenge than any plans to become an actor. There were no melt downs in the class and it was a little duller than the improv class, but do have some insight about what goes on in an acting workshop to use in my fictional one.

It is kind of cool how my past comes in handy!

1 comment:

Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow, you certainly did meet someone who'd make a great character in a mystery. How fun that so many things we do can provide interesting details to include in our writing.