Staff Writer – Katrin Callender

It was the thing I’d dreaded for a year. And suddenly, it was upon me. My acting class had begun! I was more scared than I’d been in some time.

But, having spent the vacation psyching myself up for it, I was more focused on keeping myself open and positive in relation to the challenge ahead.

I wanted myself to at least try. In my head, I’d fought it for such a long time and been as close to sinister as I could ever get. But in fact, it was important to me to make a concerted effort to face my fear.

The worst that could happen was that I’d remain afraid or be tense or have to contend with the disappointment of failing yet again. The best- oh the very best that could happen- was that I would grow, and learn and make myself so proud. And this made the effort worth it!

I was ready from the start. I went over to the performance space and with the help of a friend set it up the way I remembered the lecturer liked it. I went to the office to look out for her, in order to direct her to our location and do what I could to be of assistance; then we headed to class.

The activities began straight away- there would not be a period of getting comfortable. Indeed, comfort was nowhere on the agenda.

The beauty of an acting class is that it is quite the equalizer. Whether one is timid, or insecure or conceited, it is the sort of class that keeps you busy- too busy to be caught up in your concerns; too busy to be scared or worried or vain.

Photo courtesy pretoria.olx.co.za

Additionally, fears and the desire to take centre stage faded more away as the activities went by. We learned to listen; to take our instructions seriously, and to have a good time. Mistakes were made- but this was by no means the end.

So we wrapped, relieved to have it end, but saddened as well. And we shall do it all again in a week. There is no shame or harm in being pushed hard- beyond what we think is possible.

We might just be in for a pleasant surprise. Often people dip a toe into experiences, and will not fully commit. Sometimes, immersion is the defining factor. Nothing would grow if the circumstances conducive to growth and development were not readily available.

The beauty of an acting class is not necessarily the talent on display, but also the talent hidden deep within a soul as it begins to connect with kindred spirits and blossom.