I’ve been resistant about discussing the acting class too publicly for several reasons. I’ve also been hesitant about discussing As You Like It rehearsals for a whole different set of reasons. I’m not going to describe the ongoing “fat, have no work” despair, because I find it boring to be living it, I can’t imagine you’d be all that entertained by reading about it.

I can talk a little bit about the class last night. Let me preface by saying that it’s impossible to know what you are doing as an actor, thus matching it with maybe dance as the only art forms entirely ephemeral and entirely external. I’ve been in scenes with people where the director will say, “this isn’t working” and they will go into long descriptions of the ways they went about creating their character, rhapsodic melodies about grandparents and journals kept and the striving, and I just want to say, “it doesn’t matter what you think you are doing, the director said it isn’t working.”

So, talking about what I did or didn’t do in class is absurd. If you are a writer, you get done writing and then, in place of anecdote, you show them the writing. And then they read it, and that’s the shared experience. Music can be recorded, art hangs in museums for centuries. Don’t talk to me about movies, movies are bullshit and you know it. Movies are to acting what music videos are to ballet.

So, let me work backwards. Jordana and I did a scene from “Angels In America” last night, and we were the last people to perform in class. At some point, afterwards, almost every single person congratulated me on my breath-taking work, which is your first indication that it wasn’t that good. Actors don’t tell each other that what they did was good unless it was only sort of good- good in that “good, but I could do it better” way. When Claire and I did “Dirty Juanita”, no-one spoke to us after the class.

But it also could have been the look of humiliation on my face after the scene was done. I had to die in the scene. Actually, I had to pretend to die, and then really die. So, actually, I had to act like I was pretending to die, and then I had to act like I was really dying, except that you can’t play that, I had to act like a guy who was a great actor who was pretending to die and then I had to act like a guy who was a great actor who then dies.

All of this while I’m faking out a woman who is actually a figment of my imagination.

So, I was a little “in my head” as they say.

For those of you following along in the script, it’s the scene where Roy Cohn dies and he is visited by the ghost of Ethel Rosenburg. I did a bit of research on Roy Cohn, I read the parts of the play that he appears in, but I didn’t watch the movie and I tried to block out the live performance in my head.

Anyway, our teacher was really cool about the piece, congratulated us on being so brave on chosing something that hard, and then went nuts for how good Jordana was in the scene. Which is actually nice. She really ought to be famous, and maybe she still will. If there’s anything I know, it’s how to hang my hat on the right hat-rack. But I’m supposed to go back and do the scene again on Friday, and I just don’t know if I can get through it.