Monday, December 8, 2008

Acting Naturally

I have two daughters five and eleven and as any father I believe they are the most beautiful and gifted kids in the whole world.
We have a play / office room where the kids play and where the family computer resides.
I go there often when my little on is playing dolls and it would be impossible to work on my computer without being distracted by her play.
For one thing, she speaks out loud all the characters. As an adult I would say she speaks by herself, but watching her I don’t believe that’s true. Her characters are so well developed and they have the most fantastic, imaginable dialogs.
It is impossible for me not to crack up, at which point she realizes that I’m not working on my computer so she comes over to me and ask me if I want to play.
To be honest, playing dolls is not my favorite thing by far, but how can I say no?
The thing I dread the most is that I always get to be the prince and no matter how hard I try, I always screw it up. She always has to correct me. “Dad that’s not the way you do it!”
As you might have noticed from my early posts, I’m not one person that lacks imagination but compared with hers, I got nothing.

My older daughter doesn’t play with dolls; she never had – thank God.
She loves reading and videogames and she loves her stuffed animals, but not to play just to sleep with them.
She also loves acting and singing and my wife has even got her an agent.
I go along with this acting gig, just because they both enjoy it and have fun and they do not take it too seriously.
Part of the acting career is going to acting shops, which once I had the pleasure of getting stuck with.
There were several kids going on a stage doing their little act. Some of them were happy, some were frightened, some memorized their lines and some had no clue. You know, kids! After the kids, the acting coach got on the stage and explained to the kids how they are going to learn “how to act naturally”.
Is acting naturally an oxymoron, ore is just me? I mean isn’t acting the opposite of natural and spontaneous? How can you be spontaneous on queue?
Any way, what he really meant, is that he’s going to teach the kids to act like what other people believe naturally should be like. Which means to tech them to act un naturally.

I have a confession to make. I like to talk to myself. I don’t have the courage to do it in public or in front of my kids – I usually take my dog for a walk when I get the urge to act out my thoughts. I also thought of buying one of those blue tooth thingy that you put in your year, although I do not have a cellular but it would be just the perfect excuse for having a conversation.
I find it ironic that we are teaching our kids to act naturally, when we as adults are nothing but a bucket full of inhibitions, anxieties and phobias. It should be just the other thing around. We should learn from them.

I am learning a lot from my daughters. I am getting better on being spontaneous just being around them.
I just wish I didn’t get to be the prince all the time.


Jannie said...

I thik I'd rather be the prince than the dog tho. That's what I always had to be.

Kelly's more into board games now. Monopoly and such.

But sometimes she's still a fairy.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

My first thought on reading the phrase "acting shops" was to imagine a department store where one could pick up Keanu Reaves for the weekend or something - but obviously this is colloquial phraseology!

Your kids are spontaneous because they haven't yet built up the barriers between their imaginations that we get as we grow older - Terry Gilliam once said that as a kid the underside of a table is exciting and surprising, but as you get older it gets harder to be surprised.

Your kids are reminding you that its ok to have fun - so why not listen?

PS - you think kids are distracting: my cats are fascinated by my PC and always nestle on the keyboard when i'm trying to work :)

Buddha said...

@Jannie - LOL - I know what you mean. I've been a pony a couple of times.
@ Pixie - You are so right.
I am trying to recapture that genuine fun and having my kids is the best way to learn.

Jannie said...

Budda: Thanks for popping by Jannie Funster! Was it my unwieldly eye that was so intimidating? Still, you braved me and my comments box. Thank you.


Audrey said...

When I was young, one of my best friends was an only child, so I was always the prince too :)

The Clandestine Samurai said...

I also talk to myself, but for me it is compulsive. Especially if I'm thinking of some situation that has pissed me off, or a scene that I've come up with and am really into.

I think it's great that your kids have, early in their years, started exercising their imaginations.

laughingyogini said...

I love hearing about you playing with the girls. My kids (1 girl, 2 boys) are all in their 20s now and serious, eeeeks, graduate students in distant colleges. Those playful days seem pretty far away. They're all coming home for a couple of weeks this weekend and I'm sure we'll do plenty of reminiscing,cooking together, watching movies, you know, the stuff grown-up dolls do! They still teach me a lot about what it means to be human.
Thanks for posting.

Talon said...

I'm laughing. I talk to myself...and generally there's an animal in the vicinity, so no one realizes I am not speaking to them...the dogs and cats are great at keeping my secret.

I've always thought that the saddest thing about growing up was losing our ability to simply be... Children simply are themselves without excuse or apology, without stress or strain.

Acting naturally is definitely an oxymoron.

I'm glad that you are willing to play prince for your daughter. Those moments will live in her memory forever whether or not you're doing it the right way!