When I signed up for my acting class at school I knew I would have to shrivel the bubble of comfort zone I normally enjoy, but the exercise we did yesterday nearly did me in. We were randomly paired up, told to come up with a name (my partner and I were "Awesomeness"...hell yeah...), write it on a note card, and set it on the stage.
Then we took an item out of a box the professor had, which was full of the most random odds and ends, and set it next to our card. My partner grabbed a pair of sunglasses out of the box and set them next to our "Awesomeness" card. How bad could a pair of sunglasses be? Hell yeah...
But wait, there's more!! We then drew three random pieces of paper from a bowl - these strips of paper each had the name of a faculty/staff member and their office location. The assignment was to pick a faculty/staff member (we were to choose three to increase our odds of getting someone to play along), get the same item from them that we had drawn from the box (or something like it), and have them follow us to the auditorium with it. Extra points if we could get them to do the can-can dance, and even more points if we could get them to yodel.
Oh, and we had to do it all WITHOUT TALKING.
We literally ran around campus trying to find willing participants, my partner nearly getting hit by cars because she wouldn't look when she ran across streets, me scooping up my ovaries which dropped somewhere around the library.
I'll tell you what, if I hate anything, it's making someone uncomfortable, and this exercise did exactly that - imagine how we looked, miming that we needed the object, then that we needed them to follow us, then when we got up on stage that we wanted them to kick their legs up and down, then we had to mime that we wanted them to fucking YODEL.
I won't lie, it was hilarious. Maddeningly uncomfortable, but damn funny. After Fred the professor hurrahed and gave us our hard-earned points, we were then able to speak to thank them for their participation. That was the easiest part of the whole exercise and to say that I thanked them profusely would be an understatement.
Once we finished with one, we picked out a different item and three new names, and off we went again. More running, more miming, more looking like complete idiots, more can-cans, more yodeling. I believe the two of us got four people to come and act like idiots with us, each of them all the way to a yodel, and by the time we were done with the class my insides were a jumbled mess from the running and my nose was a snotty mess from the cold.
Maybe one day when I'm making movies and I'm rich and famous, they'll remember me as one of those weird students from Fred's class who made them do goofy shit.
I think I can handle that!