Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Introspection in Review

Conservatory drama programs (such as the one at Julliard) are 8 hours of pure theatrical training, 5 days a week. The NYU drama department splits the difference between conservatory and general education by farming kids out to conservatory studios (which are independent institutions) around the city for three days out of the week, and requiring academic credits to be achieved in the remaining two days. There are seven primary studios. I'm in the best one, naturally.

Of the academic requirements, "Theater Studies" classes have proven most painful for me. Primarily because I have a habit of failing them, but also because of the kinds of discussions they tend to encourage. If you sit in on a standard TS theory class (or at least any of the ones in which I have enrolled), you hear kids make frequent use of words like "every" and "all" and "never" and "no" and almost every discussion ends in a justification for someone's self-righteous definition of "art." Or something. I'm generalizing. Really there was just one class that was actually like that, but ever since then I've become very sensitive to wishy-washy and self-righteous arguments that I tend to see them everywhere.

Last week I had a conversation with my current Theater Studies professor and we discussed, among other things, some of my apprehensions about that kind of thing. Well, my teacher (who is one of my favorite ever) had some extremely reassuring words and expressed an opinion which I find all too rare in the theater world: my own! It was such an energizing and interesting talk that I thought for a brief time that I was, in fact, in love with my teacher. I realized then that it is not my teacher whom I love, but someone else. And that helped me make a decision.