Day 8– Hey, what time is it?

I wish it would STOP RAINING.  Typically, the weather is the absolute last thing I ever think about.  But tonight, amidst hour 36 of Typhoon Fay, I really grew tired of the rain.  I feel stuffy, sticky, damp, and unhealthy.  I picture myself to be this slimy, pale reptilian version of grey, which I feel like I’m going to have to adapt and become if this storm system does not go away.  We have gotten like 10-12 inches in a little over a day.  The storm is just sitting on top of like a giant toilet bowl.  It’s moving at 7 miles per hour. SEVEN.  They literally closed down the mall because the weather sucked so much.  I drove by a Firehouse Subs and the employees had turned off the lights and shut the doors and were playing outside on the sidewalk.  Yeah, it’s been raining THAT MUCH.

Aside from that, not much happened today.  I decided to dive into the gym clipped, 1 1/2 inch thick reading they gave us for this week.  Many of my more studious colleagues have been reading on it for 2 days or so.  Acting will be my first class in film school, bright and early at 9AM on Monday, so I read that stuff first.  It dealt with the concept of an actor having to find what the goal and motivation of the character would be.  How you just can’t rehearse lines and recite them take after take when making a movie, because nothing in the performance will come across as spontaneous or genuine.  They had a very useful analogy to a baseball player waiting for the approaching pitch.  The batter has practices his swing to be second nature, so he never thinks about it when he hits.  Each pitch is different, though, and that’s where the spontaneity lies.  If, as an actor, you focus on the goal of the character in the scene as opposed to simply regurgitating lines, then you will always have a fresh performance, regardless of how many takes you have to perform.  

I know that probably just lost half my readers, and I completely sympathize with you.  In undergrad, some of the theory and assessments I had to read about film were mind-numbing.  But this time, I was completely at ease reading this material.  I had a totally different attitude about it.  By God, I was even enjoying it.  I had a little moment where I realized that maybe I had actually done some maturing between undergrad and now.  My mot recent undergrad experience was 3 years ago.  A lot can change in three years.  This time, I’m paying for my school.  This time, I chose what I wanted to do.  I chose the major and even the school I wanted to go to.  School takes on a whole new dynamic when you understand that you’re here because  you want to be, not because the state or Mom and Dad said so.   I’m here to learn and engage my brain as hard as I possibly can.  So, the prospect of staying up late and reading, writing, or working on a project doesn’t seem so daunting anymore.  

I also figured out just how awesome iChat is.  Jonathan, our resident MFA Mac expert, logged on and we video conferenced over iChat for a few minutes.  Then we tested out how to display a document so that anyone involved in the chat could see it.  It’s so AWESOME.  The document enlarges and the the user can scroll through so that everyone can see.  This is the most useful thing I have come across in years.  I know it’s probably old news in some respects, but it was just mind-blowingly simple.  But this is coming from a guy who is still befuddled as to how a fax machine works.  

Two of our fellow MFA’s, Daniel and Kate, have birthdays this weekend, so they planned a little joint party at Kate and Jaye’s townhouse.  Our normal crowd was there, plus a few others, which was great.  And three of the Asians came!  THREE ASIANS!  Ryan (female), Cindy, and Mu-Ming.  They were awesome.  Jonathan and I talked to Ryan and Mu-Ming for nearly an hour about what school, culture, politics, and life were like in Taiwan.  That is always so much fun to me.  They were very gracious and funny about what they thought of American.  Mu-Ming was saying that everyone over there bases their opinions of the U.S. on teen comedies.  He thought that going to FSU was going to be like American Pie.  Keggers, topless chicks, and crazy shenanigans.  What were we doing?  Eating sherbet ice cream and cake.  What a PG let down.  

I was so glad they came out.  As the evening went on, Matt, Bobby and I decided to fire up the beer pong table.  I pretty much hate beer, so Matt was in charge of drinking all the cups on our side.  We got Mu-Ming and Ryan out there to try their hand at an American party game.  Ryan was on my team, Mu-Ming was with Matt.  The game was close, quite close, but Mu-Ming, the Asian Sensation, sunk some serious ping pong balls and won the game.  Within ten minutes, he and Matt had invented the dorkiest film school kids “light saber high-five.”  Ryan and I preferred to cock a shotgun and explode it with a handshake.  There we are, playing beer pong with the Taiwanese students.  Matt and Mu-Ming decided to defend their “dynasty (buffet)” and played against Jacob and Jaye.  By the end of that game, the high five had graduated into Mu-Ming firing a machine gun while Matt leaned back in bullet-time to dodge the bullets and finished it with, “Whoa.”  Whatever this scenario looks like in your head, just go with it.

When we concluded Dorkfest 2008, everyone sat around and talked about movies, school, and any other random assortment of topics.  It was nice.  We’ve only been here a week and all of us are extremely comfortable with each other.  This really takes the weight off of the whole “collaborative” element to our program, at least for me.  Getting people to work on a project of mine doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me now.  I’m really optimistic about how well our class gels thus far.  Since we’ve been sitting around for a week, everyone is antsy to get in there and start the film school thing for real.  

The night waned and the people trickled out.  Discovered that Clay has been working on a dynamite Christopher Walken impression.  It will certainly get him out of a vicious cock fight one day.  Matt was put on the hot seat for a while and we grilled him about Texas, not sure why.  But he was uncomfortable and that’s all that matters.  Daniel described his stint in the Air Force being stationed in Afghanistan. That was extremely interesting to me.  Mu-Ming told us what McDonald’s was like in Taiwan.  Bobby asked him if they ever sit around and say, “Anyone feel like American tonight?”  He said they do!  We asked him if they ever did Mexican food and he didn’t act like they did “Mexican” food much over there.  This prompted a visceral reaction from Matt and Bobby and now we’re going out tomorrow night for some real Mexican with Mu-Ming.  Thought about it… IN.

Around 2AM, four of us remained.  Jaye and Kate, cause, well, they live there, Daniel, and me.  I think I enjoy late nights like this most. I just like listening to people.  For some reason, I don’t really get tired of it.  I thought everyone else was on the same page until Jaye interrupts me and says, “Hey Kate, what time is it?”  Subtle, Jaye, subtle.  On that note, I decided that 3 in the morning was probably a good stopping point.  That, plus Jaye was like coughing really sarcastically and yawning.  Yeah, WE GOT IT, we’re leaving.  Awkwardtown, Population: ME.

Geez, never going to party at their house again.  I don’t care how much delicious OREO cake they throw at me.


One Response to “Day 8– Hey, what time is it?”

  1. Asians are always good with ping pong balls. Always.

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