The Pick-Up Artiste
By Tess Lynch
I imagine these people are all very close.
“Too Many People” — Paul and Linda McCartney (mp3)
“Smoke and Mirrors” — RJD2 (mp3)
The other day, I was at Aaron Brothers, just picking up some stuuuuff and chatting with the local crazies. This dude, who claimed to be an artist (and had some pretty unimpressive inky canvasses to show us; I say unimpressive even taking into account the fact that he was clearly crazy), was asking my boyfriend Peter and me about how to meet white women. His preference was for those who were old, rich, and willing to support him in exchange for his art and his assorted personal skills. “Oh, yeah, sure,” I said, inching away from him, “you have to take an acting class!”
“What acting class should I take? Which one are you in?”
Warm-ups, helllllll yes.
I delicately avoided telling the crazy where I took my lessons, but gladly recommended (only by city, James, don’t worry) the acting class of my friend James Lowe, whose funny God Inc. is on Youtube and I heard maybe going to be on the SciFi Channel? Anyway, I meant it. Acting classes may not (yet) have a sex-for-trade racket involved, but it’s close. Next to AA and the dog park, acting class is the best place to meet your like-minded, starving artist new lovah.
They haven’t even had cocktails yet.
“All My Friends” — LCD Soundsystem (mp3)
“Clark Gable” — The Postal Service (mp3)
I’m only kind of speaking from experience. In high school I met a boyfriend in acting class, but college theater’s ass required too much commitment to tap; now we know the hidden dangers of being 18 and in a theater clique, but back then it was more like a battle between hours of rehearsal and other college activities. So I made up for lost time after graduation and re-joined my high school acting class, kinda — a weekend affair (Saturday morning, 10 am, ouch) with folks ranging in age from around twenty to dad-age.
“Everyone Knows Everyone” — The Helio Sequence (mp3)
To be fair, most of the class was my age. Most were foxy. There were doughnuts too, and sometimes brownies, yet this was not what drew us in. And it was great to work on scenes and monologues for super-cheap (my God, that class is so cheap), even on days when everyone in the room was hungover and miserable to be awake at 10 am on a Saturday (did I mention that? Ouch, ouch), but that wasn’t it either. One morning a new girl was in class, and the four male schmactors in front of me started rifling through stacks of scenes trying desperately to find something with making out to snag her for. Then they noticed her engagement ring. Class attendance plummeted. Doughnuts were left uneaten.
When you Google image search “lonely actor,” this is what you get.
It makes total sense why, especially in Los Angeles, people would want to make out with people they meet in acting class. Number one, you know you’re both in possession of a sensitive nature and easily shattered ego, so you’ll be sure to preface anything you say to each other with “I feel.” Number two, in all likelihood, you won’t have to worry about telling your partner you can’t afford to go out to dinner. And finally, you have an innate understanding for the necessity of engaging in sado-masochistic feedback sessions. Reels. Monologues. Scenes. I feel.
Without ruining any lives, I’ll tell you that I do know several nameless people who happily Cujamonjoed because of that one acting class I took; more than that, though, I know like a baker’s dozen who either flirted like crazy with their scene partners or were attracted to and then driven crazy by them. That place was a hotbed. And it isn’t just my acting class — it’s every acting class. Just the other day, Peter and I were at Swinger’s and ran into an old scene partner of his, and she tried to send him The Vibe. Peter’s old acting class was really heavy on rules and pretty superserious — and yet when class was dismissed, great hordes of 20-somethings oozed by in a haze of cologne and giggles. He didn’t last long there, either. That was also because, well, no doughnuts.
Shit’s like GHB, man.