Friday, February 27, 2009

Learning What?

When I was attending the musical theater academy that shall not be named they made us take a class called VPS. That is short for Voice Production and Speech. The idea was to teach as all about things like vowel placement, tone quality, and breath control. It helped all of us who refused to believe we have accents finally acknowledge what we were doing differently. I understand why they originally thought this class would be beneficial but I can't justify three full semesters of it.

In semester one we had a teacher with a mullet who made us all sit in front of mirrors trying to talk with corks in our mouths. For those of you who just misread that, I said CORKS. I don't really remember what the point was supposed to be. I think a lot of people tend to speak without opening their mouths properly. Regardless, it was a little odd.

Semester two was a real trip. I had a teacher with a bowl cut (Bad hair is a necessity when teaching voice technique.) who would make us all lie on the floor and put ourselves in uncomfortable positions until our tired muscles started to tremor. The goal was seriously the trembling. It was incredibly awkward because it looked like a room full of people orgasming and occasionally the teacher would come over and try to help you. Please explain to me what that could possibly have to do with your voice? Is it for relaxation?

Finally we made it to our third semester and I don't have any memory of that teacher at all. Probably because we were so busy playing with masks and crawling around on the floor. I'm not kidding. I remember some of the masks were cats or just the regular zoro type eye cover but for some reason I thought it would be fun to get a clear glossy mask with the eyes painted in a drag queen sort of way. It doesn't sound too bad but when I put it on it was creepy as hell. One day the teacher asked us to put on our masks and start moving around the room making noise. This escalated into using levels which meant getting on the floor, crawling, and climbing up on boxes. Finally the teacher announces we are animals. Whatever animal came to mind in the moment. We had tigers, bears, birds, and elephants. What was I? Of all the animals I could have chosen I became a damn snake. I don't mind snakes but when you are squirming around on the floor trying to "interact with the other animals" it can really bruise your ribs. I had to keep chasing everyone around because they were afraid of me. I think this moment in time might have damaged me for life. Now tell me, WHAT does that have to do with voice production and speech? What? It was such a pointless, useless class and I spent several dollars on that mask. That was weed money! Back then. Not to mention thousands on the class. That school was such a scam. I wonder if they would hire me as a VPS teacher?

18 comments:

kcinnova said...

Meow? ;)

Knight said...

That was a bit catty wasn't it?

NE~ISM said...

I would so love to have been in that class to see all of that happening.. May have been really fun to join in the cork in the mouth thingy! lol

Sorry I have been away a lot also from your blog as well as everyone elses.. I actually have a Job and School at the same time now!!

Miss ya sis!!

Ne

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

you poor thing, damaged for life?

Farmer*swife said...

I'm thinking that your teachers were using the money for some weed of their own! *giggle*snort*

It reminds me of "Will & Grace" and Jack's acting classes!

So glad to have you back for a post!

Farmer*swife said...

Oh, but the corks in the mouth? That class was to support that teacher's wine habit.

No fair how they all cheat unsuspecting young people who are trying to learn how to promote and improve their wonderful talents....

Jay said...

That's a little weird. But, it would be fun to be on the other side of a two-way mirror and get to watch all of that.

Tall Lanky Jew said...

Ahh, yes. VPS!!! I remember the class all too well. Occasionally I will 'tap it out' just to pass the time. MMMMMMMMMAHHH!

My animal of choice? The all too elusive, rarely seen in its normal habitat 'Tall Lanky Jew'. Often he is seen searching the jungle floor for the equally elusive penny. Or on even a rarer occasion he has been known to utter the native tongue phrase of oy vey. One must listen and look closely but these things are what makes the Tall Lanky Jew one of the rarest animals in the jungle.

Reb said...

I can see the cork in the mouth as a help in teaching you to speak clearly. But the rest just sounds strange.

Of course they wouldn't hire you on...you'd have to have a complete weirdo make-over, which would be a mission impossible.

Mike said...

First off, i'd like to be able to put corks in some peoples mouths around the office. Except not the mouth. The anus.

Secondly, I'd ask for your money back. Seriously. Get your money back and then bomb the school.

You'd be doing the world a favour.

GMEyster said...

Oh my goodness. This really made me laugh. I also took three years of acting, voice, and movement classes when I was in college. And we did some pretty strange stuff, too.

Darla said...

If I were you, I would apply.

BBC said...

The idea was to teach as all about things like vowel placement, tone quality, and breath control.

It might be wiser to learn how to garden?

kcinnova said...

I didn't mean catty in that way! Just thinking about favorite animals & animal masks -- although my youngest would totally have chosen to be a snake!

Really, I popped back over after reading your comment at Tink's. I hope the silver lining in all of this shows up soon! Hang in there.

LL said...

Too funny my dear, too funny.

Darla said...

This post is from February. I object.

Mike said...

You dead?

BBC said...

Are you okay hon?