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ROLL CAMERA! A Middle-Aged Man's Journey Through Acting Classes By Francisco Serrano

Hanford: As I lay on my couch on yet another Saturday afternoon death scroll on my phone, my burnt out, anxious, depressed self, started searching. For what? I did not yet know. A thought came to my mind. Acting. Why Acting? I do not and will not know why. I googled acting in Hanford. Most of the results were about watching the act, but I wanted to break out of my comfortable shell. I wanted to immerse myself in something scary and new and creative. I wanted to be challenged and be made uncomfortable.

Hanford Multicultural Theater caught my eye. "THIS! I said to myself "is a beginning". After registering for Wednesday night adult acting classes at 7 pm, I spent the whole week talking myself out of and into participating. I made plans and counter plans. I was a terrible heap of panic a nd curiosity, but mostly panic. I could not do it, it’s a lark, a poor man's fever dream. Yet, I dared to say, "What is there to lose"??

Finally, the time had arrived. As I looked at the historic building, I checked the flyers on the windows for spelling errors or clues. I rang the bell. I was welcomed in by Silvia, a good natured and outgoing acting coach. Her demeanor told me I was safe, and that I will be learning in a place where mistakes were expected, and masks would be removed. The second acting coach Don greeted me warmly. From him I would learn not only how to be a character, also but how to embrace that character and make him or her come alive.

The first week I was all nerves and feelings of inadequacy. But slowly I was being brought out of my comfortable shell. Brought to a place where I could flap my wings, and hover above it all if even just for a few seconds.

The other actors, some new, some not so new, joined in the mutual search for something. Something that can only be brought out by being vulnerable on a stage.

After week 4 my fears are still here. But I've learned to embrace them and use them, to make a character more alive and real. Perhaps if I continue this…Acting. I can branch out, meet friends, and create a better life for myself. The only requirement is…To take the first step.

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