I am a technical moron (in addition to being wretched at spelling). I have just learned how to read the responses to the blogs and I just read the responses to "Acting 101" blog. Thank goodness we never stop learning. Anyway- I found it quite fun to see the different reactions and learn some things about blogging like: 1) People that respond as "anonymous" took some of the comments personally which I find hilariously ironic considering I used broad statements to avoid placing any one actor in the awkward position of personal criticism and that the respondant would not identify themselves. 2) At least one person wanted me to give specific examples which I think would be mean spirited. I like to give names when praising people but do not wish to publicly denounce anyone personally on that particular issue. 3) Many responses that were anonymous chose to attack me personally rather than address the issue- not fair considering I don't know who you are- at least I have the integrity put my name on my opinions whether they are agreeable or not. 3) Blogging is a place where we can all express and converse - it is really cool.
Someone thought I did not have the qualifications to address an acting/directing issue later mentioning that some of the people I was addressing had degrees in theater. There are at least two problems with that line of thought. The first is that this person did not lay out what qualifications they felt were necessary for one to have in order to give acting advice. The second is that they implied that without a degree from a University one cannot be knowledgeable in a field. It is hopefully assumed that a critic has some level of competency in the area in which they are critiquing. Since acting is a huge part of live theater a theater critic should have some knowledge of what constitutes good acting or directing. It is true that it is not always clear if the director or an actor makes a choice in regards to performance but the actor usually gets credited with the result. I am assuming that this person does not know what my qualifications are for critiquing theater or bringing attention to an acting/directing issue since they said I am not qualified to do so. Hmmm. It is true that I do not hold a degree in theater but I did study acting, dance, movement and voice for twelve years in Richmond, Boston (theater major at BU) and DC. I have acted professionally in plays, industrials, television and film and have taught acting in Arlington, Va. I have produced several shows (locally the Byrd Theatre Christmas Shows, "Red Badge" for Randy Strawderman and "Austin's Bridge. With my husband and another business partner ran the largest theatrical scenery shop in the Washington area for five years with clients like Ford's Theater, The Washington National Opera Company, The Miss Universe Pageant, The MTV Awards, Fourth of July at the Capitol, etc. I am also licensed to teach theater arts in Virginia - so at least the State Board of Education thinks I am qualified to do something with my training for what that is worth. Some of my local acting instructors are still active or were once active in Richmond Theater ie: Una Harrison, Bruce Miller, Phil Whiteway, Al Flannagan (Ford's brother) and the late Kim Strong. Not least of all I have seen hundreds of shows all over the world. I go to New York about once a year but frequent theaters like Studio, Source and Woolly Mammoth in DC. I also try to go to as many shows as I can here in Richmond. So if one needs to have a degree to be considered knowledgeable or valid in theater/acting/directing/set design/etc please don't tell all those wonderful acting hopefuls who have signed up for classes at Firehouse, Comedy Sprotz, SPARC or Richmond Shakespeare that you do not consider their training valid because they are not getting theater degrees at University. As for me? Well you will make your own judgement.
PS. I also discovered the spell check today! Yippy!