Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't Know What You've Got 'til It's Gone?

An acting teacher plays "Celebrities" with his college students and his horror grows:


The first two players “Marsha” and “Donald” joined me at the front of the classroom. I stood between the duo holding a small white bowl for the rejects (i.e. names the clue giver – Marsha in this case – could pass on). Also in my possession was an open Ziploc bag containing the notables. From which each was to be pulled as I watched the clock.

“Ready… set,” I began, “and go!”

Into the bag Marsha thrust her hand. Her force of such that I had to grip tighter onto the plastic. She pulled out one of the small, rectangular slips of paper. I saw the name typed on it; Ben Kingsley.

“Don’t know him,” Marsha said quickly as she tossed into the pass bowl the knighted actor who notably won an Oscar for his portrayal of Gandhi. Her right hand plowed back into the bag for another name. She pulled out several pieces of paper. She looked at the first one. Her eyebrows rose. Her nose crinkled as if smelling something foul.

“Don’t know her.” Marsha quipped. She threw the celebrity into the disposal bowl. I looked at who had been passed upon. Helen Hayes. Oh my God.

Donald was getting worried. He desperately needed the extra credit to get anything resembling a passing grade for the semester. Marsha looked at another of the celebrity slips in her hand.

“Oh God,” she whined, “who are these people?!”

Marsha tossed another name into the bowl-de-pass. Walter Matthau. Several more notable thespians, without try, went flying into the proverbial port-o-potty I was holding. Greta Garbo. Yul Brynner. Bob Hope. Grace Kelley. Moss Hart. George S. Kauffman. Then she hit upon someone she recognized.

“Oh, oh!” she blurted as she began jumping up and down, “I know this one. He’s really, really old. That wrinkly guy from 8 Simple Rules.”

Donald hadn’t a clue about Marsha’s clue. He stared blankly at Marsha who countered back, “You know… he’s ancient. Probably dead.”

He was very much alive and his name is James Garner...

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