4th Class – It’s better with Masks

Well, another week, another class down at the OSSD.  I’m already starting to dread December, when the course will be over and I’ll go back to (pardon the all-too accurate pun) having no class.  But that’s a bit of a half-empty way of looking at it, I suppose.  Let’s dig on the full part for the moment:

Got to class in good time, after a pleasant day off involving breakfast at Ada’s diner and fun new comix (also the new BEST OF SOUL TRAIN dvd, which is fifteen different kinds of amazing).  Was pleased to see a couple of the ladies, who’d missed a class or two, back for this one…although no less than three of the guys were absent!   Tho real life DOES intrude from time to time, hey?  So just an even dozen of us this class along with cool boss Barry Karp.  He ran us through our warmups…I think I’m getting better at some of the mimes…and then a refresher on the seven stages of movement.  And then…THEN…we got to do it with the masks on.  And not just any old Frankenstein halloween mask (like the one I was goofing around my apartment with the other night, rather irking Winston) neither.  These were proper theatrical masks, hand made from leather, by the master Sartori.  Barry speaks of Sartori the way internet geeks talk about Joss Whedon or Warren Ellis, and the awe here is well-earned.

We lined up in groups of four (I was in the first group), masked up, and Barry set about getting us into neutral, literally.  It was a frankly amazing experience…I could feel, standing there, every little imperfection in the WAY I stood, every flaw in my body and pretty much all the damage I’d done to it over the years.  And boy, it’ll take some doing to get this shit put right.  But Barry was supportive…he said he could see my aura!  Which was apparently a good thing.  When we were deemed ready, we did a walk of the room, moving from the first stage (drunk and loose) to the seventh (scared stiff), and then returned the opposite way down the scale.  I kept getting confused about the order of a few in the middle (self, THEN neutral?  Dammit…) and overthinking things, but overall I think I had a good run.  The others had their go afterwards…one lady, Barbara, I thought did fantastic, on what was only her second time in the class.

After a break, we came back and had a quick game, then some two-team competition charades.  We tied, tho I’m happy to say I nabbed two points for my team, the Maniacs of Arizona, with my dramatic interpretation of both a birdcage AND flashlight batteries.

We finished off with some fighting fun, pairing off and working out a five action/reaction slow-mo fight scene.   Me and Stefan had a nicely flowing punchup, that basically went slap, slap, gutshot, knee to the face, double haymaker and OUT.  Seriously, if school had been like this back in the day, I would have had a MUCH better time.

Class ended all too soon once again, and I shlepped home  (after a pitstop at the Carleton) to check in on my flatmate of one whole week now, Winston the cat.  He seems to be acclimating well enough…he’s started occasionally sleeping in his bed…

…and he fits just so in the palm of one’s hand…

…and boy, Nancy wasn’t kidding about his greed for the snuggles.  I’m amazed he’s actually letting me write this!  Must still be tuckered out from the last epic purr-fest.  I should point out that, as I started reading his Mom’s latest post, he jumped quickly up on my lap, I assume to see if he was mentioned (he was).  That made him quite content.  He has since retreated to stare at my shoes, and lick the bag the SOUL TRAIN discs came in.  Kind of  a weird cat, really.  Good weird.

Plenty going on in O-town this week, hope to see y’all out at some of it.  Peace and Soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

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