Saturday, August 14, 2010

Once more, dear friends

After a week's worth of performances that have sold out in less than an hour, I only have one more performance of Henry V. But it's going to be a great show; the whole nature of our play is the final exam of a high school class, and tomorrow it will literally be the FINAL exam of our class. And not only that, but a high school teacher of mine is planning on coming. He'll see me play a high school English teacher, and I am excited beyond words for this to come to pass.

Dr. Fles taught me Honors English in both the 9th and 11th grade. I remember his classes vividly. One time, he made us learn speeches from Julius Caesar. (I actually did a second one for extra-credit.) I read Huck Finn with him for the first time, and a lot of other classics that I still re-read. And Dr Fles was legendary for his quizzes and tests that had the most complicated instructions of any teacher I've ever had. Sometimes, each question would have a point value attached to it, and we would have to answer exactly 100-points worth of questions or risk losing other points. He also gave us the best/worst extra-credit questions, where you would gain points if you got it right, but you would also lose points if you answered incorrectly. (It completely eliminated guessing; you could do more harm than good.)

In any case, Dr Fles is one of those teachers from my past that I look back on as being supremely important in my overall life. He read plays I wrote, encouraged my love of The Shadow, and was always in his office if I just wanted to chat during a free period. And now he's coming to my show, where I am essentially playing a character that I have loosely based on him. I think this is one of my most personally-anticipated audiences ever.

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