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While managing a small cafe in Brooklyn New York, I frequented the neighborhood laundromat, as did many singles and others. I had always wanted to be an actor in film, but while folding my cafe t-shirts, I met a guy named Bobby, who was a stage actor and director.
He talked to me about my interest in acting, and suggested I join an acting class taught by a former instructor of his. The teacher had a studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and I, being young and suggestible, called her and joined the class immediately.
Her class was small: myself, one young lady, one older gentleman, and the teacher, Joanna. Joanna was in her sixties, I suppose, and had an air about her that suggested she was a famous star of the theater; but she was a good teacher and quite skilled in her craft.
Joanna had studied Shakespeare extensively, and kept to the classics, strictly: Shakespeare, Ibsen, etcetera. I studied with her for well over a year, maybe two, but when she learned I was moonlighting with improvisation classes, she threw down the gauntlet with an ultimatum: Only the classics or leave my class!
I was not prepared to be ruled by an acting teacher, and improvisation seemed a needed skill for any performer, so I left her class and kept with the improv. Later I would take other acting and related classes & seminars.
(end of part one)