Monday, October 1, 2012


My first encounter with AK  (This comes from Jim Goode at BTE.)

In the summer of 1974, the NU’s Department of Interpretation (now Performance Studies) held a seminar series on “Clowning in Art”. Frank Galati  was the instuctor for the series which hosted guests such as Burr Tillstrom of the Kukla, Fran and Ollie puppet show, who led a workshop in their special area. 

AK came to teach a workshop on acting the clown. It was her first return to campus since her retirement, and it did not go unnoticed that her return invitation came from Interp, not Theatre. Many School of Speech bigshots watched the workshop 

Frank had asked me the day or so before to "take a look at Touchstone from As You Like It" and prepare a speech for AK to work with me. She began the workshop about Charlie Chaplin’s skills: simplicity of physical storytelling, clarity of movement, etc. Then she changed her shoes from low heels to ballet-type flats (why do I remember that?) and asked who had a scene ready for her? My Touchstone was a disaster, but she got me to some understanding of him by scrambling my brain: running around speaking unfiltered first thoughts about people in the room (I have no recollection what I said about the bigshots, though I do remember making eye contact with the Dean, and having a break-through moment that I had a jester's impunity to speak my mind, due to AK's presence). 

Years later, once I knew her in Bloomsburg, I recounted this workshop to her and she said "So you were that frightened little boy!"

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