How Does Riding A Segway in Salzburg Relate To Acting?

Several years ago I read an article about Dean Kamen, the gentleman who invented the Segway. I remember thinking at the time what a cool invention it was and how great it would be to ride one. It took me almost twenty years to do it but man, was it worth it!!

Salzburg, which literally translates to Salt Town, was the end point of my most recent bicycle adventure – Munich to Salzburg. Questiondo Austrians think Salzburg sounds as glamorous as we think it sounds? Cause it sounds pretty alluring to me. Anyway, after biking over the German Alps – no broken bones this time – the thought doing of a walking tour wasn’t very appealing so when I read there was a Segway tour of the city we jumped on it. Not literally jumped because you don’t want to jump on a Segway, you want to step up on it. Gently.

How was it? Unbelievably terrific!! If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. The Segway is a marvelous machine that moves the way you tell it to move. Lean forward and it goes forward. Lean back and it goes backward. Lean to the side and it turns. In a matter of minutes we were off exploring the sites of Salzburg.

So why does riding a Segway relate acting? Acting is about heightened moments of reality. When you’re doing a scene you know how it ends but to make the journey interesting the writer and/or the director place a number of objects in your way that your character has to overcome. If your character achieves his/her goal without too much struggle we, the audience, won’t be invested in their journey and wouldn’t care about the outcome.

Staying on a Segway falls into the category of heightened reality. It’s not exactly Evil Knievel time but if you aren’t paying attention, if you don’t adjust to the obstacles that come up, you could end up ass over elbows in a ditch.

BTW, this is true in life as well. Rarely, if you’re seeking a goal of any real value, are you going to travel start to finish without having to overcome some obstacles, without having make some adjustments to your original plan.

In Salzburg we had to deal with rain, traffic, difficult terrain, and hordes of pedestrians (there are a lot of tourists in Salt Town). Learning how to drive the Segway wasn’t difficult, what was difficult was getting to where we wanted to go. We were constantly dodging people, avoiding huge puddles (did I mention it rained while we were there? Oh, yeah, it did. A lot. We’re not wearing those ponchos to start a new fashion trend.). We had to traverse up steep, winding hills all the while mindful of other moving vehicles.

Our guide was clear about where she wanted to take us and we were clear about what we wanted to see but sometimes the way was blocked (I mentioned the tourists, right?) so we had to find another way. We never lost sight of our destination but we were constantly adjusting our course to get there.

It’s like flying an airplane from anywhere to somewhere else. The pilot is constantly correcting his course to stay ahead of the weather, adjust for the wind but eventually you arrive where you wanted to go.

So riding a Segway…and acting…and life? Who knew they all had so much in common?

Mary Loorm is wrapping a twenty-day shoot on the film Like Father, starring Kelsey Grammer.

Daniel Sovich – booked the off-Broadway play, Downtown Race Riot, directed by Scott Elliott, starring Chloe Sevigny.

Stacey Scotte – booked the lead in Last Night of the Ballyhoo, with the Florida Rep Company in Fort Meyer, Florida.                                 Melanie Little – booked a regional commercial for Downtown Dental Arts.               Rebecca Pitcher – booked the upcoming Broadway show Carousel, directed by Jack O’Brien.

Leslie Russell – booked a national commercial for Balsam Hill.

Anybody else working? Let us know so we can put you in the shout outs.

Upcoming classes:

Two-camera scene study class: 3 Oct. – 21 Nov. 2017. Two spots left.

Commercial Level 1 2 Oct. – 6 Nov. 2017. Sold out. Wait list available.

For more info on these classes – click here

Hope to see you soon.

John

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