What I’d Say in the Master Class I Can’t Teach Yet

Photo Source: YouTube

Last Friday was the final release of the last episode of the second season of [Blank] My Life, the series I write/create...blah blah blah...it’s the only thing I talk about.

When the season ended last year, I threw my hands up in the air and said a bastardized version of “Lord Almighty we are free at last!” and vowed to never make internet art again. Cut to summer 2017 and there’s a brand new season. Even though this was less hard to make than last year’s, I am now in full-on vacation mode. I’m binge-watching other shows, downloaded Bumble again, and am actually looking forward to the vacations I am supposed to take in July.

Often, I imagine the master classes I’m going to teach when I have something to show for it. I’m a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, so sometimes the imaginary Alex teaches there, sometimes it’s Yale. Usually, the fantasy involves Michael B. Jordan showing up to say, “Alex has created the best on-set atmosphere ever.” (RIP because THAT’S WHAT I WOULD WANT DREAM MICHAEL B. JORDAN TO SAY ABOUT ME?!??!) Dream Jordan and I hug and show a trailer for the movie we did together after the audience prompts us.

No one has asked me to do a Master Class yet, and lots of times I boil with jealousy at the friends who have done BFA programs. (Capricorn neuroses times a billion). However, at 26, with two seasons behind me, channeling all my hopes and prayers into doing a third season and movie this year, this is what I would say in the Master Class no one has asked me for yet.

1. There’s lots of fear mentality in being an artist.

“You have to go in there and be IT!”
“No one can book the job BUT YOU!”
“You need to stand up and say THIS IS MY ROLE”

This totally works for some people. But people don't as often talk about the alternative: That feeling 100% wrong for something can have the same effect as convincing yourself you’re 100% right. That feeling like, “Well, I already derked it! I’m gonna be terrible for this! Welp, might as well have fun!” You can totally go in thinking you are the best or you can totally think you are the worst—they do the same thing.

2. Don’t go to pay-to-play classes. If I have any power in my life, I’m going to work to dismantle those soul-sucking, fear-breeding institutions and put an art co-op or performance space on the bleeding remains of these classrooms.

3. Pretending to be famous, being good to your friends, and having fun is going to get you further than trying to follow every single whisper of a potential job.

4. Eat the rigatoni, drink beer, and have some sex. (A new take on “Run Around, Scrape Your Knees, Get Dirty” from early 90s masterpiece, “The Sandlot.”) It will help your heart and art. Also, denying the rigatoni will leave you high and dry because she is the only one who ever truly loved the real you.

5. Re: “The Sandlot” speech from earlier, here are two comments on the YouTube link which are a pretty fair example of anything you will do artistically:

6. I can’t say things have gone right for me in acting. I’m not on Broadway or TV. When people say, “Might I know you from something?” the answer is 100% not. I can’t point to any poster or trailer or thing and say, Oh yeah, that’s me—the girl who is gonna make it! The only thing I can say with confidence is that there is a larger and larger circle of people who think I’m worth investing time and respect in. Getting older is just finding more and more people who say, “I love you even though you are patently nuts.”

7. If people miss deadlines, don’t freak out.

8. If you miss a deadline, don’t freak out.

9. Enable drives to be extended.

10. This year I got my heart broken. Nothing is enough, there can be enough, there’s no proof it mattered. You can’t text and say: reassure me it was real. You can’t send postcards with the hopes they will ever be returned. You can’t get time back and you probably wouldn’t choose another way even if you knew the outcome. Having your heart broken is walking in circles and hoping the mania is worth it. You watch others get selected and want to call, “Traitor! We were in this together and now you left me here alone.” It’s picking yourself up another time and making another thing and trying to pretend that it mattered as much as it did to you and also that it simultaneously doesn’t exist. Care and care and continue to care.

It is worth it.

Alex Spieth is an actor/writer living in NYC. She began writing the series [Blank] My Life after being dropped by her acting agency and says, “Turn that depression into anxiety!” to every actor who feels down on their luck. Watch the [Blank] trailer and season two here. Alex frequently collaborates with Irondale Ensemble, Third Space, and Tele-Violet, and tours a one-woman show about rape culture called Jane Doe" to colleges/universities. Carnegie Mellon Alum of 2013, and she weighs 150 pounds.

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Alex Spieth
Alex Spieth is an actor/writer living in NYC. She frequently collaborates with Irondale Ensemble, Third Space, and Tele-Violet, and tours a one-woman show about rape culture called “Jane Doe" to colleges/universities.