February 14, 2008

Chaos, ribbit-style

I caused and participated in yet another dog-show of epic proportions. The mothers, however, referred to it as a 'movement class for 2.5 year olds' and I have to wonder how I could have let myself be talked into taming a troupe of fleas.

As is unfortunately the norm for most actors before they become Angelina or Nicole, I have about 5 different jobs - let's call them back-up professions, shall we? So apart from being a translator, sub-title parrot (don't ASK!), production manager for plays or documentary films and yoga instructor, I am also a personal fitness trainer and occasional mime-teacher to kids. Some of my fitness clients have been asking me to start up kids classes again. I kept avoiding the issue, but after 6 months I eventually agreed to give it a shot with their youngest kids, seeing as we couldn't find a time in the schedule for the older ones anymore.

Tuesday morning saw me surrounded by 6 two-and-a-half years olds. Here is an equation I quickly learnt, despite my rotten standard grade maths: 6 x 2.5 = disASter

Opening Beat: Hollywoodgal on her knees (still head and shoulders above them), calling the little people to join her on the mat so she can explain the rules of the game. 3 out of 6 participants come to stare at the girl on her knees, 1 was too busy dismantling the sliding bamboo-doors to the next room, 1 sat glued to her mother's lap and 1 lay face-down on the floor like a dead starfish. Oh, cool. Good start!

Round One: Hollywoodgal asks the kindly midgets to imagine they are bottles, bobbing in the sea.
Stand up straight, like a glass bottle! You all know what a glass bottle is? Feet together, hands at your sides and let's lean from side to side, front and back... bobbing in the waves...

The midgets, however, think Hollywoodgal is a nutter and none of them are going to humour her by 'bobbing'. So the mothers start bobbing furiously on the sidelines, calling to their off-spring to follow their example. Out of pity for the loony, bottle-hallucinating adults, one or two kids start swaying listlessly, but they are not loving it. Not one to be left with egg on her face (for long) Hollywoodgal changes her strategy.

Round Two: A mere minute's fumbling with the Bose Surround Sound System later and Austin Powers music blares through the room. Hollywoodgal is engaging the kids in a demonstration of funny walks... or not. The only funny walks in the room are those coming from our troubled Tinseltown-admirer as the 2.5 year olds gape at her, rooted to the spot.

Round Three: Hollywoodgal, desperately,
Who cares about funny walks? Show me how you can sit! All the different ways to sit.

More baffled looks and weak cries of

Hollywoodgal powers on,
Sit with both legs straight...sit on one buttock... sit on your heels
all the while demonstrating every position. Eventually the 3 midgets on the mat plop to the floor and the gal who wishes she were starring in a real movie gets them to stretch towards their feet. The remaining 3 midgets are still engaged in either climbing the walls, watching from mummy's lap or chilling on the sofa at a safe distance, but giving an occasional yell.

Round Four: The Let's Be Animals Round. Even this does not go down a treat as this bunch just aren't buying it. Hollywoodgal does manage to convince Gabriel to demonstrate what sound a frog makes, even if there wasn't going to be any actual hopping.
is his entertaining contribution. And although Lucy and Ines are now crouching, froggy-stye they are not prepared to go as far as ribitting.
Racking her brains for an animal that would actually inspire this undersized crowd, Hollywoodgal yells,
RABBIT! What sound does a rabbit make??

Gabriel is stumped on that one, his little jaw drops as he considers rabbit sounds. Realising her mistake, our brave heroine decides to give them the answer and a neat little demo at the same time:
Rabbits don't make a sound, do they? They just wiggle their noses and sniff?

Do you get the picture? Her sniffing and nose-wiggling demonstration means that Hollywoodgal can no longer speak encouragingly, so all the tiny people turn away from this mad lady on her knees who thinks she's a rabbit.

The fashion show segment was a disaster as at that age tiny tots don't get the concept of 'cross the room, one at a time and show us your clothes' with techno music accompaniment. But this worked so well with the 6-year olds last year! It was all they wanted to do!

There were some things that had a mediocre success rate. Kiddie yoga was one of them. The kids stood in mountain-pose, bowed into down-dog, scrunched up into a little rock, stretched like a lion, jumped up as a star and turned in a circle before coming back to mountain pose. But after 2 rounds it was enough and only 3 minutes has passed!

The End: Hollywoodgal cannot recall how she got to the end of those endless 45 minutes. It's all a blur, but no-one is as surprised as she is that at the end of the "lesson" the mothers unanimously chimed:
See you next week!

Clearly, she is not going to be let off the hook.


DN-Texmex said...

Sounds like fun, hope it goes better next time. You're not missing much here in US, still just Britney and Obama/clinton thats driving me insane.

Hollywoodgal said...

LOL. Britney, Obama & Clinton are driving you insane... well, I hear Hollywood is still a bit of a mess and no-one quite knows what's happening, so indeed, I'll be staying in Europe a bit longer. At least Jamie Spears is sorta keeping Britney outta trouble, no? And it looks like Hillary is almost out of the race, huh? Well, we'll see. Don't think we are spared the gory details over here - cos we're NOT.