BY JUDY THOMPSON –
Del Shores is recognized not only as an actor, but also as a producer, director and playwright. In addition, the L.A. Times acknowledges him as the master of Texas comedy. Shores sponsored a comedic workshop in Dallas on June 29 entitled “Don’t Be Afraid. Be a Fool!”. Attending from Mena were Ouachita Little Theatre president, Tim Hesse, and vice-president, Scotty Jenkins.
The purpose of attending the workshop was two-fold for the OLT officers.
They were both eager to learn new acting techniques; but also to get ideas for a future acting workshop at the theatre. Each of the comedic workshop attendees was required to take a comedy monologue to the workshop for presentation. Shores then offered a critique on each one and recommended ways to tweak the monologue.
Shores advised that “Comedy needs an audience. Funny is money. I find that fear and lack of commitment shuts down so many actors when it comes to performing comedy. So on this day, we are going to go for broke. We’re going to cut loose and just be fools.” He also noted that there is nothing more rewarding than making people laugh.
According to Hesse and Jenkins, in addition to the prepared monologue, there was also improvisation where characters were created on the spot. Serious discussion about comedic acting was also a part of the workshop when Shores kept telling those at the workshop to tell the truth. “That’s what acting is all about. It’s about finding the truth of the writing and telling it.”
Hesse advised “It is my hope to apply what we observed as both an actor and as a director. Hearing what Shores told the actors to do to modify their performances was fascinating.” Both Jenkins and Hesse acknowledged that it was a great workshop. Even though it was fun and enjoyable, it was also a huge learning experience. They are looking forward to using what they learned to help in the things they do at OLT.