Almost a year ago to the day, I taught a one day workshop at a local theatre about making and correcting mistakes on stage. As the post I linked to reveals, it was quite the success. Yesterday I gave that same presentation again, with minor tweaks. Though the group was not as old, as large, or as responsive as the group from a year ago, I'm still willing to declare the experience a success.
Particularly because there were several good questions from them at the end of it. That was one area where this group probably exceeded the last group, actually. They asked some more questions about certain scenarios. A few questions that I'm happy to say made me think for a moment or two before answering. Hopefully the answers I came up with were satisfactory.
It's that sort of interaction and consideration of different perspective and approaches that deepens the acting and theatre experience. Everyone has an opinion, and after you've been doing theatre for a while like me, you come up with specific answers and approaches to things that come up often on and around the stage. That's natural and acceptable. But when you have someone like a few of the students last evening asked you something you hadn't thought of before, or addressed an old issue in a way you've not considered previously, you're forced to look at things anew. To slow down and take something as familiar to you as making lunch, and see it from a different set of eyes. Or at least, from a more discriminating one.
This is true for any topic of course. Even science or history. Yet if I may be so bold, I'll opine that the arts in general particularly benefit from this concept of making the familiar a bit less familiar from time to time. What are they arts, after all, if not a means by which we distill the world into various beauties most people didn't realize were there?
Being a teacher, even for a single day, truly does make one a student as well.