may from time to time include new material destined for future editions.
All the world’s a stage! Literally.
And we are all players. Perhaps you have performed on a theatrical stage; perhaps you haven’t; but
we all on occasion have worked to make a personal impression; we have pretended to be or not to
be … whatever; we have feigned interest or lack thereof; we have imitated; we have impersonated;
we have used gesticulations to back up our vocal communications. In short: while our skill levels
may vary, we are all experienced actors.
Since you are so experienced, you might want to consider acting for personal development and
satisfaction as well as socialization.
Where to begin? Many communities have amateur theater groups. Many of these offer workshops
or classes. You could also check in with your local library or at a nearby college or university for
classes. You can also just jump right in: many amateur performances don’t require any particular
skills and folks of all ages, sizes and appearances may be needed.
If you are reluctant to “jump right in,” consider some of the ancillary roles that are needed in amateur
theatre: set design and manufacturing, costuming, stage management, lighting, sound, marketing,
ticket sales, ushering (get to see the plays for free). You can be part of the production while watching
and learning about whether you might like to try for an acting role.
If you do decide to try acting, you may need to audition. An excellent book on the subject is Joanna
Merlin’s book (below) which provides good advice to actors and anyone else who wants to make an
impression (and may have to deal with getting rejected).
Even if you decide not to be an active actor, learning about the art of acting - about actions, objectives,
obstacles, relationships, relaxed physical control, listening, reactions– can be very rewarding in its
own right and assist you in your day-to-day relationships.
An Actor Prepares, and…
Building A Character, and…
Creating A Role
Constantine Stanislavski, et al
Theatre Arts Books; Reprint editions (September 2002)
Acting Truths and Fictions
Acting World Books, 1995
Auditioning – An Actor-Friendly Guide
Vintage Books, 2001
www.starsearchcasting.com/actingschools.php (lists of acting schools and other resources)
We all remember Little Miss Muffet who, while sitting on a tuffet, munched on curds and whey. Did
you ever wonder what a “tuffet” is? And how about that “curds and whey” stuff?
Well, a “tuffet” is a low seat, and curds and whey are products of the cheese making process.
You can make your own curds and whey if you’d like to try them, but it might be more fun to go a bit
further and make your own cheese. Wouldn’t it be fun when someone compliments you on your
cheese plate to be able to say: “Thanks! I made it this past weekend.”
It is interesting to try and imagine how cheese-making was discovered - the key ingredients are milk,
and enzymes extracted from the fourth stomach of a calf. (Yes, calves have four stomachs.) However
it was discovered, cheese making goes back at least as far as the ancient Greeks: Homer tells us
how Odysseus and his men entered the home of Polyphemous the Cyclops and ate his cheese while
he was out tending his sheep. Polyphemous, quite miffed, responded by eating some of Odysseus’
men. Odysseus gave Polyphemous a sharp stick in the eye. This angered Polyphemous’s dad –
Poseidon – who condemned Odysseus and his men to a long sea voyage. But back to cheese…
You can make cheese in your own kitchen. And you don’t need the fourth stomach of a calf to do it.
For simple cheese production, you’ll need milk, a curdling agent – either something acidic (like lemon
juice) or an enzyme, a thermometer, stainless steel or glass pots and measuring cups, stainless
steel spoons and cheesecloth. If you wish to progress into more sophisticated cheeses, you might
want to invest in molds (for shaping) and a press.
Essentially, cheese is made by curdling milk. The curds produce the cheese – soft or hard depending
on processing. The leftovers from the curdling process – water, milk sugar and albumen – are the
whey. Commercially, whey may be turned into protein additives for food products. While Miss Muffet
of nursery rhyme fame ate her whey, it is not that appealing and you will probably choose to discard
You will need to be attentive to temperature control and cleanliness throughout the process.
To help you get started there are relatively inexpensive cheese making kits available (see below).
Home Cheese Making
Storey Publishing, 2002
And That’s How you Make Cheese
www.cheesemaking.com (books, equipment, kits and supplies)
www.leeners.com (kits and supplies for cheese and more)
www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09337.html (how to make soft cheeses)
Great doubt: great awakening.
Little doubt: little awakening.
No doubt: no awakening.
-- Zen koan
Brief background: Zen is an evolved form of Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion based on the
teachings of Buddha, aka Siddhartha Gautama, who lived in India about 500 BC. While there are
various forms of Buddhism, in general Buddhists attempt to come to an understanding of true reality
and achieve a state of liberation and enlightenment. They do this by trying to live in a moral fashion
(generally based on the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”),
meditating and seeking wisdom. It is possible for Buddhists to also be Christians, Jews or Muslims.
Zen evolved from India through China, Japan, Korea and Viet Nam. Zen seeks to achieve enlighten-
ment about the nature of reality by meditating on koans like the one at the beginning of this section.
Koans are questions or statements made by Zen masters to help students of Zen step away from
normal every-day life and come to an understanding of the reality that transcends that life. Here is
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?" Manjusri replied, "I do not see
myself as outside. Why enter?"
university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull.
No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I
show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
reality. By meditating on the koans we try to break away from our subjective reality by freeing ourselves
from rational thinking and thus find the transcendent true reality.
So, if you are focused on the question: “What’s it all about when you sort it out Alfie?” Zen is probably
not you. But if you aspire to enlightenment without any sorting, Zen may add value.
Also see the section on Philosophy.
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism
Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
www.terebess.hu/english/zen.html (general information and koans for reflection)