April 22, 2006

She Used The Word "Folk" - I Hate That

I've always been uncomfortable with the word "folk" or "folks." It's not really a bad word, and my discomfort with it has always perplexed me. The dictionary defines folk as "1. A people; an ethnic group; a race. 2. People of a specified group or kind. 3. The members of one's family or childhood household; one's relatives." There is absolutely nothing wrong with the word "folk," and yet I shy away from using it and cringe when others use it.

Mustang Sally had an audition for a professional acting job today. She asked everyone she knew to send good vibes, positive energy, and prayers her way. I dismissed her pleas and went about my daily business, forgetting all about this monumental event in her life until I read her latest e-mail.

First of all, she felt the audition wasn't difficult enough for her. I'm not sure what that means. I can't imagine that she's terribly accomplished as she has never had any professional jobs as an actor, nor has she gone to acting school, per se. I would think she'd be happy about it being not difficult, seeing she has practically zero experience. Zero experience, zero training, wanting to be hired as a professional. Go figure.

Secondly, she's a snob against community thespians. She hasn't had a lot of experience in the community theater either, but feels that professional actors are her "tribe," and back-handedly belittles the "nonprofessionals." I think that attitude really stinks.

Thirdly, she refers to these people, professional actors, as "theater folk." Sir Lawrence Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Bette Davis...theater folk? I think not. I believe Mustang Sally has lost sight of the heights to which a professional actor can reach. The legends in the field and their indescribable talent seem to be forgotten by the girl who smirks at the difficulty level of her audition for professional status in that cultural hub known as North Carolina.

But it could very well be that Mustang Sally herself is the stuff of which "theater folk" are made. As I look further into the definition of "folk" in my dictionary I find, "occurring in, or originating among the common people, especially untutored or unrefined."

You go, girl.

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