a special report from senior correspondent isaac galena
New York, NY – Much to the surprise of Theatre students and critics, the School of Performing Arts has launched its new courses geared to the study of ‘Workplace’
Performance. Students enrolled in the program will recieve eight weeks of intensive training on various dramatic techniques; including ‘Appear to be Working:
the art of writing emails’, ‘Effective Approaches to Staring at your Screen’, and students’ favorite ‘Disappearing from your Desk for Extended Amounts
of Time: Technique and Execution.” These new courses are certain to bring a large number of new applicants to the school, but with it comes the harsh criticism
from the traditional New York City theatre community, as well as from citywide worker unions who feel that the new acting classes may cost American’s their
The real purpose of the new classes, according to Drama Head Jean Jensum, is “to give a more practical dimension to acting.” Continues Jensum, “Aside from
the usual landing of a waitress job for five years and subsequently proceeding into the porn industry; these classes show that acting has a lot more to
offer.” After completing the program, actors are permanently placed in upper-level management positions at a various tri-state area Fortune 500 companies.
“If they have what it takes, we really don’t care if they ever do any actual work” says Goldman Sachs Human Resources VP Jennifer Trevail. (Incidentally,
Ms. Trevail was later terminated for this remark, and now runs a sattelite workshop on her own newly released motivational videos entitled: ‘Sleeping your
way to the top; a practical guide to finance)
“Why restrict acting to the stage or screen, it should be incorporated into any person’s everyday life, especially the office” said School Dean Ronald Danza,
who is no way related to 80s ‘Who’s the Boss’ star Tony Danza. When faced with the question of the ethics behind teaching formal workplace deceit, Danza
responded “Acting is life.” Notably, Danza has been quoted in Readers Digest for other such quotable quotes as “Bowling is fun” and “Take a jacket, its
“It’s not ‘Staring into space’ rather ‘contemplating future company divestitures,” comments Danza.
However, it is not just the faculty who is excited about the new ‘Workplace’ classes, students are excited as well. Student Body President Shmuely Berkowitz,
stage name Winton Styles, says “We are all very excited to get started. This is a new frontier for us starving actors.” Berkowitz, who has been at the
school for 15 years and is surprisingly overweight, says “I am confident classes like “Intro to Freecell”, “Coporate Card Abuse Workshop” and “Searching
the Web for your Name” as well as advanced coursework like ‘Starting all Conversations with ‘Is it cold in here?” will really attract a large diverse student
John Sintone is also excited about the classes, despite the fact he has no acting background or ability. Sinton, who was recently fired from his computer
programming job, has signed up for the fall semester, says “Doing absolutely nothing at work takes a severe amount of focus and expertise, it’s not just
about not drooling on yourself. It’s about technique. I’m really looking forward to gaining the skills I need to hold a serious job without getting the
old ‘John, you really haven’t shown up to work in three months’ sort of speech, Its time for a change in my life”
However, there are others who disagree with the new program. Jane Tabeth, Vice-chair of the New York Actors Guild, says that the classes will further lower
the standard of dramatic performance instruction in the city; saying “These acting classes are full of shit.”
“But there is a more controversial issue at stake” says Paul Kristom, head of the Union Workers of America. According to Kristom, hard working Americans
will not be able to complete with trained professional slacking of these thespian workers. “I don’t think I want to live in a country that gives a job
to one man over another, just because the color of his or her skin” ….although the relevance of the statement is still unclear.
Despite the controversy, the classes are scheduled to begin this fall.