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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Guest Post from Sean Beaudoin, author of You Killed Wesley Payne!

As I'm sure many of you have noticed, I have 2 contests going on right now that include books by Sean Beaudoin.  One is for a signed copy of Going Nowhere Faster (ends 1/23), and 1 is for a box of goodies, including an ARC of Sean's latest book, You Killed Wesley Payne (ends 1/31).  To go along with these, Sean offered to do a guest post, and I was asked for some suggestions.  I said we were open to anything here on Book Rat, but since this is Book Rat, a post about rats would be fun...
This was the result.
Enjoy, and make sure to enter the contests, and check out Sean's latest book, You Killed Wesley Payne, available February 1st from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

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  A Post About Rats Would Be Fun
Sean Beaudoin
When I was in college I thought I might want to get into acting. So, I signed up for THEATER 1 and showed up in the barn where classes were held. People were sitting in a circle, staring at one another. Many wore black turtlenecks, goofy hats, and loose-fitting pants like they were preparing to do a performance of On The Road-The Yoga Edition. I was wearing jeans and a I Wanna Be Your Dog tour shirt. The teacher, a Very Serious Woman with a Very Short Haircut immediately announced that the class was overbooked and fifteen people had to go. She said “anyone who does not feel passionately about acting should just leave.”  Five people gulped, got up, and left. The teacher said “anyone who does not know who Bertolt Brecht is, should just leave.” She spit when she said this. A fleck landed on my Chuck Taylor. I did not wipe it off. Meanwhile, five more people who had not heard of Brecht got up and left. “Okay,” the teacher said, “We’re going to go around the room. Everyone’s going to explain why they deserve to be in this class more than anyone else. Then I’ll decide who should stay.” A very pale blonde girl started things off, talking about her experience in summer stock and having done various commercials, including one where she acted next to an animated stork and pretended to really love Vlasic pickles. She was allowed to stay. Around the room it went, people laying out impressive acting credits and histories. Four more people got up and left even before their turn. That meant there was still one spot open. And it was my turn. I had zero acting experience. I was fairly sure I didn’t even want to take the class anymore. But I also didn’t want to walk out with my tail between my legs. So I stood up, anguished. I talked in a quavering voice about how unfair the whole process was, and how the teacher was demeaning all of us. I choked back a sob, insisting that my whole life all I’d really cared about was acting, my one true love. Then I bent over, unable to speak. A few people consoled me a bit, saying things like “hey, it’s okay, man” and “It’s just a class, dude.” I could tell by the tone in their voices  that they were mostly glad I was going to be the next to go. The teacher was about to say something, when I stood up and smiled. I hadn’t been crying at all. I said “I don’t know if I deserve to be in this class, but that’s the best I can act.”  I walked back to my chair, crossed my legs, and played with my shoelace. A few people clapped. I made it into the class.

How is it possible that I once possessed that much arrogance, as well as that level of self-control? Did I really even do that? It seems impossible to me now. At any rate, that semester we did a rendition of the play The Pied Piper of Hamelin. I was cast as the piper, and every day we rehearsed. I led my classmates again and again through the set, all of them wearing tails and glued-on whiskers, baring their teeth and walking on all fours, reading their lines, following my flute in a long line of method-acting rats.

Thanks, Sean!
If you'd like to check out Sean's writing, make sure to enter the two contests listed at the top!  Also, check out the You Killed Wesley Payne website, where you can print a cool bookmark that looks like this:
free bookmarkfree bookmark

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post. Of all the things that entered my mind or could have entered my mind concerning a post about rats, this was not among them. So random. I also think it entirely possible and appropriate that the whole thing is fictitious.


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