Crib Notes

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crib note: (n) a translation, list of correct answers, or other illicit aid used by students while reciting, taking exams, or the like

Perhaps two of the more frightening words in the English language are “spontaneous” and “improvisation.”

Working in the theatrical community over the years, I have discovered that certain actors, directors and even writers extol the value of being spontaneous or applaud the introduction of improvisation into the set. Let me explain that the only people who think that spontaneous thought or improvisational input is clever are those who are doing it.

Most of us realize that if we’re listening to someone and we know they are going “off the cuff” or using crib notes they’ve written on their shirt sleeve, or they’re referring to an index card palmed in their hand, it’s just goddam nerve-wracking.

You have to start rooting for them, hoping they don’t implode into meaningless babbling or nonsense.

The truth is, if you have something that you want to come off with a flair of impromptu, you should memorize it.


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Bully

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Bully: (n) a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.

Shakespeare was convinced that all the world’s a stage, and each one of us are actors performing a part.

It’s an interesting theory–but actually, all the world is an improvisational troupe with seven members–but only four usually show up. So rather than having a role, you end up making up what’s going to happen next, and also filling in for those who fail to appear.

That’s more accurate.

So the truth of the matter is, sometimes we may accidentally, or even purposely, find ourselves in the position of being a bully.

Was the United States a bully when it went into Vietnam? By the definition afforded us by Webster, we were certainly trying to take over a weaker people. Yes, control a debilitated nation.

Is it bullying when we ask people to motivate folks to do their best?

Does a football coach bully a player who’s not playing up to his ability by temporarily humiliating him in front of the team?

If you’re going to make a practice of finding the faults of others and pointing them out to produce ridicule, then I think you’re officially a bully.

But if you occasionally find yourself needing to motivate a friend by challenging him or her by pointing out laziness and lack of will, then you’re probably not a bully. You may be doing the work of the angels.

Over half of the things I’ve learned about life and how to treat other people were acquired in school as a child by interacting on the playground.

  • I suppose it could be said I was bullied to catch a ball.
  • I was bullied into playing two-square, even though I was told it was a girl’s game.
  • I was bullied into running faster so the hit I made during baseball could be a double instead of just a single.

It doesn’t mean there weren’t bullies on the playground, who did nothing but find the weaker brothers and sisters and humiliate them for no reason at all.

But if I had the ability to do better and was challenged to do it, that’s not bullying. That’s friendship.

If it’s out of my control–like having a fat belly or stubby legs–then that’s downright mean.

 

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Buffoon

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Buffoon: (n) a ridiculous but amusing person; a clown.

Even though clowns can be creepy, bizarre, outdated, corny and certainly over-dressed, they do offer us a warning:

“Everything that’s about to come out of my mouth is passing through excessive grease paint.”

It’s a good thing.

What is not a good thing is to be uncertain about when we are listening to a buffoon–attributing some value, intelligence or Dictionary Bweight to the words.

That’s completely unfair.

Sometimes it’s not enough to say, “I’m kidding” at the end of a nasty statement. (Like “LOL.”)

The thought comes to our minds, “Were they kidding, or just covering their butt by pretending it’s a joke, masking hidden animosity?”

I just feel it’s my responsibility to let you good readers know when I’m being a buffoon. It happens all the time.

I often choose to be a buffoon just because I’m nervous about the subject matter and don’t really know what I’m talking about. It’s just easier to joke than provide answers.

But I do want to put a request in to all politicians, ministers, Hollywood actors and school teachers. Please give us a heads up when you don’t really know what you’re talking about and there’s a high possibility what’s about to come forth just might be the ramblings of a buffoon.

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

 

Agenda

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgenda: (n) 1. a list of items or subjects to be considered at a meeting 2. determination of a program of action

  • Republicans want less government.
  • Democrats want more government.
  • Conservatives want to conserve.
  • Liberals want to be more liberal in their choices.
  • Baptists want to baptize.
  • Catholics want to take care of their religious obligation.
  • Buddhists want to meditate.
  • Bankers want to make money.
  • Wall Street wants to make money and also take it away from others.
  • Women want equal rights.
  • Men want sex rights.
  • Children want to play.
  • Drug dealers want to sell their product.
  • Politicians want your vote.
  • Actors want a job and praise.
  • Singers want applause and to sing.
  • Old people want more health care.
  • Young people want more fun.
  • Sailors want a boat.
  • Pilots want a plane.
  • Soldiers want action and their pay.
  • Hippies want peace.
  • Jews want Jerusalem.
  • Muslims want Jerusalem–without Jews.
  • Terrorists want their demands.
  • Dogs want a bone.
  • Cats want to do whatever they want to do.
  • Football players want a touchdown.
  • Baseball players want a homer.
  • A hockey player wants his teeth.

In a world where everybody has an agenda, we must understand that we are at the mercy of the ploys of society–UNLESS we are aware of the aspirations of others and try our best to arrive on the scene without too many pre-conceived ideas.

Is it possible to have an agenda to not have an agenda?

Doesn’t that just make you a contradiction in terms?

Actor

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

 

Actor: (n) a person whose profession is acting on the stage, in movies or on television.

 

 We sure spend an awful lot of time, money and energy honoring those who portray characters in the film industry. Yet at the same time we pretend that acting—or trying to be something we’re not—is a bad thing in real life.

 

I will tell you this right now: I would much rather people become excellent actors, treating me with love and respect, instead of becoming so comfortable around me that I get the brunt of their bad mood.

 

Over the years as I’ve traveled, I have gotten to know some families, spending time in their homes, and after a while they start arguing in front of me and cease to treat me as a guest. When I ask them about it, they insist that this is their way of accepting me as “kin”—abandoning any need for hospitality.

 

My response is always the same: Let’s go back to when you didn’t know me and felt compelled to be nice.

 

I am tired of reality as a whole, even if it’s a show, if it means that we’re going to unleash our darker sides on one another and spit forth our meaningless opinions at will.

 

I suppose I would aggravate some people because I do believe my life is a stage. I think it’s important to learn the right lines, pursue plots and stories that are enriching instead of bizarre and twisted, and try to come to a conclusion at the end of every day which somehow or another resembles a happy ending.

 

I think it’s important to be an actor.

 

I think it’s essential that we stop making fun of things that are good, kind, pure and gentle in favor of grumbling dissatisfaction.

 

Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that if we don’t start making the movie of our lives that is suitable for all audiences, we will end up rating ourselves R to simulate the truthfulness of our each and every frustration festering inside of us, not providing a pleasant theater experience.

 

So if I want to say “damn,” you don’t really deserve that. It won’t hurt me to temper it to “darn.”

 

If I’m disappointed over losing my job, I shouldn’t impale you with my cynicism, but instead, find a quiet place with myself, my experiences, and God–to become people-worthy before joining the human race again.

 

Yes, all the world is a stage, and honestly, sometimes we’re just roadies and not actors in front of the crowd. But while we’re backstage, learning how to work the lights, we might want to work on our mood, so that when we find ourselves under the key light,  we can bring positive energy … instead of defeat.