Monday, September 26, 2011
16423--Lions and Tigers and Bears! Alright!
I was watching a group of actors perform an acting exercise. They seemed to think it was a standard sort of thing, giving them the chance to be creative and move around and think about things differently. OK, so not so different from a writing exercise. What the director told them to do was to pretend to be their favorite animal. I had no problem with this, but noticed something I found very odd. As the few others of us watched and quietly figured out what animal each actor was mimicking, I noticed that there were no predators. I also found it odd that no one else noticed this till I mentioned it.
No one else seemed to think it odd, but I sure did. At the least, I thought it had to be some manner of statistical anomaly. I feel like it has to be saying something about those people. Maybe it's indicative of actors in general. I don't know. I haven't been interested enough to start polling, but I'd be interested in any comments readers would care to leave here.
Maybe it says something more about me. I like animals well enough. Lots of them are delicious. I don't hunt them, but I don't get on anyone's case for doing so because, as mentioned, I do eat them and don't see any of them volunteering for that. Well, not since that Noah's Ark project, anyway, and that was just a story so far as we've been told that at best exaggerated a happening of far smaller scale. Wild animals went in by twos, but domestic animals went in by eights so that...Well, I'm sure you've had your share of meals before so I shouldn't have to spell it out. Even if I don't eat them, lots of my favorite animals are predators. And I'm not talking about just any predators. The ones that get my attention are typically apex predators. Even among the non-predators, the herbivores that interest me most seem to be the ones no one else is eating: rhinos, cape buffalo... Some people make sure to watch "Meerkat Manor", but I show up for Shark Week.
I'm sure that the appeal of a favorite animal has to say something about one's personality. Since childhood, I've found my likes skewing to the top performers: fastest, strongest, toughest, etc. I'm a big fan of heroic fiction, so I find great appeal in Superman. As much as I like other superheroes, I still often think of the Justice League as "Superman and the Back-up Squad". Likewise, for all the years of enjoyment I derived from the Legion of Super-Heroes comics, the fact that it spent many years titled as "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes" made as much sense to me as Robin only being known as the last part of "Batman and...". Be honest: without the big guy there was no show.
I'm sure that my interests in types of animals and heroes and villains must have great influence over the stories I write. Why not? It certainly makes more sense than my great influences being found among my favorite foods. I imagine that if I adored hummingbirds and kittens, I'd probably be compelled to write wholly different types of fiction...or maybe not fiction at all.
How about you? Do you like cheetahs or parrots or giraffes best? Does this draw you toward adventures, romances, poetry or science journals?