Friday, December 16, 2011

Thanks Animation Mentor!

Today marks the end of the term and the last day of my 18 month trek through AM. I've learned so much during my time here that not only improved my skills, but drastically changed my life.

Example: My niece and I had a terrible relationship. She was scared to talk to me because I was put in a position of "teacher" at the request of her parents. All I knew to do was make sure she gets her work done and that she behaved. That sounds quite normal, but our dynamic was one-way. We would go on days without having an actual conversation, which isn't much of a relationship at all.

Cut to Class 4, I'm learning about pantomime and acting. I read Keith Johnstone's "Impro" and discovered high / low status. I also read Joe Navarro's "What everyBODY is Saying" and keyed in on body language. One day I drove my niece home from school and it was obvious that something was bothering her. When I asked her what was wrong I noticed she had half her body already turned away from me, head down hiding her eyeline, and feet pointed in the direction she wanted to go (away). And I noticed what I was doing, arms crossed, leaning in, towering over her. I took what I gathered from these books and decided to try something new. I bent down on one knee, looked up at her and calmly asked her what was wrong. She took on a whole different attitude and we chatted about it.

It has to be a fluke of some sort, but it only took one single day, one moment to change our dynamic that was pretty much crap for the two years prior. It was amazing, and my niece and I have a newfound relationship. One day during a chat she asked me "Where did you learn to talk to me?" - and it all stemmed from learning animation during my time at AM. I told her that, and she concludes that animation rocks.

There are so many moments like this that came about during my classes that just have changed me as a person. I'm really grateful to everyone at Animation Mentor, faculty and students alike. The classes might be over but the journey stretches on. And damn it's gonna be fun.


Finished Brain Storm - by Don Hahn. Awesome book! Definitely a keeper.

Finished The Perfect Bait - by Bobby Chiu. Very short, but also very good.

Currently reading: Cool, Calm & Contentious - by Merrill Markoe.  Thought I'd read some comedy over the break :)


  1. That's great to hear! It's crazy how much animation changes you.

    Also calling it now: Next post will be titled, "I'm working at (Insert any huge name studio here)!"

  2. This is an inspiring story! Great job on finishing strong Tony, and here's to the future!

  3. Great story Tony, this is really inspiring!