DEAR ABBY: I'm a member of a close-knit theater company for teens, and I auditioned for the musical "Fame." The director wants to give me a role as one of the teachers.
Show after show, I get matronly roles with no memorable lines or funny scenes. I don't know if I should accept the part. If I do, I'll get to be with my friends. If I don't, there will still be another show coming up that I can audition for. What should I do? -- YOUNG ACTRESS IN MICHIGAN
DEAR YOUNG ACTRESS: Grab all the time you can get on stage. If you didn't have the depth it takes to portray a mature role, your director wouldn't want to assign it to you. This is a compliment about your abilities. Audition for the next show as well. The more varied the roles you play, the more you can develop your craft.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I decided to take some classes at a local community college. We both have college degrees, but there was a class we were interested in. We are the oldest students in the class by 10 to 20 years.
I am irritated by our classmates' disrespect and rudeness to the instructor. It takes the form of talking with each other when the instructor is speaking, then asking her to explain what she just discussed while they were talking. They sometimes get so loud that I can't hear what the teacher is saying.
Is there anything I can do as a fellow student to get them to stop? Because of the age difference, I'm afraid most of them would think I was being bossy. -- ANONYMOUS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ANONYMOUS: The teacher you describe does not appear to be a particularly effective one or she would have better control of the classroom.
Because the noise level is so high you can't hear the lecture, I have two suggestions: The first is to speak privately with the teacher. And if that doesn't do the trick, when the students around you become disruptive, ask them to pipe down so you can hear what the instructor is saying. That is not being bossy. You paid for the class and you should get your money's worth.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I often go out to eat at local ethnic restaurants with a small group of friends. When we're at a Mexican restaurant, I often throw a couple of "arribas!" into our conversation. When we're at an Italian restaurant, I will sometimes use an Italian accent to say "pizza pie-a!" My husband tells me it's offensive.
I don't mean to insult anyone. My comments are made in the spirit of fun. Furthermore, the owners and servers at these restaurants are hardly ethnic Mexicans or Italians.
I would never wish to hurt someone or be derogatory, so I told my husband I'd consult you. What do you think? -- MUY CALIENTE IN IOWA
DEAR MUY CALIENTE: When you visit a Jewish deli do you tell the server, "Oy vey, I'll have the corned beef"? Your husband is right -- cool it. Not because you'll offend the servers in the restaurant, but because stereotyping makes you look like a fool.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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