Consider the Spidey suit more or less thrown away now. At least my swan song was better than Tobey Maguire’s.
After all the bootcamps I led in my 2 1/2 years with Charisma Arts, I had my final one last weekend in San Francisco (I’m still doing private instruction). I was almost hoping to have a rotten time, so it would make leaving coaching that much easier. But my students didn’t do me that favor — they were terrific, and I had one of my most enjoyable bootcamps. Curse them.
I had some raw lumps of clay to work with, too. They weren’t tall or sharp looking, and they had very little experience. One, in fact, had never approached a woman and had dated one girl in his 25 years. I’d suffered through a couple of train-wreck students with similar resumes, so I was a bit woried.
But both were all I could hope for. Although they were nervous, they did what I asked, and by the end of just one day they’d accomplished more than they ever had. I wish my first-ever approach was as good as my student’s — he went up to a very cute 20-something in Union Square and kept it going about 10 minutes before he ran out of steam. And his second approach at the bookstore had me proud as well. The girl even told him he acted as if he knew her.
Saturday night’s session was particuarly fun — as one of them later told me, it felt more like a guy’s night out than a workshop, and we watched each other get into trouble with the ladies there. I barely needed to push them at all. The highlight? Mr. Never Approached surprised all of us as he got his first phone number after talking with a girl for 30 minutes, and he looked great doing it.
Glad as I am to be a civilian now, the whole weekend reminded me of how I wasn’t just a teacher during this gig — I was a role model, and my actions last weekend helped inspire guys to look at life in a different way. I hope to be a role model again in some other walk of life, but this was one of a kind. And I hate to sound cocky, but I was good at this. It’s not easy to leave something I’m good at.
Think I’m having second thoughts? I’m not. I simply have a great souvenir to go out on.