Partners, friends in talent business

ULV theater majors David Held and S. Baker Eatmon have undertaken a business venture which involves going to area high schools to teach acting to the students. On occasion, the pair has traveled to Venice Beach to do sidewalk clown acts,they have made money with their antics. / photo by Ary Farajollahi
ULV theater majors David Held and S. Baker Eatmon have undertaken a business venture which involves going to area high schools to teach acting to the students. On occasion, the pair has traveled to Venice Beach to do sidewalk clown acts,they have made money with their antics. / photo by Ary Farajollahi

by Aaron Kiel
Staff Writer

Junior David Held and freshman S. Baker Eatmon are combining their creative talents and blending a bit of their offbeat sense of humor and team spirit into their own business, B & D Productions.

Together, Held and Eatmon go to elementary and junior high schools to teach acting theory through acting games. With each visit, they spend about an hour and a half to two hours playing a series of highly active games with around 35 students.

“We have a real commitment and a real bond with the kids,” smiled Held. “We work them real hard.”

Held begins each class by saying, “I’m sure in every class you constantly hear you need to quiet down. This is the only class where you will hear it’s too quiet; make some noise.”

The games teach listening, concentration and physical movement skills, along with acting theory.

“Each game has a specific lesson and we relate it to the stage,” said Held.

According to Held and Eatmon, the children love the games.

“They’re very into it,” said Held. “They do tremendous. The best thing is when you really start to see the kids work together. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”

Eatmon and Held take a moose horn to each session and use it to control the class.

“There is no point where we are not in control,” said Held.

“The rule is, no matter what you’re doing [when you hear the horn], you freeze and stop, otherwise you’re fired,” he said.

When one of the children does not listen to either Eatmon or Held, he gets “fired.” “Fired” is the term they use when a child must sit out of a game or two.

“We have fired a teacher before and it can happen again,” said Held.

It is the policy of B & D Productions to treat all elementary and junior high school students like adults, not “kids.”

“They are all actors and actresses,” said Held.

Both say the classes are an outlet for children to be creative and rambunctious, since drama and other arts are not always offered at elementary schools.

“I teach most of it, but there’s no way I could do it without Baker,” explained Held.

The B & D Productions team has led nine class sessions at local schools and in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“As soon as we stop having fun playing with the kids,we’ll give it up,” said Held.

The two friends met during the January Interterm and shortly after became roommates. Now, their lives crossover in many ways; they’re both theatre majors; they share their room in the Oaks; Held is in Phi Delta Theta, while Eatmon is a pledge of the fraternity; and they were both involved in the recent Theatre Department’s productions of “The Sure Thing,” by David Ives and “Fool for Love” by Sam Shepard.

“I lend him my girlfriends when I’m done,” said Eatmon jokingly.

“We’re around each other a lot and if there’s a problem, we take care of it instead of letting it dwell.

“When we get in a fight it’s quick and we get over it,” said Eatmon.

Besides working on their business, Held and Eatmon have occasionally made money by spontaneously entertaining crowds on the streets of Venice Beach, Calif.

The first time they performed at Venice Beach was on a whim. Baker persuaded Held to do some improvisation and by the end of the day they had made $5 on other occasions they have made $40 to $80.

Since then, they have attempted to juggle, make balloon animals and do improvisations, all in the name of fun.

“We’re just out of control,” said Baker.

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