when i was a freshman in college, i took a required class called "singing for actors". this was taught by a woman named claudia, who in addition to teaching our music class was a pyscho-analist. she was a sharp tongued women with a hairstyle akin to jay leno's, she'd recently dropped a few lb's due to a strong commitment to weight watcher's meetings.
she was full of pearls of wisdom like, "always wear black and a splash of colour." claudia mainly lived in new york, but took the train into boston to teach for a few days each week. i imagined new york to be a city full of people wearing black suits, black turtlenecks, black jeans... all with a red scarf, a green shoe, or a fluorescent pink undershirt peeking through.
the class would begin with a group warm-up and then move onto everyone singing solo in front of the class. each solo would end with a critique from claudia... often with an insult. either outright or veiled.
once a friend sang "razzle dazzle" from "chicago". before he was even finished she made a big hit-the-road-jack gesture and said, "well you didn't razzle dazzle me, sit down!" another time a friend had to leave class early for a doctor's appointment. "good bye amy, i hate you," she said.
it seemed horrific at the time, but thinking about it now she was basically a comic genius.