For my first blog, I thought I'd share some reasons I've chosen to be an actor....
There are multiple theories as to what prompts minds and hearts to pursue a career as challenging as acting.
Is it to gain approval and acceptance? To feel worthy of adoration? To bask in the glow of applause? To be wealthy? To be a glamorous star?
Well, my best guess is that some of those reasons are at the forefront of a young aspiring actor's mind; but then, he grows up! What I've learned is that feelings of acceptance and worthiness can only come from within ourselves. Filling that deep well is our personal responsibility, and we are the only ones waiting for our own stamp of approval. Ah, the time and energy I could have saved if I'd just "stamped" myself at the outset! I've also learned that money, while it may offer comfort and convenience, has no direct correlation to happiness, at least not for me. And finally, I think we understand now that our favorite celebrities are only "glamorous" when they must attend an awards show or photo shoot. Most other times, they're working, maintaining personal and professional relationships, and striving to understand how they fit into this world.....just like all of us.
To me, acting is..........
Sharing. Feeling. Collaborating. Creating. Expressing. Discovering. Connecting. Risking. Having fun. Being human.
Acting is communicating. I always knew I would be a good communicator. I just needed to find my voice. As a child, I was considered "shy". Back then, as well as now, I tend to speak only when I have something to say. I do have strong opinions, and I express them when asked. If I'm silent, it's because I'm not especially invested in the topic under discussion, or because I'm not interested in competing for "air time" with others. Plus, I've always felt that you only learn new things when you're listening, not talking. Listening is my thing. I'm never the life of the party. I don't hold court and tell stories, or tell jokes, or do impressions. I'm the guy who finds one person in the crowd that intrigues me, and we sit in the corner and really get to know each other. When it's time to leave, we'll probably still be talking, and I'll be holding the same watered-down drink I began with. I'm all about one-on-one connections. I view the camera and the stage in the same way. Even though I'm typically sharing the space with other actors, my goal is to communicate with the audience directly, and hopefully convey a particular thought, feeling or emotion that each audience member will carry with them afterwards. They'll think about it on the way home, or the next week while they're working, or at their next family gathering. The connection has been made.
I have been deeply moved by many experiences I've had watching theater, film and television. If you don't love at least two of those art forms, we may not have much to discuss with each other!! Living in a city where so many disparate cultures, races and world views reside together, I've personally observed what a profound effect these forms of entertainment can and do have on all of us. That's why we seek them out - we crave that connection that I mentioned above. We want to feel, to laugh, to cry, to recognize, to appreciate, to give thanks, as part of a community; as part of the human experience. Acting has been a part of our world since Ancient Greece, and always will be inextricably connected to our culture. We need it like food, water and shelter, in order to continue growing, understanding, learning about ourselves and others, and being part of the fabric of our world. It is nothing less than a true honor and privilege for me to be a small part of that community.
That is why I am an actor.