Thursday, January 26, 2012

The play's the thing.

Here is the worst thing that can befall an actor. They stop wanting to act. It's like writer's block, but...most people think that it is a sign of "growing up". Or giving up. And? It may very well be true in some cases. In my case,when my mother died-I was already struggling..Not acting itself-but-there is nothing else like it in the world. It's literally using your feelings to do what painters do with paint. Actors are the ones that make you feel, that channel a deep stirring in the voyeur watching. It's intimate. The actor shares his or her point of view through emotion, and most audience members don't even realize. The good ones do, anyway. An actor who is shut down emotionally isn't doing their best work-and I know it and I know it and hate myself if I'm doing that. But, here's the thing. I have been onstage since I was eleven, in NYC since I was 16. It literally-is my life. I  still can't use a computer properly. Nothing to be particularly proud of-but, theater people don't sit at desks. We live amongst the world, watching and being voyeurs ourselves, just so we can do anything, anything to create a character that can create a world in a little black box. .For years,since I hit my head-I haven't been able to answer the simple question of "what do you do?" I felt like a fraud. I couldn't even call myself an actor to people I didn't know-despite working for six years with a company. I did bad work. I know it. but I worked really hard-because the only way to get yourself back after a head injury? is to know you need to persevere, even if you fall on your face. I lost my lines in a performance. A full house. I ran off after faking it, and wailed into the stairwell. I was so out of it-it didn't occur to me people could probably hear it. I knew it was bad when my director didn't say a word. Not a thing. But if I hadn't done that? I never would have made the strides I did. Such a lesson in character building.....But the next night, back I went. Because I knew I would never leave the house again if I didn't go up. I hate being called "brave" for living my life-just living my normal life. I'm not. It has been my love affair my whole life-it's been the line to everything I hold dear, it helps me understand the world. I need it like I need air. And that's why I need to go back.

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