Stories are the legacy of the human race.
That’s how I ended my last blog. It was just an offhand comment then, kind of cool sounding and all that jazz, you know? Since then the intake of caffeine has exponentially increased in perfect ratio to the decrease in hours of sleep. And it wasn’t altogether Halloween’s fault. What’s the things I’ve thought of so far? Well, good question. And this blog will in no way tell you of all of it. But let’s keep it short and concise:
Art and storytelling are fundamental parts of our existence so why then has it been treated with such degradation, in lack of another word? Artists and actors have frequently throughout history been called vagabonds or jesters. The lowest of society. Sometimes celebrated, sometimes quite the opposite. Star-culture may make it seem different but even today actors are treated in a way you wouldn’t stand for in a “normal” job. We are “merely entertainment” and should work for free because exposure pays the rent, right? There are endless “it’s just a hobby, why don’t you get a real job?” etc. etc. I see it every day. I live it every day.
So yeah, even in the age of the cinema actors have it tough, and actresses even tougher. Have you seen this graph?
I thought it might be interesting, gives you an idea. The sad part is that the harassment that we face is just another part of the job (and I mean that for any and all genders) and we treat it as such. There’s a complacency that’s becoming quite common. Cause we’re just people who play around for money, right? Well, at least this gives me a “political” and “correct” reason to write my own films, not just because I love telling stories but also so that I can play the type of characters that I love but never get the chance to get to know because you know – reasons that “are never personal”.
When I tell people that I’m an actor I get one of two reactions; “So when will I see you on the big screen?” or “Why?” This “why” is usually said is a somewhat wrinkle-your-nose kind of way. And the answer is because I love it, because I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love telling stories. I love sharing my stories with others.
For me acting has always been about telling a story. I don’t believe you can become a character. Rather the character becomes you. Because every character you play will look like you, have the same vocal range and laugh and cry in roughly the same way. Their gestures and facial expressions will look like yours. The character’s limits are your limits, the actor’s limits. So every character you’ll play are just versions of yourself as you tell their story by putting yourself in that situation. Through empathy and courage to tell the truth, whatever that may be. That’s acting for me. I have gotten the question many times before; “What do you do?” And I can never quite give the business-like, satisfying answer that people expect. I strive to be a real person on stage or screen, whoever that person may be. Acting is listening with all senses, to go beneath the words. I never try to act but rather set my mind to different possibilities.
And that moment when you connect with your audience? When you have told your story and they have shared in it, lived it, argued about it, discussed it, understood it?
That’s the best feeling in the world. And that’s why I’ll never give up, no matter what.