Well it’s December, the end of the year and a time to wind down 2014. A time to celebrate, and for many actors – take a break, visit family, and replenish. I think it’s a good opportunity to “marinate”, contemplate, vision, or simply step back and take inventory. We say at The Actors Workout Studio that we are in the business of “transforming actor’s lives, one at a time”. We believe in the “whole artist”, not only the skills, craft, and business of the actor, but “who each actor is”.
I have been heavily criticized by other acting teachers when I go there with an actor, asking them questions such as “who are you?” “what makes you tick?” “what is driving your choice and imagination?”
I am moved by two quotes I just read recently, “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique” That was by Walt Disney.
Another, “Real success is not on the stage, but off the stage as a human being, and how you get along with your fellow man.” That one Sammy Davis, Jr.
So I encourage my students to take a break during the holidays and think, ponder, re-evaluate, and yes, marinade in the process. Don’t set any goals, don’t try to do anything, just let it sit. Ask yourself – are you happy? Are you living your dream? Is what you’re doing working? What’s missing? Tune in to your body, spirit, and soul.
It’s also a good time to give, and give service. Actors are performing and we “give” ourselves when working. We give our hearts and souls to reveal characters and stories through our instruments. How can you give this season? As actors we sometimes need to get off ourselves and give to others. So I suggest you do something like that, give a gift to someone who least expects it, make someone smile, go out of your way to give some love to someone. Donate, serve, and give service to a worthy cause. It’s part of who we are. The business can be quite obsessive and consuming, take a break, celebrate, and discover yourself.