I know this column is supposed to be about advice for actors.
I’d like to take this time to say thank you, actors. Thank you for being who you are and for what you bring to the human experience.
I recently had a class where the assignment was to prepare a Personal Monologue. The way we do it at The Actors Workout Studio is that we encourage actors to share a personal, emotional experience that has had a huge effect on their life. The purpose is to connect to deep feelings so they can access them to use in creative character preparations. It’s not easy. Most people like to forget and get over past drama and experiences. The actors in this class blew me away and reminded me of what it takes to be an actor.
You need to access deep feelings to play characters that affect the audience. So actors do what many other people don’t like to do, go into the pain, anger, fear, and rage of past experiences. Actors need to make friends with these emotions, so they can use them to serve audiences, not be victims of those feelings.
The recent class was astounding. The experiences and places these actors went and were willing to share was staggering. It’s not easy to do. It takes a certain commitment and passion for the work.
When actors go to these emotional places, audiences can live through them and have their own experiences. They are touched, and then maybe healed or better understood, or most importantly, it helps audiences to know that they are not alone. Other people have these feelings also.
I believe actors are healers. Through their work, they help heal their audiences by inspiring, making them feel, and making them think outside of their usual life.
It takes a certain breed of human to do this work. After seeing the mighty performances in this class, I am reminded of how grateful I am to these souls, that are healing us by sharing the human condition. So, I say to all you actors, thank you, and keep up the good work, our species needs you.