I struggle as an actor. It’s unnecessary that I struggle. All these thoughts that run around in my head, is the reason why I struggle… I know, cause my life coach tells me so. Hahahah, laugh, that was funny… Really, I struggle and I feel it.
In a previous class session with George Gallagher’s The Actor’s Instinct, I learned a very effective tool, speaking the script out loud. Not acting it, but saying the words. Last night in a different class, I read and rehearsed my script over and over with a classmate, before my turn to perform. I stumbled on full sentences. I rephrased the information and whole paragraphs. I understood what was going on, but I got caught up in the words of the script instead of the truth of the character and what was truly being communicated between people in the scene….
Working and performing in front of my classmates and acting coach, Mathew Barry, the class was about speaking your truth. I can feel the sensation of deflecting my feelings, my emotions. My coach made me rework the script line by line. I felt scrutinized by working this. It was like being under a microscope. Reminded me of bootcamp and working out really slow… You know, when it hurts so much more to lift weights slowing or squat at a ridiculously slow pace and hold a position. Painful… I had that experience last night.
Something inside me, we can call it ego or some sort of mental shield, wasn’t allowing for emotion and connection. It was confirmed with my akward feeling when a simple compliment was thrown my way. I became consumed in embarrassment. The thought that ran through my head: “stop thanking me”. I deflected a simple thank you and made it a BIG deal for myself…. I just couldn’t take that compliment anymore…. and why not? Well, the truth is I lacked appreciation… and this happens to the best of us. I couldn’t accept and honor another’s gratefulness because I lacked appreciation. I deflected it. Yes this happened. It is also part of being human, and it took me all morning to figure this out. When I am in a space where I deny myself what I am going through in life, deflect my real feelings and emotions, I also close myself off to the joy of working as an actor.
To move forward I have to move towards what I am feeling in moments of my life. It’s hard, and there will be times I will NOT want to… but it’s the fuel to grow. I call it courage to grow. Acting work is about experiencing humaness, emoting and showing up. All emotion is available to all of us, but actors have the training and willingness to choose emotions to experience, embracing it and creating art work with it. At the same time, actors as regular humans walking this earth, have to find the courage to move towards individual fear, anxiety, anger, apathy and just allow… not for the sake of using it in our work, but for the sake of being real and truthful to ourselves and to grow into the people that will always “show up”.