Last night I was in a room with 10 people getting ready to start an intro class for the Meisner acting technique. It was awkwardly tense. I could feel people’s space shrinking. The class was 3 hours long and the theme was “living your truth”. It sounds like a cute “new age” catchy slogan, but when you dig into it, living your truth is not an easy thing to do at all.
Each of the 10 people had an opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about their background including why they want to be actors. By the time everyone was finished there was a lighter tone in the room. People felt a little more relaxed now that they knew more about each other. By the end of the class, I realized a key element had missing in my life. I had not purposely surrounded myself with the right people.
Who are the “right” people? The right people are people who can inspire you, and validate who you are as a person and artist. There is a very clear distinction in society between artists and non artists. If you read The Plight of The Artist, you know what I mean. Artists are bonded not only by their artwork, but by their vulnerability, and regular exposure to potential criticism and judgment.
We have to learn to put our social fears aside for the sake of our art while most people go unchallenged in that area. We need people in our corner who can help us become fearless. People who can embrace our uniqueness, our dreams, our desires and creativity, and who can push us to be better artists as much as better people.
If we don’t surround ourselves with people like that, we won’t get anywhere. Our dream will wither. Our potential will never be realized. Our song will never be sung. The books won’t get written, and the films won’t get produced. The paintings will remain a vague impression in the abyss of our hearts. The world will not know your name.
There is power in groups. I look forward to the next two years of this Meisner program, and the personal transformations that will occur throughout it. I also joined a Toastmasters in Hollywood which meets Sunday mornings to develop my public speaking skills. I’ve been a public speaker before, but if I’m going to do it on a professional level, I need professional feedback and polish.
By the way, if you’re wondering why a writer who wants to become a published author and public speaker is taking an acting class, the answer is Artistic Development. Acting is very challenging, and I’m addicted to challenges.
“Imagine the possibilities. Now imagine that what’s possible is possible for you” – Jim Rohn
-This is Life in the Leap