Tuesday, April 03, 2018

When Things Are Broken, Act Anyway

The text of what I say in this video, in case you would rather read instead of watch and listen:
Sometimes things don't seem to be working the way that we imagined they would be if things were ideal. See, as an actor, it's very easy to use one's imagination to picture how things could be if only. And so, you can find yourself on a set that doesn't have the ability or the time to get the shot they wanted to get: so they have to make some sort of compromise. Or you can find yourself in your own life working on something and you have to compromise something, or for some other reason something's not working right. But the key is: we have to lives anyway.

See, this isn't something that just applies to acting this is something that can apply to everything you're doing. Like right now, there's the sound of a highway sort of in the background. I'm using this partly to, hopefully, make it not as easy to hear. But the point is: you're never going to actually have the ideal situation but you still have to try to do the best you can, (whether it's acting, or living, or whatever), even though things aren't going precisely the way you would have them if it were 100 percent in your control (which it never is going to be).

So basically... I'm reminded of a friend at a party. I saw this friend hearing another friend (really more of an acquaintance) sharing one of those pieces of Hollywood "conventional wisdom" that's more conventional than actually wise. And my friend, I noticed, immediately almost built a blind spot over what that person was saying. Just completely didn't give it another moment's attention. It was actually kind of inspiring, because they were hearing nonsense, something that was not useful, not constructive to hear, and they pretty much decided not to hear it. And it's made me think that sometimes:

but whatever the case: you still need to do your work as best you can because you want to book the job. And it's not about booking the job in the audition, it's about showing them what you can do. Because if you end up on set who knows what other kind of chaos, ridiculousness, or highway noise there's going to be.

You still need to do the work that is your work to do, even if the world isn't entirely cooperating. You can even have an agent put tremendous pressure on you to book something, maybe because they're having trouble paying their bills, and your job is to go into that audition and show the people in the audition room what you do, not to actually book the work even if that's something your agent is all but insisting you do, and sometimes doing in the most unconstructive, unsupportive terms. (I mention this because many years ago I had an agent who had a habit of not insulating their talent from pressure.)

So yes, in a perfect world people configure things such that between action and cut, or between curtain up and curtain down, an actor can do their best work. But we aren't in a perfect world. So we have to try to make sure we do our best work even if the world's not cooperating. And this applies to life too: you have to try to be the best friend, the best parent, the best child, the best sibling, the best significant other, and so forth, whether or not the world is cooperating.

Because you're never gonna get this moment, this day, this year, back. The time is gonna pass anyway, and as an old mentor once said, your time is the sum total of all of your wealth. So that is my vaguely deep insights on a Monday. And if anyone would like some acting coaching: let me know I'm taking new clients. Thanks for watching.

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this posted by David August at 10:01 AM 

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