Being the original foundation of my work, I think the word 'Acting' alone tends to bring about a lot of different feelings and perceptions especially fear, ego, excitement and freedom - all of which can draw people in or alienate people from even beginning the conversation on what acting truly is - or rather the experience. Acting isn't a conversation and its not just being in front of a camera or on stage. It's an experience and by experience I don't mean when one is on stage or on a set to perform because the depth of this work isn't that simple or shallow, although that tends to be the bar that people often measure by. It's also not about fame or money though that does accompany it from time to time.
Acting as an art and a craft is a very difficult thing to understand in its truth. People typically speak of acting as pretending to be other people, an escape, a show, a performance, a need to entertain others or be seen, etc. In truth it is none of these. As strange as this may sound to some - True actors hate lies.
Acting in it's heart is about vulnerability, discovery, truth and connection on the deepest and most authentic levels of your soul and you can't play another character until you know your own. There is no script, camera, canvas, or instrument to hide behind or with. It is only you. It demands that you look at every part of yourself - the parts you love and the parts you hate. The light and the dark and then it demands that you not judge either side or anyone else as good or bad, but rather respect, embrace and accept others and yourself and start to ask the questions "why?", "what is underneath?", "what of that is mine?" and "what is getting in my way?". In acting the future and past do not exist. It is about only living in the moment and holding on to nothing. It is about receiving yourself, others and the world around you with all of your senses in the most heightened way possible without judgement or defense and responding with a truth without thought that holds back nothing, but rather demands that you share your authentic truth with the world no matter the repercussions. Anything less is unacceptable because that is your gift that was given to you and to the world. And when you hold that back or judge it you are robbing yourself and the world of that verse and your potential. It is your freedom and once that tension that is hidden inside of you that has tried so hard for so long to tell you who you are and keep you "safe" begins to fade you start to see who you really are and truly experience the world around you. You begin to live and in way you didn't even know you weren't. It is then that one is truly able to marry their soul with another character and begin to fulfill the poetry of the work. It is vibrant, full, euphoric, present and all based in love because there is not such thing as a bad emotion. They are all based on love.
Learning the craft is also beautifully tricky. You never know where you are going and you never know where you are which requires a lot of trust, patience, determination, walking around in the dark and falling . . . a lot, but those are great things because it is often with "falling" that we make our greatest discoveries and you never know when you're going to find a "light switch". It is through this "walking in the dark" that we truly evolve as artists and human beings as we learn to let go. Trust is your greatest of allies - constantly asking you to lean into the fear of discomfort and let go of your tension.
With that trust - Acting is a doorway to discover your truth, your authentic self this art or another - whether you're a dancer, actor, writer, musician, singer or painter. It is life and it can change yours in the most profound ways - no matter what you do.
I'd love to tell you more about it, but it wouldn't do any justice. You just have to experience it.