This is my blog about the love of my life…. acting. To me it is the true reflection of creating the truth of humanity. I’ve written about this on other blogs, but to me there is a truism in real acting. I play a character, but we all know casting looks for certain looks or qualities for a character. At the same time, don’t assume someone is or can’t be more than what you yourself want to see. You can’t cast a person in a play who is tall, if they are supposed to be short. At the same time, the modern age of film can change allot of that. Someone who is black could end up playing white for instance. At the same time, what one does with how one is cast still requires an examination of what is real.
However if too real, too common, too everyday and too the same as everyone else, what you get is dry, weak, flat, an original, and overall a stereotype. You get something that is like a dry stale piece of bread. I hate when I bite into stale bread. It happens. And sometimes I make it.
As a kid I made scones. I did not know what I was doing. I had the “Winnie the Pooh” cook book. Seriously. And as some of you may know, the creator and author was Brittish. I’m an American. We typicall did not eat scones. At least I did not grow up with them. Well I did not know what scones were. I thought they were like croissants. Which I can’t spell very well. I ended up with bricks. Looking back I think I probably did something wrong with the way I made them. At the same time, thanks to certain fast food coffee shops, I know what a real scone is supposed to be like. Why this discussion of food? Well as a kid I did not know what I was doing. I was experimenting. I was exploring. I was learning. Acting is the same way. We start with basic tools, but it is a constant exploration of humanity. Each character is different. Each story is unique. Homework must be done. Like my exploration of the world of scones, each part that I find myself learning and doing requires me to learn and grow and explore myself and humanity. Sometimes that examination happens in an instant. Sometimes it needs to ferment like a good wine. Either way there is truth in the work if based on the real of the world and the real found in the imagination.
As I explore the world of my truth… my art… my acting…. I see the cross over to other forms and other avenues of expression. A painting or dress or statute may create a sensory experience that effects the character I play. Alma’s obsession with the love of her life in “Summer and Smoke” is somehow reflected in the statue of an angel named “Eternity.” On some level, her love will live on in a shadow over her life for all time, even as the love she had has found a life of its own in someone else’s arms. That love in the end created the arc of her character as she found the strength to explore the world in the end the way her love wanted to. Johnny settles down to the life she wanted but will never get with him. Are there happy endings? Only in the movies? Was this a happy ending? Only in the sense that Alma found herself a woman awaken. It came too late. For me that is the ultimate happiness, discovering your full potential. Ignore the final scene of the play. In that sense it is one of the few happy endings I’ve seen in William’s play. Yet the real end, is bleak and makes me realize how much when we try to live by others expectations, we end up failing. Alma was trying so hard to be this good upstanding woman, that by the time she realized it was OK to live, it was too late. The men she could have had were gone.
I find it ironic. As I grew and changed, others suddenly decided to base me on an image of me from my youth, or what others wanted to see. And as I almost reached a point of freedom, my hope and dreams came crashing all around me. Yet I still fight to be true to the fantastic person I was going to be. No matter what I know I was a better person when I was happy and content. We all are. And that is me when I am working on my craft and on sets. I had learned to be a better person, and yet with all my education, I see the ignorance. How can any one knowing what I have been capable of learning think I did not grow from my mistakes, and yet there were those in my life who knew I had changed and wanted you all to think I did some monstrous thing. I have been waiting for someone special to find my heart, not settling for the men you think fit with me. I only date men who ask me out. Oh I may chase, but in the end it is the man who does the asking. And I have the right to say NO! At the same time perhaps on some level I am Alma, so I can find it in me to play her. Is that dangerous? Relating that well. Perhaps. Yet I also want to get a motorcycle and fly free. I perceive the misery of the character for what it is… her longing and her needs. That is what a good play is. When you can see something in you in the characters. As humans we can always see something in ourselves in others. It is why we are the same species. Also why I often wonder why we try to hurt each other so.
What does this have to do with acting? Everything. In the end, what an actor is, is himself. In my case, herself. I sometimes find I study characters and understand them that do things that disturb me and I’d never do. I recognize that and relish now in my own strength. I know my greatest flaw is my independence. My greatest flaw is that I refuse to date and want to me single so I can become the actor and artist I want and hope that one day I meet a man who is nothing like my father and his abuse- someone who would let me be a woman and hold my head up and create art and feel. All my life I was not allowed to be vulnerable. My emotions have been bundled up in a box and it is not healthy. It is as it should be perhaps. I have been assaulted, abused, lied about, and had the only reason I wanted to fight for my life taken away. I have not even had a man touch me since March of 2006. I’ve kissed one person since that time and that is all. I am waiting for someone beautiful and loving and strong. I want a silver fox. I use George Clooney as my standard. I’d love to work for him. I know that will never be. I know I am not pretty and I know I never was. I had young men use me and play me and I let them. I also broke their hearts my telling them how selfish they were for playing me. I reached a time in my life when I wanted a real man and a real relationship, and I was getting sick. WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHY SOME IN THIS TOWN ARE STILL TRYING TO HURT ME FOR MEN WHO CHOSE TO CHASE ME AND CHOSE TO BE WITH ME AND THE ONES I DID NOT WANT WHOSE EGOS I BRUISED. I think it is sick that we now live in a world where a woman can not be on her own, independent and say she just likes and admires someone without someone twisting it into a moral degradation. Have we truly grown at all……or did too many years of a conservative government send us into the dark ages.
I’m adding my own comment. The hardest emotion I am having difficulty with is love right now. I need to find the way again to be vulnerable and to show that vulnerability. My emotions overwhelm me and my need to feel and be human. I wish we all could see the world as rainbows and flowers with no violence or pain or sorrow. I wish some dashing intelligent person would come my way. I wish….. Are these the dreams of Alma or of me. I will let you guess. I know the truth, but why spoil the show or the play or my audition piece.