Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Do People Act?

Kids doing role-play
Good question.  I'm glad you asked.  There are several reasons why people act or want to act.  While some people feel acting is just a waste of time, others do it because it's the next paycheck.  In this post, I will discuss why people choose, or not choose, to act.  Maybe it will change your mindset about acting or just confirm some of your own reasons for acting. 

Regardless of the reason why people act, pretty much everyone on earth was given a God-given desire to role-play.  Now, don't act like it
was just me dressing up for the Grammy Awards or Academy Awards in my living room.  I went through the whole bit; doing pre-interviews on the red-carpet or, in my case, the brown linoleum carpet.  I laughed with the interviewers, saying that it was just "an honor being nominated."  That was a crock, because I always won.  As I heard my name being called, I slowly rose as if it was just impossible for them to have said my name.  Excepting my award, which was probably an item off of the "what-not" shelf (sorry Mama), I was brought to tears.  Yes, I cried, because, "if it weren't for God, it wouldn't have been possible."  But, I digress....

We all have an innate, or natural, ability to imagine.  I don't care how old or how young; how rich or how poor, we all have imagined ourselves someplace other than where our reality placed us.  This leads me to the 1st of 4 top reasons why people may choose to act.  

1.  It allows you to escape your reality.

Do you know if it weren't for acting, some people would literally go crazy?  I'm raising my hand right now, because I was one of them.  I'm not saying that I had the worst life, because I didn't, but I have had some pretty tough days.  It was so comforting for me to slip into the reality of a character and almost forget about my reality.  Even if it wasn't but a minute; it was all worth it.  People used to ask me if I was ever scared of going there and not coming back.  The answer was and is a resounding, "YES!"  The thing that allowed me to feel comfort was knowing that God had my back in my reality, as well as in my imagined world.  "Anything less will be uncivilized"...LOL.  I'm probably telling my age with that quote.  You can say that acting, to some people, is therapeutic.

"The inner life of the [imagination], and not the personal and tiny experiential resources of the actor, should be elaborated on the stage and shown to the audience. This life is rich and revealing for the audience as well as for the actor himself." - Michael Chekhov

The 2nd reason why some people may choose to act is:

2.  It is a way of getting a story or message across.

And you thought only the pastor had a message to give.  Not so!  You have a message, why not tell it through acting?  People have turned their lives around, because they went to a play or movie, and heard someone doing a touching monologue or scene.  There's a message in everything that you say and do.  The pulpit may be someone's platform; the classroom may be someone else's; but yours could be the stage.  Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage..."  He was right when he wrote this as the first line of his play, As You Like It.  When an actor does a play, he or she is communicating whether he likes it or not.  Messages can be positive, and they can also be negative.  Take Tyler Perry's Madea, for instance.  The character's mannerisms are funny and exaggerated  on purpose.  If someone were to tell you, "Stop sleeping around!"  You would be really upset with them, especially if they were right in saying it.  Madea has a way of saying the same thing, but by making you laugh to soften the blow.  How will you get your message across?

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." - Oscar Wilde
"The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time. The theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation." - Stella Adler

The 3rd reason why some people may choose to act is:

 3.  It is a way that some people make money. 

If you're going to make money, why not make money doing something that you love.  There are some people who actually make a living doing acting.  Unless you're doing film, television, or Broadway, you're not going to make too much money doing acting.  Let me make this clear; making money does not mean that a person is successful or have arrived in that field.  It just means that he/she has learned how to either market or advertise themselves.  There are very talented actors and actresses out there, but some of them will never make a dime for doing what they're good at.  Guess what, those people could be some of the most happiest people in the world.  There are also people who are making money acting, but don't have an ounce of talent or happiness.   I would never recommend doing acting for the sake of only making money.  You would be very miserable.  If acting is your bread and butter, though, more power to you.  Do it well!

"Study, find all the good teachers and study with them, get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. Do plays. It's not worth it if you are just in it for the money. You have to love it." - Philip Seymour Hoffman

The 4th, and final, reason why some people may choose to act is:

4.  It is just for fun and entertainment. 

Is it so wrong to do what you do just for fun?  Some of us, and I included, take ourselves too seriously a lot of the time.  Do something, for once, that makes you feel good.  Now, don't get it twisted, as long as it's within the law and within your moral law, it's fine.  Acting can be very fun.  I remember having a blast playing some characters.  For instance, I know it sounds a little bad, but it's actually fun playing a villain.  Maybe it's the feeling of letting go; with no laws or moral boundaries.  It's something that most of us secretly think about but don't want to admit.  As I mentioned earlier, being that child who role-played, I had a ball.  I think most of my childhood was a big role-play.  I used to do talk shows with my nieces and nephews.  Back then, they may have felt like I was dragging them into another one of my silly ideas, but now, we look back at those days and laugh.  We can admit that we had fun.  Who doesn't like going to a good play or a good movie?  Don't you think it's just as fun for the person on the stage as it is for the audience?  Theater is very entertaining.  Look at the billions of dollars people give to come and see it--despite the economy.  

“A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)

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1 comment:

  1. OMG!!!! Beautiful Dawn!! I absoutley LOVE the name! Great job! Its about to take off sis!