More than 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, 95% of British actors are out of work at any one time, in England, more than 81,000 households were found to be homeless during 2013/14, up to 100% of you will hate being reduced to a statistic….
You, my lovely friend, are not a number, you are a word.
You are the only you that will ever exist in the history of the universe. ‘The one, unique way in time and space that God has chosen to express himself’ as Brennan Manning said. You have something to offer that no one who has ever walked this earth can offer.
Every fibre of our being reacts to becoming just another number. Where do you think descriptions like ‘mind numbing’ and ‘soul destroying ‘ come from if we aren’t innately aware that we are made for so much more. Just watch what happens at the supermarket when you hold eye contact and smile at the average cashier. It’s often all they needed to suddenly feel part of the human race again. They almost defrost in front of you as they are invited back into life for a few moments. This is not to suggest that their work is pointless, we discovered in the last post that every job can become art, but we ask so little of ourselves.
As actors we are prone to terminal comparison. We can’t help but busy ourselves looking into the other lanes as we run the race ahead and it’s not difficult to see the attempts made by many people to emulate the look or acting ‘style’ of their heroes. We pay more attention to the seeming success of our colleagues than to our own journey and development.
However, if we embraced our own unique identity, we would find that what we bring to a role is totally specific and something to celebrate. There is no other you and that is a good thing! Science has proven something remarkable, you are uniquely designed. There is a message inside you, a word spoken only once in history. Your DNA has as much information in it as 1,000 Encyclopedia Britannica’s. Bill Gates observed that “Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created”. What an honour! To be a totally unique being makes you a totally unique artist and that is something to base a career on.
Stanislavski said “The person you are is a thousand time more interesting than the best actor you could ever hope to be”. Take that into your next audition and offer all that you have and all that you are because it’s enough.
To you, the artist.