THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS A PHILOSOPHICAL FOCAL FESTIVAL

Why act?  Why go through the tortuous trial of too little work, too little money, so much work just to get work, the roller coaster ups and downs of feast and famine with work, money and security?  What motivates the need to tell the story in a public forum using your body as the instrument?  It is a primal urge that began in the early developmental stages of human evolution and it is shared with other species.  Using our bodies to communicate through movement, voice, energy and intuition is practiced by every human being in one way or another.  We are all Actors in our lives with our families, friends, co-workers, strangers, pets and at times even ourselves.  The unique skill that Actors posses is that they have the desire and capability to create and re-create mythological situations and stories as characters in a fictitious setting that, with the co-operation of the audience and their suspension of disbelief is (for the moment)  real.  Any person who has been “bitten by the Acting bug” understands the allure of being part of this ancient ritual of story telling in a public forum.  Being on stage, in front of a camera creating the myth and telling the tale satisfies a primal urge for power and control.  The power of being the focal point of the group, separation and isolation.  But with that power comes vulnerability the possibility of death if the performance falls flat.  Death in modern times is metaphorical but in the earliest years if you strayed from the group without success true death was a real possibility.  There is an intrinsic and deep rooted reality linked to the feeling created by the phrase “all eyes on you”.  While most people do their best to avoid that spotlight (wedding toasts and eulogies excepted) Actors crave the moment to weave the tale to audiences far and wide.  Through plays, movies, television and all types of emerging media the mythological and documentary stories that are told by Actors shape and change the society we live in and the world view that exists.  Whether by direct communication, metaphorical conveyance or predicted paradigm Actors have served as the soothsayers of society since the first communication occurred.

Acting is big business. The story tellers that attract the most eyeballs (which are attached to and willing to part with their money) are rewarded in turn with money, recognition and power.  Most Actors seek this elevation very few however climb to the top of the mountain.  It is easier than ever to see the lop-sided equation that makes up the community of Actors.  A study of ImdbPro will show you in no uncertain terms the reality of reaching the ranks of royalty as an Actor.  The handful of top tier “name Actors”, the few hundred that support the truly elite some of which will move up as the one percenters move down or die and others that will forever be the “B” listers, the thousands who occasionally get to participate as day players, co-stars, one day guest stars, the tens of thousands who work as atmosphere crossing around the principle players or muttering “peas and carrots” while pretending to sip a drink, the hundreds of thousands just starting, patiently working on their craft or allowing blocks and distractions in their life to keep them from moving forward in their careers.  The same paradigm exists although in smaller numbers in the world of live theatre.  In fact there are quite a few sub sets in the Acting world Stunt-players, Voice-over, Commercial, TV, Film, Puppeteers and on and on.  Each subset has it’s own pecking order and degrees of success.

While the goal of superstardom is somewhere in the consciousness of every Actor, you are just as likely to reach it as scratching off a million dollar lottery ticket.  What does Superstardom represent?  As a true Superstar you will be universally recognized a “household” name, choose the projects you want to work on and make more money than you ever imagined.  Although the result of “universal Superstardom” is far reaching and next to impossible, degrees of superstardom are within your reach.  How are you extraordinary and exceptional right now?  Who are you surrounding yourself with? What steps are you taking to become the best that you can possibly be where you are at right now while preparing to move yourself to the next level?  Are you building the best foundation for yourself to support the growth for your future?  While planning for the future is important the present is what you have.  The exciting aspect of living in these technologically advanced times is that you are in more control of creating content and telling stories in a universal platform than ever before.  This is a blessing and a curse.  The blessing…. you have the capability of creating right now.  The curse….you need your content to be exceptional.  Find exceptional, talented and capable people to work with and create.  Become a superstar in  the group you choose to work with and watch it ripple out into the world, attracting more and more people who want to work with you.  Enjoy the journey.

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