February 12, 2004

World's a Stage

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It’s been four years since I was last on the other side of the lens I now look through. Due to other engagements, my interest in the stage was diverted from the path of acting to one of writing. So when I first stood up in “Intro to Acting” two weeks ago, I felt under Howard Dean-like levels of scrutiny as I suddenly realized just how long it had been and how much seemed unfamiliar.

The practical side of acting was and is nothing more than a hobby for me at best, but as I looked around this class I saw a number of different motivations: fulfilling curiosity, fulfilling credit requirements, and even the odd Broadway pipedream perhaps. However, we were all about to share the same unexpected experience: a massive ego-check at the door.

You see, having the desire to entertain is very rarely conducive to being a successful actor. Despite the archetypal anecdotes of superstars’ family members on VH1’s Driven and the like, tales of “he just loved to make people laugh” ultimately create a barrage of classroom pranksters nationwide thinking, “wait a second, I always make everyone crack up