To Be or Not to be An Actor

To Be or Not to be An Actor

There is always a sense of anticipation and excitement when a friend says  “You will soon see me appearing on television.”  As what?  I hasten to ask.  Reality television appears to be the craze at the moment – we see television viewing fully occupied with a lot of people who just want to be famous for being their self.

I believe there is a skill and art to entertainment.  For example, I don’t like horror but I do like special effects. I love romantic films though I do exclaim that sex can steal the scene.  Having said this can I rewind back and say that acting is an art and not witchcraft.  So many Christians believe that if there is no “message” behind a script then we should not relate to it (and I do agree up to a point).  Upon reflection I remember having a spring in my step when approaching a burning cross as Joan of Arc. I was also on a complete non-drug induced high whilst appearing as the maid (Mary) in an adaptation of The Crucible. And, oh dear! I did stand tall when firing arrows as the Greek mythology character Medusa. All of this and many more wasn’t me escaping reality but it was me being part of a team and playing my part as an actress.

My junctures in acting has generated many a “thank you” and “bravos” for bringing forth a certain real life scenario to light.  My only caution is to “let go”, especially of the character being personified.  Budding actors should not assume that they can walk into acting   later in life and believe that that they can bring to the stage all of their life experience. Get involved from an early age, therefore the desire to “act and perform” will never leave you. Also be prepared to be noticed when you least expect it (for that is what one works towards) and also it is not about about seeking the attention most people crave for. To reiterate what I said earlier don’t take it for granted that an older character will be casted to an older person; it was reported recently that the script for the new “Miss Marple” series was handed to a 30 year old actress!

Acting is not just make-up, camera, lights, and action. It is on most occasions about …“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”.

Copyright © Jennifer Valentine 2012

Reference: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” Julius Caesar,  Act III, scene II (William Shakespeare)

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