I’ve wanted to be an actress since I was a teenager. At first, it was the glamour I was attracted to. Actresses always looked amazing. And, no wonder! Their job was (after hours in the makeup chair) to stand in front of the camera and speak.
EASY! Who wouldn’t want to be an actress?
So I auditioned for every school and community play I could. I got bigger and bigger parts and decided to go to Drama School to study acting.
I had already learned that acting meant more than just standing and talking, it meant attending long rehearsals, learning hundreds of lines, and working with people you don’t like. But nothing prepared me for the intensity of Drama School. Early mornings and late nights, with all sorts of exercise, dance, and voice classes in between. We studied classical theatre and contemporary theatre. We learned about all the things we’d always been doing wrong and how to do them right. We worked ourselves to the bone and to the brink of exhaustion. Only then did I start to understand what it means to be an actor.
Discipline, endurance, curiosity, and passion.
When I left drama school, my work was split between theatre and film. I love both equally. Theatre is like an endurance sport; you have to go to many rehearsals and learn a whole script, and then perform everything (in order) in one go in front of a live audience. Not for the fainthearted!
Film, on the other hand, is quick and you get multiple takes if something goes wrong. You might only meet your fellow actor five minutes before you start and you barely rehearse the scene before the director shouts „action!“. In fact, the scene you’re filming in the morning, might happen weeks after the scene you film in the afternoon in the actual story. You have to give a 100% convincing performance, truthfully telling the story of your character, or the audience will be able to tell. Good film acting is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of good acting.
Whether you’re doing a 2-hour performance after a month of physically (and sometimes emotionally) draining rehearsals, or getting up at 5 AM to shoot a scene of you walking through the park where you must be absolutely precise with your position, timing, emotions, and text all at the same time over and over again, acting is hard work.
And the reason I choose to be an actress? I LOVE IT!
I love the hard work. I love when a director says „Now, tell me if this is impossible…“, or the camera comes in for an extreme close up and I have tell a whole story with my eyes. The harder it is, the more fun I’m having.
So yes, acting is great… it’s my life’s passion. But easy… not so much.
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