“…We, as actors, delve deeply into the unspoken, unseen places in ourselves to get in touch with our deepest emotions and instincts, which manifest as creation and action. We often reach these depths without expecting to ­– suddenly we grasp a new insight about our characters, make a surprising choice that brings a scene to life, or sense through the quiet that the audience is hanging on every word we say. This becomes the magic of performance, a moment of art that arises, never to be exactly captured again. It is forged out of the thick, murky stew of memories, imagination, hopes, dreams, and fears swirling inside each of us, perhaps even existing beyond us, out in the ether somewhere. As long as we’ve been human, we’ve desired to speak our truth, our stories. The audience takes their seats, and lights come up on a dark stage. The play ends, and the lights fade back to black. Thus when we act, we engage in alchemy. We forge gold out of the hidden well of creativity inside us. We transform and are transformed. So are all who are present.”

–from “Temping”, a one-act play I wrote currently in development

 

“The actor is the bravest soul I know.  My god, it’s hard to be an actor.  I know of no greater act of courage than to walk out on an empty stage, seeing the silhouettes of four ominous figures sitting in the darkened theater, with your mouth drying and your fingers trembling, trying to keep the pages in hand from rattling and trying to focus your eyes on the lines so you don’t automatically skip the two most important speeches in the scene, and all the while trying to give a performance worthy of an opening night… and then to finally get through it, only to hear from the voice in the darkened theatre, ‘Thank you.’

And to do it time after time, year after year, even after you’ve proven yourself in show after show, requires more than courage and fearlessness.  It requires such dedication to your craft and to the work you’ve chosen for your life.

I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for your courage, your dedication, your talents.”

–Neil Simon, Equity News, November 1983

 

“See, everybody thinks acting is pretending. It’s the opposite. You don’t go to a great acting teacher to learn how to pretend better. You go to learn how to tell the truth. That’s the hardest and most challenging thing to do.”

–Ellen Burstyn

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