Monday, September 26, 2011

Hippie Rant

Before I blab about myself, let me plug an article about my role in "The Murders of Cane Hill", which hopefully you've read about. Backstage Magazine featured me in their recent “Who Got the Part” column regarding my supporting role as Izzy Conrad in the film. Here’s a link to the article: Who Got the Part

Okay, done plugging for now.

September means many things to me: new beginnings, the end of summer, pumpkins, the smell of books and school supplies, apple cider and sports. Not being in school anymore, September feels a bit stranger to me each time it arrives. It feels like some change should happen along with the cooler breeze, like I should be in a new class or grow as a person. That sort of happens, but to a much lesser extent.

I guess this brings me to the sort of conundrum every post-college-grad / mumblecore film tackles (or attempts to tackle) and that is a sense of trying to find a new life, community, family, what have you, post-college-sheltered, high school, suburban life or what have you. Young people are on a set path. You wake up the same time every day, go to class, go to after school activities, go home, do homework and basically do everything you can to try to get an A, thinking those A's will ensure the white picket fence, family and cute dog that you're told is the ultimate dream.

And then I decided to be an actor, an artist.

This path is certainly not an easy one. Teachers at NYU on the first day of school tell their students, “If there is anything else you can see yourself doing, do it now.” Every time I perform, I feel freer. I feel like I’m a part of a huge community, this huge endless hippie (we are all one person and I am teaching you about what it means to be a human being) mindset. When someone asks me why I’m an actor, I can’t help but rant endlessly about what I think it means to be alive and how I ultimately want to basically be a blank canvas for people to relate to with their feelings, experiences and memories. When people watch me, I want it to be as though they are watching themselves and experiencing the film or play through my eyes.

But… I must constantly remind myself that people also sometimes just want mindless entertainment. We all do. I love stupid YouTube videos of cute puppies and kitties fighting, people singing badly and food eating competitions. I just found a great site yesterday about animals being jerks to each other. Check it out and find an hour or so of nonstop smiling.

Being human is also this – watching the ridiculous and laughing, realizing the paradox that we are all the same and we are all different.

My mind feels like it’s going to explode from this weird “we are one” faux-yogi talk, so I’ll just say that this business may be a business, but it began from simple storytelling. It started when one caveman said to the other, "Yesterday I killed biggest buffalo ever." Then he drew a picture. Then his son told his son about the epic buffalo killing... and so on.

And when we are all gone and dead, nothing will be left but the great stories told. Hopefully I'll tell the story of my dead buffalo and revolutionize an art form.

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