An Actor Moment
I had an actor moment last night.
An actor moment is a moment when all your efforts, all your heart, and all your faith in your acting gets recognized. Sometimes it's meant to be kept to yourself and sometimes it is shared. In this case, it was a shared one. It happened in my acting class. I had walked into class with a weight on my shoulders. I wasn't feeling quite myself yesterday and I had informed my scene partner that my lackluster effort during our quick read through was all I had to give that night. So I sat in class, with my heart beating a little harder because I didn't feel my usual bout of magic flowing through my veins. Finally it was our turn. Our teacher decided to give us a note to play with. The note was to be stereotypical stoners. Pretty easy for me.
Anyway, we started off the scene and the note to be stoned actually ignited something in me. It gave me the permission to play, which I had not given to myself upon walking into class. This playful beginning morphed into an honest and heartfelt scene involving lies, betrayal, and desperation. I was living in the scene. I forgot where I was and who I was and gave everything I had to this one scene. It was like I was body snatched by a thespian and I never wanted it to end. Granted, I am a thespian and it did end. But the point was, after feeling like I wasn't going to bring anything to the table, feeling like my teacher was for sure going to call me out, and feeling like I was going to let my partner down..well, I didn't. I brought it. And the scene kicked ass. On both ends.
During our talk back, all our teacher had to say was 'wow, that was great. Now go deeper.' When an acting teacher says this, it means that you cracked the scene. It means that we accomplished the scene and now we get to play. Now we get to take it to new heights. After only one week of doing it. I pause to pat ourselves on the back. Now this was enough to turn my sour mood into a sweet one. But this wasn't even the actor moment.
The moment came at cap off (which is the end of the night salutations before leaving). Everyone usually gives a shoutout to one or two people in the class for their work or honesty and then class is over. I don't really put too much weight on the shout outs because everyone does great work. But on this night, I received the shout out from the majority of the class and my humble ass barely cracked a smile to appear as calm about it as I could. But then one gentlemen in our class, spoke up. He cleared his throat and looked me dead in the eye and said this:
"I am old so I get to say this, but I have to say. You have a very big and long future ahead of you. I see very big and great things for you."
Needless to say, there was a tear streaming down my face and my heart felt as though it would drop out of my butt, but I embraced it. Hearing something like that from an almost stranger is like having your fortune told. It's unnerving to be seen that clearly and to be told so bluntly something that I will always remember. That someone believes in me. That someone believes I have the ability and the power to achieve my dream. Plus, to be told this in front of an entire class can be weird as it adds a pressure and an identity now that I must be very humble and full of humility to accept. But damn. I must admit it was a moment of security and hope. A moment that turned my whole day around. A moment that reminded me who I am and why I am here.
I've had these moments before and I will have them again. But I've learned it's not about bragging or feeling special. It's about the gracious understanding that sometimes these moments are just as special as landing the big gig. That there are people along the way who trust in what you are putting out there. Who support your efforts.
My point is this: don't be afraid to share your moments of acknowledgement because all you are doing is putting into the world the belief that you are enough. This man not only made me feel like the actor I believe I am, but as a person, he completely turned my day around.