Why I do this...
At my first college BFA audition, the chair of the program that would become my alma matter said "if you can see yourself doing anything else or having any other major, do that instead". I stood more sure than ever in my decision to be an actor. Here's why:
My heart aches when I pass by a random building and remember that to someone, that building is their whole life. Maybe they work there every day and it fills them with dread. Maybe they sleep there every night, or maybe they just fell in love behind those walls. They have had perhaps their lowest and most joyful moments just inches away from me, and they know that building like a best friend. But. To me, it is nothing, just a brick wall on my way to my building.
The young man who gave me the coffee that I sip as I write this was kind-hearted and grew up in Queens, but I don’t think I’ll ever know more because the coffee was stale and overpriced and I won’t come back. Plus, how could I neglect the next barista that I’m supposed to meet when I go to the next random coffee shop?
If I could have one wish, it would be the ability to deeply get to know every person on this earth as well as they know themselves, and know all their buildings, too.
The closest I get to my wish is when I act. This makes no sense and a lot of sense at the same time. I get to crawl inside the minds of people who aren’t me and shake hands with a playwright or screenwriter who sometimes isn’t even aware of our deep relationship via their words. I get to go to different places, have different family members and friends, and live through the best and worst moments of some person that a writer knows, or is, or read about, or made up. Over time, the more and more times I throw myself into doing this person justice in the telling of their story the more I feel like I’m gaining perspective on and appreciating and putting my arms around and squeezing all the people in our world.
I love it.