Weird no? Maybe you knew this, but I have I have always thought that acting is all about pretending. So the penny dropped with the play that I have been acting in. I have been acting now since last year, in a play that I wrote and co-produced with my brother Peace, called LINDIWE! I told him one day that since I never had the opportunity to be in a school-play I would write one and act in it. He laughed at me and we’ve been laughing since! But wow the art of acting is harder than I ever imagined.
The thing about acting is you have to be that character. Unless you can convince an audience that you are that person, you’re not really acting so in that moment you are not you. To act, you must have an ability to literally step into another persons shoes, feel their pain, their joy, their personalities, idiosyncrasies, get into their minds, how they think, process things, how they relate, while using of all of your experiences to bring that character on stage or on camera, without taking any of it as yours.
There’s no room to doubt who you are in that character. You have to be sure. Of who the character is and who you are. Acting takes empathy to another level. It requires so much of you and nothing of you at the same time. You have to be present without interfering with the character you’re portraying ( mixing up your issues with the character’ as an example) Confidence in who you are is an absolute MUST. Pamela Nomvete recently published a book on her struggle to “get out” of a character giving after brilliant performance as conniving Ntsiki in South African soapy Generations.
You have to know yourself so well that you don’t confuse yourself with another person. It’s a highly demanding profession that requires, absolute Focus, attention to detail, discipline, passion, and most of all, acting DEMANDS that all of you be there all the time. The art of forgetting is not easy to master. You have to forget (leave the past BEHIND) about you while you are being another person, and be able to be yourself after the director says cut. Amazing. I’m thinking of Leonardo Di Caprio in the great movie Invictus – the play between the dream space “real” space. Heath Ledger as the joker in batman. Both brilliant perfomaces
You have to constantly, insistently clean yourself out, deal and confront all of your baggage on all levels, your pain, your fears and come back from it. You have to maintain absolute objectivity about your emotions, acknowledge them without becoming your emotions. Over and over again – every single day. The dark side of the profession is losing yourself to another character. It’s an amazing skill and though you can be taught and learn to do it – I am learning more and more that it’s something you either have or you don’t in order to maintain the focus and passion that is required. You also have to rest. Relax. Be. Know how to chill. That’s another skill.
It’s teaching me so much about life too – so much! It’s explaining life.
You have to learn, know, how to take care of you. Know your limits, what you can and cannot take, how far you can go and for how long. That’s where the magic happens. Your mind space, home space, heart space, everything has to be incyc – balanced, in harmony. You have to be aware at all times, of your emotions and feelings, be able to observe and listen to others without judgment. Ultimately you have to be in complete control of You, in order to allow the character to emerge without ever losing a sense of who you are!
Thank you to all the amazing actors and actress in the world! I have newfound complete respect for your craft! It is hard work and only those born to do it can without losing themselves. Thank you. And I would be remiss if I don’t single out one Brilliant South African actress who has never failed to impress me with her sterling work. She is not only a gifted actress but she’s an amazing person too, intelligent,sensitive and so focused! Her most endearing quality is her humility. she so Human! I’m humbled by her brilliance. South African Actress Moshidi Motshegwa (Scandal, Zero Tolarance, Drum, The Lab, JoziH) – she is absolutely SUPERB! at what she does.
You are Amazing sister, thank you for sharing your gift and bringing your best in each and every role you play. You inspire greatness. I look forward to see more of your amazing work.OVE!
- My Disenchantment with Cinema (travelingshadow.wordpress.com)