Note: I’ve fallen asleep trying to finish this blog every day since the 15th. It is now the 20th. I am a mess. BUT, at least I’m an active mess.
So today (the 15th), as a favor to a long-time friend, I ended up acting for the first time in quite a while. It’s not something I pursue actively, but I realize that every time I do it, I actually end up having a really great time despite the nerves I get, and the fear that boils up inside me whenever I’m pretty sure I’ll forget my lines. Is that…masochism? I’m not quite sure.
Anyways, since said-friend is new to the ways of the film industry, I ended up helping him out a bit more with the script re-writes, the scene selection, and the casting. It was fun to work on a project that wasn’t entirely my own and had someone else’s vision in mind. Plus, we landed on one of my favorite scenes from one of my (only) favorite romcoms – “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
It’s the scene where Emma Stone’s character Hannah essentially spazzes out at the thought of going near Ryan Gossling’s character, Jacob, after drunkenly hitting on him. It’s a good thing Hannah is supposed to be an anxious wreck – because I can play that part beautifully.
So rehearsal comes around. We’re actually supposed to perform this scene live in front of my friend’s class at 7 before going out to film it next week. So, I had to very quickly get acquainted with our actor, Kenny. I mean, dude was about to whip his shirt off for everyone today. We figured we owed him some polite conversation. After a few minutes of awkward first-time introductions, we jumped right into the scene.
Our first run through was awful. HILARIOUSLY awful. Since it was our first time acting together, the chemistry was all over the place, and I was pretty sure we were going to be the reason my friend failed his class for the day.
BUT…by the grace of God, little by little, we got surprisingly good at our roles. I think something that helped a lot was that, in between practice takes, we made conversation and opened up about what we wanted to improve in the scene together. Plus, it sounds kind of silly, but once you let go of all the insecurities, it feels pretty good to just yell and ditz around all over the place.
Pause. I think I get it now. You know what it is I love about acting? It’s the fact that, basically any interesting movie scene ever is based off of characters who completely lose their masks and their filters, and just say or do whatever’s on their minds. It’s the story-element that drives every single plot forward – action. Can you imagine any interesting scene where the guy and the girl sit together at a restaurant and just have small talk all night. NO.
Human beings are drawn to the stories about people taking action. Whether it’s a fight scene, or a love confession, or just taking a call to adventure – action is what attracts us, regardless of the genre. And actors have the amazing, but difficult task of letting go of their insecurities to play a character who just DOES THINGS.
7:00 came. We were the first two actors up.
And we ended up freakin killing it.
“Did I…do that?”
I was in slight disbelief at myself. I know I had improvised some lines and yelled much more loudly than in rehearsals. But seeing that people actually enjoyed what we did with the scene made all the risk worth it. I high-fived my old professor, who just so happens to be my friend’s professor now.
“I never knew you had that in you!”
I grinned back.
“Neither did I.”
It’s now the 20th. I’ve been writing out this story little by little each day since it’s just been a crazy busy this week. BUT, I think it’s for a good reason.
I’ve been taking action. I’ve been trying to fill my days with less depression naps, and a lot more productivity. And I’ve gotta say, even though I feel tired beyond belief…my heart feels good. I find myself making more conversations and connections. Taking risks I wouldn’t normally take.
I think 2018 is going to be really great year.