What does being an actor truly mean? I could say the job means knowing all of my lines or understanding the stakes of the scene; and while all of that would be true, there is more to my job than just that.
Finding something bigger than myself to believe in and trusting that a higher power is helping and guiding me is (in my opinion) the most essential part of my job. It takes the pressure off of having to figure out how every detail is going to happen. Some days my job as an actor is to just show up and be patient. It might have nothing to do with knowing all of my lines.
Strengthening my yoga practice has helped me to create a deeper connection with the characters I play; like a carpenter keeping his tools sharp, or an athlete training before an event (and we are athletes – emotional athletes). Keeping my body tuned allows me to take on the challenges of each new role with greater ease.
Other days my job is to forgive myself, another huge component of an actors life. So many times we find ourselves in situations that are largely out of our control. In those cases all we can do is our best. So if I have a shitty audition, forgive myself – that’s my job today. If I have a great audition – great! Now let it go.
Through experience I’ve learned my job is much more than to just be the characters I portray, but to also let them scare me a little so I can grow a lot. Every time I step into a new character, I get to see the world from a different perspective.
It’s not always all about the job, it’s also about how you live your life. Our task as actors is to bring humanity to our roles and the more self development we do, the deeper the well we have to draw form.