Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things I've Learned

These past few days, this whole summer in fact, I have had chances to play around in other fields in the theatre world. I've run a soundboard; I've set up lights for Sundance, UVU, and for film; and I've even become the dramaturge for an upcoming production of Antigone. That being said, I've been learning so much, and realized something that I wish I had learned before.

You see, I am an actor. I always will be, and although I have enjoyed all these projects I've worked on, I would always rather act. I already knew that though. Its a part of me. It's something that's hard to describe; a passion that I feel deep down in my bones. What I didn't realize was that these things I have been learning would have such an impact on my acting. It has. It will continue to do so. I've always thought myself as a well rounded citizen of our little planet earth. I know enough about the world and its' cultures to be decisive in my opinions and little enough to still see it with an wide eyed, awe filled wonderment.

I realized this summer that the same is true in the acting world.

In order to be a good actor, I've realized that knowing the world that you work in is vital to your art. I'm not saying expertise is a must, but knowing your way around a light board or being able to conquer the terrors of the costume shop sewing machine is part of knowing how this big theatre world exists. I just think the more I know about the lights above me, the sounds coming from the speakers, or the makeup I'm wearing, the more I will be able to manipulate and synthesize them into my own work as an actor. Just a thought.

So for all my theatre friends out there, even though it is not the biggest thing in the world, I make this recommendation: Know your world and continue to learn things that are new to you. Know what its like to sew a costume, or hang lights, or paint a set to look like something it isn't. I'm lucky to be going to a school that is really open about learning these things, and while I will eventually be going to grad school and specializing in a specific field, I think these things will be useful in creating the most out of that ultimate goal. It makes us better actors, better scholars, and all around better people.

After all, knowledge is power, right?