Often, some of us may sit, sipping our caffeinated drinks (or de-caff, as the case may be), taking the time to ponder just what it is that makes us do what we do. I did, and now, while listening to the inspiring music of Cat Stevens and Iron Maiden, I intend to tell you my conclusion.
My tale is nothing special. In fact, it is almost a touch arrogant, but that was then. It began with the movie Talk Radio, written by Eric Bogosian. I was watching this incredible film, alone, in the dark, at three-o-clock in the morning, and it reached the final monologue in which Barry tells the entire listening audience what he thinks of them. I sat spellbound at the performance given by Eric Bogosian. The filming techniques, the background movement, and the writing and delivery of the monologue were screaming at me. They were screaming to be performed. I felt a need like no other I had ever experienced; to perform that piece, and gain a recognition with it.
Up to that point in time, I had not desired to act, and had felt very little desire to perform in any other way. I had my art. I had my writing. But there came over me an urge so sudden, I hadn’t any idea of how to control it. The urge was to act. There, on the 15th of August, 1989, I made up my mind to perform that piece, become noticed in the drama department of South Eugene High school, and win the most improved actor award for the year of ’89-’90.
You see, before then, I had limited myself; cut myself off from the complete range of the aspects within myself. I was not dead, but merely limited to being one. One person. One aspect. The monologue was a key, unlocking the door to which my other aspects would come, and enter. Contrary to popular belief, the ideas and images did not come rushing in. They took their time, and as I learned how to use each one, a new piece would follow. If asked to count them now, I would not be able to give an answer. Like anything amorphous, they have become one, and when an opportunity arises, the appropriate knowledge will make itself apparent.
There is a problem with this scenario. It is practically impossible to pinpoint the kind of person I am. I can generalize just fine, but if you get too specific, each question may contradict the one before. This is wonderful for me as an actor, for the growth just continues endlessly, but it is the fine tuning that is needed. Five minutes of film, and one and a half years of life made me what I am now.
To conclude the story: I did get the award for being the most improved actor, as well as the award for being the best actor. However, what I never did get to do was perform that piece from Talk Radio. I do have ambitions to now direct the play. If I do that of course, I probably won’t be in it, but we must take each stride as it comes to achieve the ultimate destination. The destination being complete inner happiness; and as an actor, one can become anyone, do anything, and experience a more complete life than almost anyone else, creating that dream they have hidden in the depths of their soul. For me it’s not done with money, power, or prestige. I learned that when I actually won the awards. It’s in the knowledge of achieving the image you create, and enjoying it, no matter how often it may change.