Life – it makes you a better actor…

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There are several different techniques available in the acting world that people tout as being the best techniques for getting into character. Meisner, Chekhov, Stanislavski, Method and whatever coined terms that the multiple acting teachers out there have come up with that are a combination of pieces or all of the aforementioned techniques.

The truth is, and you have probably heard this before, the best teacher an actor can have is life. Life experience and understanding what emotions come about because of those experiences are what make an actor believable. Have you ever been cheated on? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever left someone that you loved in search for something greater (most artists can relate to that)? Those experiences and how they made you feel are what you can bring to a character that someone else may have to pretend because they don’t know what those moments in life feel like.

Depending on your age do you know how it feels to be a boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancé/fiancée, husband/wife, mother/father? You have an advantage over an artist who is going in for a role where they have to figure out how to play that role. If you spend your life chasing fame and roles instead of understanding what it means to live a life, you will be doing yourself a disservice.

Most artists that are in Los Angeles (and New York) are not originally from New York. I myself was born in Dallas (my father’s family lives there), I grew up until age 19 in Norfolk, Virginia (my mother’s family and my brothers live in and around that area). At 19, June of 2003, I packed my belongings and I spent another 8 years primarily in Arizona (both Tucson and Phoenix) initially attending the University of Arizona and then spending quite a few years thereafter. Living in each of those areas taught me a lot about different cultures and I gained friends and people that I cared about. Yet in 2012 I packed up and started all over again moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Entertainment.

Some actors have uprooted themselves to move to Los Angeles and it’s a scary feeling. But it’s also the most adventurous feeling in the world because you are pursuing your passions. I packed up and settled down twice, and it does get easier. As you struggle you will have family trying to convince you and telling you that you gave it your best shot, but at lot of people won’t understand you until they have done exactly what you are doing now.
Everyone struggles because life is a cycle and so is your career. You will have high times and low times, and the low times are necessary. A lot of actors turn towards spirituality of some sort to deal with the emotional roller coaster that is both life and our careers as entertainers. Everyone can handle success; it is how you deal with failure that will define you not only to yourself, but those that truly know who you are.

Talent is God given, it cannot be taught. You cannot be taught how to be a Stand Up Comedian, or an Actor, or a Musician, or a Writer – but you can be taught how to be a better one. If you know you are meant to be one of these things then Los Angeles (or any other major market) is where you belong! Just because someone else tells you that they couldn’t do it doesn’t mean that you cannot do it either, we are all born with talents.