The Privilege of Being an Actor
It’s a privilege to be an Actor. As an Actor, we get to, in this one lifetime the opportunity to experience all these mini lifetimes through the characters we portray. Artist’s are one of the most important ingredients in making a society function. We get to entertain and bring joy to people’s lives by entertaining them. We get to reflect society, back in it’s face and initiate change. Where would we be without it and yet it seems to me, that most politicians can’t seem to cut funding for it quick enough. In schools that I went to, it was the first thing to be cut from the schools budget. I think, especial in elementary school, that all the students should be taking acting classes. Especially today. Our children are losing the skills necessary to communicate. Today, they are so busy texting as a way of communicating. You’ve seen it, and it’s not just our children, it’s us too. We can’t get off our phones. By exposing our kids to acting classes, they learned to listen, to talk to one another and look each other in the eye, to strengthen their imagination, to gain confidence and maybe have a little fun. As an Actor, I became a Writer in order to create opportunities for myself to Act. And at first my thought was, who am I to Write? What do I have to say and who cares what I have to say? I began writing from what I knew, from those stories I liked and I wanted to share that were real, or imagined. I write to please myself. I write to give myself opportunities to Act. I think everyone can write. We all have our own unique voice. At this writing, I have just come off of winning the 2017 Vanguard Award for a feature film that I wrote called, The Last Train. I had adapted it from my full length play, Subway Suicide. As you can guess from the title of the play, it deals with the subject of suicide, which is increasing amongst our veterans and teenagers. I wrote this story by drawing from my own life as I had attempted suicide on July 4th, 1983, when I almost entered the 27 Club. Though the story is not autobiographical, there are stories that I pulled from my life that are truel. I wanted to tell a story, that might give hope to those struggling alone in the darkness, as I have. I guess I thought, having been there myself, I would have some kind of insight of what it can feel like to be in this world without hope and maybe through my film, give them some hope. Not only was it an amazing experience for me to create this opportunity for me to Act in where I got to return to New York and Act in a piece that I created, it has also given at least 2 people that have reached out to me, hope. They got to see themselves up on that screen through the characters Ciera Danielle and I created and find hope. It also gave me an opportunity to work with my long time friend, Lou Diamond Phillips, who graced my film with his talent, because he believed in me, and what we were trying to say with, The Last Train. It’s a privilege to be an Actor.