Why I Act

September 9, 2012

“To be an Actor, you have to be a child.” – Paul Newman

I’m a child.

Why I Act: Because the world has a lot to teach me. Because I have a thirst to learn. And I think the best way to find the knowledge of the world is to step into the minds of strangers.

Am I a child prodigy? No. Not in any Universe. I have honestly no idea what my skill level really is. Do I enjoy Acting? Of course. And this is a blog about why.

I’ve only been Acting for about two years now. I started in the Winter of my Sophomore Year. And I was hooked almost instantly. My first role was Jason in the One Act Comedy: Small Actors. The play followed the story of a young girl, Emily, as she struggled to stand out in her High School Drama Club. When Emily learned that she didn’t receive the part of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, she was crushed. That night at home, as she was about to tell her parents that she had been cast as the Second Servant, she learned that they would be in Hawaii on the performance dates. So, Emily lied…to make her parents proud. She told them that she would be Juliet. A short while later, her parents canceled their vacation. Emily, desperate to keep her parents happy…even if only for a short while, did not tell them the truth. On the night of the show, she still had not told her parents this devastating fact. Unfortunately for her, her parents decided to spring upon her that they’d flown in the whole family to see this show. Emily faced her doom with her head hung. Her parents discovered her deception and she certainly paid the price for her lies, especially from her mother. Slowly but surely, though, the family grew closer together because of the event.

Jason was Emily’s best friend. My first role was that of a High School boy. So, you can imagine, it was pretty easy to, as they say, “get into character.” But it was Life changing, nonetheless. I was hooked. Every day at school, I found myself wanting more and more for it to be 2:45, so I could make my way to the Drama room where Sarah (Emily), the cast, and I could become our alter egos in a world entirely populated by our imagination.

Since that first play, I’ve adopted three other personalities through PAC…

The crazy Playwright.

The brave Will Rawlings.

And the troubled Carter White.

And every time I learn something. Something about me. Something about the world. Something about Humanity. Something about who I must become. Something about Life.

From Jason, I learned to appreciate every friend I had.

From the Playwright, I learned that we all go a little…nuts…sometimes.

From Will Rawlings, I learned about bravery and about maturity. And what it means to “step up to the plate.”

From Carter White, I learned the value of an interconnected humanity. I learned how strange it is to call a fellow human “stranger.”

Who knows what I’ll learn the next time I step into another person? That’s the magic of acting. That’s why I do it. I’m a child. I’m an Idiot. I’m a Superman in training. And I want to learn. I want to learn all I can.

So, I’ll keep on acting. Until the day I die. Whether it becomes a profession or stays a hobby, I will always act. Because it’s what I love to do.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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