I’ve been in a few plays, but I wouldn’t call myself an actor. I’ve been in a few plays with actual actors, but I wouldn’t call myself a fellow actor.
Actors are kind of like the Freemasons, and, likewise, you would never call yourself a Freemason until an actual Freemason does first.
I admire actors; even the ones that aren’t very good. By virtue of simply calling yourself an actor in normal conversation (“And what do you do?” “Oh, I’m an actor”) you’ve got moxie in my book, friend. Talent aside, you’ve made a choice, and I admire that.
So you may be wondering what it’s like to share the stage with an actual actor.
Well, I guess I can dish without naming names. Top off my Merlot.
It’s true what they say about the good ones: They exude…something.
I don’t know if it’s pheromones, or “the Force,” or lasers made of bullshit, but it’s real. A good actor is one who has spent a lifetime focusing on presence, and has consequently made theirs perfect. Even when they screw up, it’s like watching the universe give birth to a planet.
I wonder if acting is like hitting a baseball; by which I mean: Are there basics? “Tuck your chin, explode through the hips, quick bat through the zone.” This might be a hitter’s mantra. Before their entrance, are actors silently repeating: “Tempo, pick up the cues, don’t act; react.”
And do they swing the heavy bat before the show? He’s Oscar in Odd Couple, but he’s warming up with a Falstaff soliloquy to get his timing down.
If he acts the hell out of a play in his wheelhouse, does he slowly take a lap around the stage to show up the other actors?
No he doesn’t. But the good ones do.