Recently a person commented to me that acting was simply “pretending.” Well, the New York Meisner Method trained actor in me was quite offended by this comment. The craft of acting is living truthfully in the moment… it’s listening, it’s being vulnerable and exercising emotional muscles and experiencing viscerally the depth of feelings. It’s an art… it takes training, talent, bravery, creativity, patience, humility, and flexibility in mind and body. Good acting does anyway.
This has me thinking about how in life it may be safer for some to pretend through it all. In the Bikram locker room the other morning, I commented to fellow yogi, that many women left the studio without taking a shower. A Bikram Yoga class is 1 ½ hours long and is practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees. I leave the Bikram room, completely drenched, sweaty and in need of a shower. I do prefer the comfort of my own home shower, but I couldn’t imagine getting into my car all nasty and sweaty. She commented that some people are just there pretending to do the full expression of the poses… they are just going though the motions. What a shame I thought… what a shame. What is the point, you are only fooling yourself by not giving your all 100 percent of the time.
How many people spend their life just going though the motions, pretending… not connecting, giving the smallest effort possible to get by. Think how often you may come across people in life that are pretending. Perhaps you even pretend your way through some aspects of your own life. Have you ever met someone who appears to be so sweet and nice, when actually their goal is to get what they want… their niceness is a ploy… a pretense. You can tell when someone is genuine and truly cares, as apposed to someone being nice to you because they want you buy their product or service. People that are selling you products often lie so they can make their commission. “Those pants look fabulous on you” or “You will benefit from this extended warranty.” What they are selling is bullshit and lies. They are pretending to to get something they want, mostly money without caring truly about your needs.
So as an actor, I hope for authenticity on stage, and I hope for the same in life. That is feeling – not pretending. I hope you find the joy of creativity and the playful side of life, and truly feel it. And for those pretenders out there, just stop pretending and try being real.