I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, about philosophy, life, happiness, and acting. Because naturally (or in my opinion at least) all four of those topics go together. My previous theory was, “acting is simply the art of playing pretend”, however, I no longer think that holds truth. Acting, is more of a separate dimension that someone can escape to, and make their life an adventure, a tragedy, or simply interesting. Because life without acting is not a life at all. Not that you have to like acting or be an actor to have a life worth living and talking about. But somehow those people who are performing through whatever is before them, not as themselves, but as an entirely different being, step into another soul. Which in my opinion, is much more interesting than ordinary life, even if you are only a spectator. All those people who worship, love, even bury themselves in these fictions that actors create are like the vessels, that hold those conflicted feelings, and the beauty of another life. I saw a quote once that went along the lines of, “When they died they left a hole. A hole that didn’t stay empty, for it was filled with pain and grief.” Honestly I changed that a bit until it made my point however it’s still similar. The reason I liked it was because it was true, you can have a bad day, go home, and bury yourself in a fiction, and for about twenty minutes after the credits roll everything is fine again, like a high, but once it fades and you have to go back to reality, all that’s left is a hole, and the hole doesn’t stay empty for long. You are left with pain and hopelessness that such beautiful things could ever happen to you.
My new theory though is, when the hole is filled, it’s not all misery that comes rushing in. there is a desire for adventure, motivation to make the only life you have better, and all those things that the character learned about life and love, you learn too. So when someone is a truly great actor, they can mean more to a person than what is typical, but sometimes not all people see acting as this beautiful complex system, but rather as “the art of playing pretend” and so all those devoted to the work of an actor are left with nothing to fall back on when reality kicks in. So thank you to all of the actors who are changing the lives of us vessels, the world would be a lesser place without you.