Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Started It All...ACTING

I must confess that resistance has been manifesting itself for the past few days as I've been dragging my feet to write this post on ACTING.

By the way, if you want to know more about resistance and the effect it can have on your art, read "The War of Art" by Stephen Pressfield -

ACTING is what actually put me on the path to search for my inner Amazon Goddess and/or higher creative being. Like some or many of us, I've been through some dark periods in my life and I truly believe that acting has helped me get through those periods and it continues to help me. There's definitely a therapeutic intangible that occurs when you step out of all the shit going on in your life and take on the life of a character. Through acting, you give yourself permission to detach from your current circumstances in order to take on the circumstances of your character. I speak of detaching from my "circumstances" and not from myself because as an actor I cannot detach from myself since the character is and will always be ME within the given circumstances of the play/film. However, that is not to say that my current circumstances cannot feed the emotional life of my character, if needed. What I'm saying is that the detachment from my current circumstances has allowed me to become an objective observer of same, which, in turn, has helped me passify whatever craziness I may have been experiencing at the time (I hope this makes sense).

In any event, acting has been very therapeutic for me and it has further allowed me to experience EMOTIONS that I had learned to suppress since childhood.

Emotional Suppression. I'll admit it was terrifying for me to experience these emotions at first. I felt so vulnerable and that scared me because allowing myself to be in that state went against my beliefs and took me out of my comfort zone. Yet, as terrifying as it was to feel vulnerable it felt extremely LIBERATING.

You see, I had been conditioned to think that showing vulnerability was a sign of weakness and I sure as hell did not want to appear weak - not me; I'm the strong one, the one that has her shit together. At least that's how I've portrayed myself to others - it has been my defense mechanism and my way of surviving for quite a while. Little did I know that my external mechanism for survival was internally killing me by repressing my inner Amazon Goddess.

My Cathartic Experience. During an Emotional Preparation and Acting class I was attending (, I got up to do a monologue and felt as if my body was there, but I wasn't - there was a complete disconnect. I just couldn't hit the emotional intensity required for that monologue - I wasn't allowing myself to because it was too scary. The teacher immediately challenged me on this and I became defensive - he pushed and pushed and I found myself getting angrier and angrier until he finally gave me the permission I needed to unleash all the rage I had in me. When that happened, I kid you not, it was as if an exorcism was being performed on me - I screamed and screamed, my voice dropped to the lowest registry possible, and I thought I was hearing the devil's voice coming out of me. It was frightening to hear, but it was the voice of all the pain I had suppressed since childhood. I cried long and hard afterwards and even as I write this now I still cry because it astonishes me how much I had been punishing myself and I will never do that again.

Survival Of The Fittest. My fittest is gradually becoming my inner Amazon Goddess as I am now learning to live each day in her honor in order to ensure my survival :))

An Actor's Gift. I am so grateful to acting because it has given me the ability to heal myself (of course, with the help of my wonderful teachers, which include Terry Schreiber, Jim Bonney, Pamela Scott, Lynn Singer, Burke Pearson, etc... and Harold Guskin soon). As an Actor, I'm in a privileged position to give to others that same ability to have a cathartic experience that will allow them to heal through my performance. This is why I think it's so important for Actors to unblock their emotions and really feel what the character is experiencing in the moment in order to truly connect with audience members.

An actor's true gift is giving the audience their very own cathartic experience.

Check out the amazing Patsy Rodenburg:Why I do Theater


  1. So looking forward to sharing the stage with you when Let the Phoenix Rise is performed. It's beautiful watching you bring Carmen to really imbue her with your spirit. Indeed- acting heals the actor and the audience. It is truly a sacred art.

  2. Awwww thanks Sheri - means a lot to me :))

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