About Acting

I have such a weird career.

It sometimes doesn’t even feel like a “career”… more like a series of drills.

Drill #42: Practice being industrious.  Drill #77: Be something you’re not, and fool ‘em.  Drill #139: Resist becoming humbled.

Drill #985: Work your way out of it… that’s a good one.

I’m an actor, and my palette is made up of emotions, reactions, and the subtle orchestrations of human character.

Sometimes I use them to sell telecommunications, cars, soda.  Sometimes I’m trying to be funny, so that somebody somewhere might get a laugh, have a little fun.

Mainly, I think, I get hired to distract people from one thing or another.  That’s a double-edged sword.

At my best, I use my acting to forward ideas, get the audience to stretch out in a direction or to a degree they never knew they could, to their benefit.

I like being stretched by great acting, great art.  It’s a way for me to feel hopeful, less hemmed in.  I’m willing to go somewhere I never heard of before, as long as there’s some enlightenment waiting for me at the end.  Or even a chance of it.

The best impressionists act that way, they shock people a little- “I never knew anyone else could be that way…”

I enjoy narrating fiction audiobooks.  It’s great to have to bang around from character to character, occupying their viewpoints, plus maybe the omniscient author, or the lead character whose main point of view drives the story.  After a while, you get very loose at switching from your viewpoint into someone else’s.  It feels good.

I maintain that that is very good for you.

Anything in life that ties you more firmly and inescapably into a single, immutable viewpoint I don’t like.  I like being fluid.

Spontaneous.  Changeable.

So, my career hasn’t been much of a straight line.  Sometimes I wish it was, but other times, I can see the advantages of a less predictable course.

Do I sound kind of … maudlin?  I just watched Christopher Walken’s interview on “Inside The Actor’s Studio”…  It’s apparently catching.

How’s your life going?

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm  Comments (3)  

Presenting at EG

Tamra and I are heading up to Monterey to go to the EG Conference, (which is not, as I had supposed, a gathering of people who are fans of the actor E.G. Marshall) where I will be presenting about 20 minutes of my Jimpressions material for an eclectic audience of interesting and interested people.

I’m still trying to work out how best to fill my time and create something that is a bit deeper than my usual celebrity voices “tour”.  There’s something sort of daunting about being asked to go to something like this, where I’ll be basically sharing the platform with physicists, filmmakers, polar biologists, architects, violin makers, designers, the royal calligrapher, and a woman who rows across oceans.

The temptation is to try and create a talk that somehow positions celebrity impressionists as being on the same level as Dr. Linus Pauling.

On the other hand, there is an terrific opportunity here to explore some of the more subtle and personal aspects of doing other people’s voices for a more sophisticated crowd that isn’t just interested in hearing a guy do a Christopher Walken imitation.

It’s also going to be streaming live on the web, and I will be helping  interview the participants in between presentations over the three days.  If you are interested, and I can guarantee that there will be much to be interested in, go and check out the website: https://www.the-eg.com/ and sign up for the webcast.

And I will let you know my experiences when it’s all over!  Maybe E.G. Marshall will actually be there…