Acting with a Grain of Salt

Actors are commended for their intensity.  Some of the most celebrated actors are explosive, volatile, and slightly dangerous on stage and screen.  Intensity is an actor’s friend when he or she is on stage or in front of the camera, but off stage and/or screen, it’s best not to take oneself too seriously.

Actors are fascinating creatures.  We have all heard the stories of the actors who become so consumed with their characters that they remain in character between scenes.  We’ve heard these stories because they are the exception and not the rule.  Staying in character off stage is incredibly annoying and not very considerate or generous to the people you’re working with, especially if you’re playing an unpleasant character.  My advice to actors is to act with a grain of salt.  Devote yourself to your craft and always handle yourself in a pleasant and professional manner, but keep in mind that after all, this is just acting.  Acting is a serious and respectable profession, but no one is going to die if you flub a line.  The fate of the free world is not at stake.   A character may be able to pull the nation back from the brink of nuclear war, but an actor is an entertainer, artist, and interpreter.  Your role is important in society, we need actors to make us laugh, cry, swoon, and dream.  However, actors are no more or less important than plumbers, lawyers, trash collectors, chefs, and athletes; we all have our contribution and the quickest way for an actor lose touch is to start condescending to his characters.  So smile in between takes and be yourself.  Save the intensity for the stage and screen, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

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