Oh Lord, It’s Hard To Be Humble


Not really, because I am so NOT PERFECT in any (rather long every) way.  I see by the old stat count that I have reached a total of 666 posts (I’ll get off that with this one).  The title… a friend recently posed an interesting question.  Does acting make you more humble when it comes to things concerning the human condition: like ego?  I like to think that I’m not a very ego-centered person, but does that in itself make me egocentric.

In my humble opinion to be successful in any role, you must first know who the character is beyond what you are given in the script.  Where does he come from?  What makes the person who he is?  What was his life like before he takes his first step onto the stage?  This is ultimately as important for the person who has a one-line (or no-line) cameo as it is for the actor playing the 300+ line lead role.

Of course, understanding does not always mean you must empathize with the character.  That would be totally insane!  I could never be a mean, curmudgeonly miser but I sure had a ball playing one on stage.  And as much as I humbly hate to admit it,  I could never be a sexist, Liswathistani visitor covering for news new owner America country.

I am now at the point at which I am ready to take on even more challenging parts.  To be able to take on roles that really challenge me to step out of my zone and look at other elements of the human condition.  Just as Abigail Breslin is now bringing her take of Helen Keller to the Broadway stage in The Miracle Worker.  Plus… still have fun doing it!  The moment it is no longer fun is when I stop and I don’t see that happening any too soon.

I think during my years as an amateur actor, I have come to see (not necessarily understand) more elements of the human condition than I had before.  At least enough to want to continue to do so.

4 thoughts on “Oh Lord, It’s Hard To Be Humble”

  1. “In my humble opinion to be successful in any role, you must first know who the character is beyond what you are given in the script.”

    Slight disagreement on my part. Good statement, but I think you must find out who the character is for you. I’ve had many discussions with various directors over the years about this subject. There idea of the character (background, drives, emotions) differed from my ideas. Sometimes I liked their ideas, sometimes mine. But yes, you do need to know why the character is doing what he is doing at the time he is doing it. This is what gives characters depth. It is what makes the audience care. Without that background, acting it two dimensional or less.

  2. Well, you are officially more than double mine- tTaylhis must be as well (seriously- WHY is your name sometimes capitalized, sometimes not, L?).

    I think I agree (to disagree? 😛 ) with justj. In any event, I wish you well on performing more challenging roles. 🙂

  3. @justj and derek… of course, you must know who the character is for YOU.. sorry if there was any confusion. It can’t be who the character is to the director, producer, even the playwright, NO ONE but yourself. No one’s interpretation matters beside that of the actor stepping into the role. Others can give constructive idea but ultimately it is the performer who has the final word on it.

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