Thursday, 24 November 2011

Models, Singers, Writers: all of us are Actors

Some actors look down on models, particularly models that get acting parts. The assumption is that they just have the luck to be born beautiful and are simply a pretty face attached to a fit body. But models have to project emotion, a style and a persona. That's acting.

Some people assert that a singer is just a voice, someone blest with the ability to make beautiful sounds. But what do songs tell us? Some - ballads - tell us a story. Others are more direct and the singer presents as someone we might know, or be, in real life. But larger than in real life and communicating profound feeling and deep emotion. That's acting.

The writer Andrea Newman once said that writing is acting for shy people. Writers create character and story which they don't present themselves, though other people may, but their characters perform in our minds. That's acting.

All of us are actors: look how differently we behave in different circumstances: at a business meeting, falling in love, attending a funeral, or on a night out. Same person playing different parts. That's acting.

As Shakespeare puts it 'All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players.' And the Words of Wisdom are 'Models, Singers, Writers: all of us are Actors.'

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Aim at a star

'Aim at a star and you'll hit a tree.' That was advice given to me as a boy, jokimgly, by a countryman friend of my late father when I told him that I was interested in astronomy. That memory has stayed with me ever since and, as with many country sayings, you can take it two different ways. And that makes it a kind of test.

You could take it to mean that ambition always ends in failure, or you could take it to mean that you should try to do as well as you can, because then you'll at least get somewhere.

I prefer the second interpretation. Aim high; try to be the best you possibly can be; work hard; practice. Don't be content with being just about good enough. Aim at a star and you'll hit a tree.