If you’re an artist, then you’re used to the occasional remarks from people that may sound similar to: “oh, you’re an artist? So what do you do? Do you have another job?”
What people don’t understand is that being an actor is actually a very important job. In a world consumed with social media, film, and TV, it is the job of the actor as a story teller to delve into the hearts of it’s audience to move them and hopefully propel them to induce positive change. Art can invoke change. Art is powerful. I have been performing in a production go Elf The Musical for the past month and what I’ve learned from this experience is that art and story telling can truly move people (it’s funny how it’s becoming to prevalent to me with this production). Elf, being a comedy, has brought so much joy and laughter into the hearts of our audiences for two and a half hours. Not many things in our day can bring someone that much joy for that long of a period. There was one particular performance in which I was backstage and I could hear the pure and sincere laughter of a child overwhelmed with humor and joy from something funny that the main character, Buddy, just did. In that moment: That laughter, that child, reminded me why I love theatre and why I am an actor. The laughter was so wonderful and humbling to me. It made me realize that Art has power. But most importantly it made me, the actor, in the show appreciate even more what my cast is doing out on that stage every night. We are spreading a glimpse of light into the lives of each audience member. In a world that has become overwhelmed with hate and darkened by sin, especially over the past couple of weeks, I am proud to be able to be a glimpse of light in the world.
So to my fellow actors: whenever you’re in a show, listen to the audience. Their response to the story on stage just might inspire you to invoke change, fuel you to be the best you can be, and remind you of the reason you chose this profession.