Sunday, May 22, 2011

Acting Is My Long Lost Love

The following statement was first written for my acting class back in October.

      For a good part of my early childhood, I was painfully shy. I was even bullied a bit in sixth grade and had no idea how to stand up for myself as I'd get pushed for no reason. When I was in seventh grade, I had joined drama class as my second elective. We had to do our own monologues. I went up to the front of the class and mimicked my teacher yelling at me back in second grade – which is what I pinpointed as the reason for me becoming shy. Afterwards one of my classmates threw me a look and reassured me that I definitely was not shy. It was a great experience that I got the lead role in our school play and that even my arch rival and former friend thought I was good. I am not as much of a shy person any more – but that is still the first impression I give to people I am not familiar with. I hate it when people have the idea that I am some shy, timid, and reserved little Asian girl – because that is what they see when they don’t know me. I am instantly typecast. Acting is a talent which people would never assume I have. When I get on stage, I have the chance to erase that image and let people know that there is more to what they see. This ability to redefine my image, as well as unleashing the unseen side of me, is one of the main reasons I love acting.
       Sad to say, I repressed my longing desire to act through the rest of my adolescence. I followed my mother’s wishes or my own stupidity to spend my time playing the violin, which I detested. I auditioned for the school play once in high school, but was discouraged after not getting a role. My acting exposure was thus limited to speech competitions in the National Forensics League. Nonetheless, I always envied the kids in drama and watched our school plays while wishing I could be up there as well. I have no other explanation for why I did not join drama again other than I was not a strong enough individual to make my own decisions at the time. After repressing something that I had a deep longing to do for so long, I have the strong passion to make up for all the time that I have lost. Acting is my release and it is my long lost love.
       To put it simply, I love attention. I love having everyone’s eyes on me, being in the spotlight. I want to be able to surprise people. I want to break that kind, gentle façade of me down. I don’t mind late and long rehearsals. Even if I don’t have friends to come see me perform and I cry about it, I will still be happy if I was able to act for anyone. I find freedom on the stage. The voice within me which may not normally come out gets its chance to shine.
       Last week, I went to see a modern-day production of Iphigenia put on by the African American Shakespeare Company at the Brava Theatre in the Mission. From the looks of it, I could tell that none of the actors made much money with that performance. Yet, I sat in the audience with tears in my eyes because I knew how much of a struggle and how much passion they must have had to be up there anyway. There would not be much glory won from that half-empty theater. All the same, I too wished that I could also be up on that stage. The fame and glory, which many actors may never see in their lifetime, is not as important as following one’s passion and not letting go of something one loves. This is not to say that I am wholly devoid of a faint desire for fame and glory as I do love attention – but I really admire those who have a strong enough passion to keep doing something they love.  
       My current mission is just to get myself out there. I know I have a lot to work on and learn, in terms of my craft. I want to be seen, I want to be free, and I want to really be an actress. I don’t want to be the timid, shy girl who has no voice.


thanks for sharing the background behind your story! helps me understand what it takes to get up there and love it!

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