People think I don’t like them because I chose to listen instead of talking incessantly. I don’t know if my resting face falls into a frown or what, but I can be deep in thought about the latest fight on “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and someone will ask me why I’m upset. Instead of being phony and tensed, staying home to read a good book was a better option.Words do hurt. If a person insulted me, I would pretend that he or she didn’t and appear stoned face. Or I would smile and laugh it off. This would keep me from crying when that was all I wanted to do sometimes.
I was acting all along so I decided to pursue it seriously.
I knew there would be challenges. I kept it a secret for the most part scared that a well-meaning family member would try to talk me out of it. I already knew people would have their doubts since I’m so quiet. I had some bad auditions, some so soul crushing that I wondered why I even got out of bed that morning. I did mostly background work but got to speak a line or two in a student film.Then I finally got up the nerve to start classes. To say the least, my acting coach was aggressive. And I get that – to fully let yourself go and just be as an actor is serious business and takes lots of dedication.
But my former coach bordered on abusive. When I had enough I nervously gave him my two week notice. In front of my classmates he uttered matter-of-factly, “You’re not going to book anything.” Shaking his head he said, “You haven’t gotten out of your shell.” I knew this, but I was dreading class every week instead of being excited.I was offended and embarrassed as I tried to explain that I needed a break. He only got more irate and stated the same thing louder. I wonder if he was angrier about losing an extra $200 a month or that he wouldn’t be able to help me reach my “full potential.” That comment gave me such a complex until I told myself that I would book something. I used his damaging remarks to fuel my passion. And I did book too. As a matter of fact, I booked some good paying jobs.
I saw my old coach at an acting event about six months later and proudly told him I had booked a paid job. He was happy for me as he gave me a hug and a big kiss on the cheek. Maybe he was just in a bad mood on the day I decided to quit his class.Even though it was a little scary, I took another class. This time the coach was courteous but firm and helpful when I needed it. Taking classes and studying are vital to being a better actor so I want to study theatre and film making at a local university soon.
I feel myself growing into a more confident actor with every job I book though I'm still getting used to rejection. I’m not there yet, but at least I do see improvement. I just want to see more. And I do want to fully get out of my shell.