Remove every actor and every acting 'urge' from the planet and what is left?
This week LA Agents and Managers have asked me many a question and offered me many an opinion! It is to be expected. I am, after all, the ‘new girl’ on the LA block. (Some have even questioned that) I answered some, reflected deeply on others, and spoke to LA/NY/UK Producers about others still. The question I found the most engaging, however, was from the Manager who was absolutely flabbergasted by my love for the actor. (I simply took a moment to offer notes to an “established actor” whose work I’d seen and who wished to audition for me) “Why?!” asked the Manager; as though said actor was just another commodity in a cynical, tired old market. I began an internal monologue to the Manager which I share with you.
…intrinsically the actor has value to and for me. Real value. Unending value. It doesn’t matter what age or culture, or city or ‘region’ they hail from or move to; the actor has value. Let Studios, Managers&Agents do their financial deals for the most highly prized celebrity actor and still I say that intrinsically every actor in our culture today has immense value.
I believe that our planet has a nerve structure; and that structure is part of the planet's delicately balanced psycho-emotional eco-system, if you will. (We are all one) The actor is a critical agent in this particular eco-system. The Greeks knew it over 2000 years ago. Joseph Campbell knew it too. You may mock me for my passion and I will say: “you do not love the actor; you only deify the commodity that may or may not become a celebrity’”.
There is no glory in casting per se; any 'glory' is in knowing that the casting process, like a clay or marble sculpture, must evolve itself.
Howard says: they will sin for you these actors; and that is why we are afraid of them and why we revere them. He means actors will do things on stage or screen that you dare not even allow yourself to imagine or feel; because the absolute power of your own imaginations will likely tear you apart. But the actor will step into that role of imagining the unimaginable or speaking the unspeakable. That takes immense courage. Every. Time. To portray horror convincingly, you must know true horror in your own being. To portray deep love - you must either know the same or hunger for it endlessly. That is no small task.
No other figure in culture can emulate the role of the actor in our planet's psycho-emotional eco-structure. Neither the athlete, dancer, musician; nor the doctor, the banker, the realtor.
When I am casting I have a desperate urge to coach every actor into great moment after great moment because I am certain that the moment lives in them, somewhere. And when I coach actors I want to cast them immediately, such is the scale and magnitude of their value to me.
Finally, Sir, I offer notes to all actors. I do not know your actor beyond their screen work and neither do I know you; but I will always take the time to connect with the core of an actor, whoever they are, as time permits.