What Does Acting Mean to Me?
By Tom Miller
An actor is a story-teller. Story-telling is the way by which human beings transmit culture. Without cultural story-telling, humans could literally not live as they do on planet Earth. In other words, without culture, we die. Therefore, story-telling at its core is the most important vehicle by which we understand ourselves and our world. The actor is no less than a fundamental aspect of that which preserves and propels humanity into its uncertain but hopeful future. The actor’s transmission of stories is the singular method by which humanity can ever hope to succeed, thrive, and survive.
Acting is delivering a stylized story to an audience which illuminates the deepest truths about ourselves and our environment from both local and universal perspectives. Actors offer a glimpse of the “ecstatic truth” within ourselves and about each other (Herzog). Actors entertain, inspire, provoke thought, generate dialogue, and contribute to self-awareness and understanding. Actors are also keen observers whose minds, bodies, and voices are highly trained to profoundly recognize and recreate human experience for the purpose of evoking emotional responses.
To possess the skills of an actor is a powerful cosmic gift which causes and permits an audience laughter, tears, wonder, fear, understanding, and curiosity.
What does acting mean to me? To me, acting is a profound responsibility to the survival of our species for those who are able and willing to take up the craft.
Herzog, Werner. “On the Absolute, the Sublime, and Ecstatic Truth.” Arion – Boston
University, College of Arts and Sciences. Boston University, 20 Oct 2010. Web. 22 Aug 2013.