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Open Your Hands.

IMG_3296_2 (I'm waxing philosophical at the moment, so if you don't want to hear it, you might want to run now.) 

Things change.  In fact, the only thing constant in life IS change.  We grow, we learn, we pass from this world into the next.


So why do we hold on so tightly to things?  Labels, relationships, the status quo?  We take solace in notions of ourselves as "the smart one", "the one with two left feet", or "the outgoing one".   But no one is one way all of the time.  And if you are, you are - you exist.  There is really no need for a label; just be.

As actors, we need to be fluid so that we are able to absorb everything and act on the slightest emotional impulse, but since the world (and sometimes our selves) depend(s) on rigidity and absolutes in order to keep order, we are pulled in that direction as well.

So what do we do?  How do we balance the two?

All I can tell you is what I'm learning...

Take in everything.  Listen more than you talk.  Study.  Digest.  Listen to your gut--it will regurgitate what you don't need if you will just allow it.

What is true will remain.  The essence of who you are.  No need to speak it, for it may be different tomorrow.  Different an hour from now, even.  But for now, this is what's true, and now is all any of us has anyway.  Hold it in your hands, feeling its shape.  Turn it over, observe it.  Then open your hands and let it go, trusting that you are better for having ever held it.  Even butterflies die if you hld them too long or too tightly.

The residue that remains is all that you need.  Create from that space.  Artistry and commerce each have their place, but do not exist on the same plane.  Create without wondering how you are going to "sell it".  Study without wondering how to manipulate your self in order to become more marketable.  Be who you are and trust that you are enough.  This is no guarantee of so-called "success" in show business, but there are no guarantees anyway.

What, really, is the alternative?

--Nicole J. Butler

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It's so easy as an actor to try to blend in with everyone else, to not stand out as a unique individual - but the more you embrace who you are, and reflect that to the world, the more the world will embrace you. I wrote a post about it here if you're interested: http://tinyurl.com/65tgyq

Also, can I add that you should not let anyone tell you who you are? That's not to say you shouldn't listen to constructive criticism, or take the advice of trusted mentors or teachers, but there's no need to hear something along the lines of "You won't get any parts until you die your hair red" & "Have you ever thought of fixing your nose?" Those that make those remarks are there to beat down actors - not build them up!

Great post, Nicole!


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