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One

My entire acting career my Beloved Agent in New York has been telling me the same thing, "All it takes is that ONE role."

And now my manager GoldiRocks and my Killer Agency here in Los Angeles, have also been telling me that same thing, "All it takes is ONE role."

And so I, in turn, have been telling my parents, my friends, my supporters, my fellow actor-friends, my siblings, my cousins, my grandmother, everybody, the same thing; "Don't worry, all it takes is ONE role."

I trust the belief. 

But honestly, up until a couple days ago, I had no idea what that meant. What do you mean ONE role? One role and then what? You're made? You're secure? You're known? Seen? Documented? Remembered? Imprinted? What?!

And why is it that ONE role? How could ONE role be so special, so memorable, so powerful? Well, some kind of Eden finally cleared it up for me. In a word, one word; Zeitgeist.

One of the acting teachers at the studio where I work and study just happened to swirl around the other day, (yes, she swirls), and exchange with me another eye-opening conversation.

She has a delicious habit of doing that; and being a brilliant writer herself, we students salivate upon her every word.

"When society has a hunger, a need for an iconic role to be filled and when an actor embodies that icon, society will follow them anywhere." Eden says.

I get it.

Find out what your through-line is as an actor, which will most often align with who you are as a person, whether it be the 'bad boy/girl' (Clive Owen), 'the underdog' (Paul Giammatti), the 'revolutionary' (Sean Penn), 'the hero' (Harrison Ford/), 'the shape-shifter (Meryl Streep), 'the 'heroine' (Naomi Watts/Kate Winslet), the 'soothsayer' (Morgan Freeman) or the 'romantic' (Julia Roberts). 

Find those roles that you deeply connect with, 'and that will be your vein of gold', Eden says.


When I think of the actors who I admire and follow, I realize that there is a part of me, a side to life that they fulfill for me, by watching them on film.

I could go on and on and list every single celebrity actor, well-known actor, or 'actor' actor, that I admire.

I know why I follow their work because they stand for something I believe in, or something I myself do not have the courage or skill to explore.

And I do remember the first time they made a permanent 'impression' on me with that ONE role. 

Angelina Jolie - Gia; Sean Penn - Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Naomi Watts - Mulholland Drive; John Travolta - Saturday Night Fever; Meryl Streep - Kramer vs. Kramer; Brad Pitt - Thelma & Louise, etc.


Zeitgeist. 

Obama

I also now recognize the through line in every character I have ever played, 'the one who speaks out', 'the one who will say what she knows everyone else is thinking, but won't dare say themselves'. 

Your inner life as a person resonates ten fold as an actor, and since you attract what you are as a person; you will attract who you are in the characters you play as an actor.

And speaking of society, you could say that society needed and was hungry for Obama.

Soothsayer. Leader. Rebel with a Cause. We needed him. I think we will for a while.

What's your vein of gold? What 'need' will you fulfill for the spirit of society today?

Yours Truly -- Ann Hu

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Comments

Tiff

Love this!! And, so love: "you attract what you are as a person." I had someone ask me, "how do you always manage to always keep work and end up working with people who win awards?" Hmmmmm??? ;-)

cheryl

Beautiful post Ann!

Dominique Toney

i love this. i think it's a great idea to go back and look at the roles in which you were cast- what's the throughline? BRILLIANT!

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