Truth and Growth

Ok, I think we can all own that at times putting yourself out there can be difficult. To stand up and say "This is who I am" or "This is what I believe" can open you up into all kinds of reactions and yet this is what an actor does everytime he steps in front of the camera. It takes guts.

Telling the truth can ruffle all kinds of feathers. It can be uncomfortable at times, but ultimately it is incredibly freeing.

The truth is unforgiving sometimes. The truth also illuminates things that have to be expressed and/or worked through. Sometimes this can lead to resistance, but ultimately it will lead to growth.

This point in an actors process is incredibly exciting to me as a teacher. I have seen after 15 years of working with all types of actors what lies on the other side of these discoveries and feel it is in the actors best interest for their limitations to be questioned. It is amazing to watch at times how an actor will fight to the death to stay stuck.

When I experience this I often think of Einstein's definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
I mean after all isn't art about questioning the status quo?

Isn't it about finding meaning?

Isn't it about progressing?

I have incredible compassion for what the process demands at times. Film actors have really asked to expose and reveal themselves on so many levels. I ask every actor to show up. I also have been trained by one of the best teachers in the business, Sally Johnson. She pushed me the same way I push all of my actors. I am grateful for that.

As a teacher you are making judgement calls constantly. When to build, when to leave well enough alone and when to talk straight. Having the opportunity to be on both sides of the camera has lead me to the conclusion that everyone has something at stake when the work takes place.

More than someone's comfort, beyond an individual's ego, the work guides the direction.

I know as an actor it is hard to hear the support at times. It is easy to recoil and become introverted, but an actor's job is to speak up, speak out and discover what wants to happen next.

I push, because I care. Deeply.

Jen