I believe in acting. I believe in trying on a new persona for a short while.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I understood the joys of acting. My freshman year I took my first drama class.
Acting doesn’t have to be placing yourself into another personality, but also another species. In my sophomore year my school did the musical You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. I was originally a chorus member, but our Snoopy never showed up to rehearsal. The director asked me to fill in for him everyday until she decided to let me play the role of Snoopy. It was the first time in my life I ever sang and acted alone in front of an audience. Pretending to be another person was an experience, but pretending to be another species was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The last play I was ever in was a culmination of everything I had learned in my acting career, from the speed of which to talk, to the proper ways to turn on stage, to the ability to give the character life based on how I felt the character would be in real life. The play was You Can’t Take It With You; my role, The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina of Russia, only she wasn’t really the grand duchess of Russia. Something about stepping out of the real world into a character that doesn’t know what she really is paired with accents, fine clothing and fake breasts, is something that I couldn’t dream of living without.
With the budget cuts in the school systems the fine art classes seem to be the first to go, beginning with the art created by hands. The acting classes aren’t far from being cut next; it’s already difficult enough to create enough money to pay for the royalties to perform a production.
I believe these classes can teach students how to handle certain situations. Improvisation games are set in situations that can actually happen; with the initial reactions of the participants a real life scenario can be formed giving them the experience and know how to handle a situation. Drama skills also give students more confidence to stand up in front of a large group and give a speech or report. A person can perform a plethora of different emotions and personalities, but behind the scenes be quiet and timid.
Acting is the gateway to the soul where a person can discover new personas hidden within. That person would have probably never been discovered if you weren’t asked to dig deep within yourself and put a little bit of yourself into your polar opposite and create a character.
Acting isn’t only done on the stage. Every lie, story, or excuse someone makes is a form of everyday acting. The way people behave around certain group is a charade to create an appearance.
The sensation of stepping out of reality and into a world of make-believe is nothing short of remarkable.
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