Acting and Writing

“Untitled” by “Kevin N. Murphy” Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC-BY2.0). Accessed 21 May 2014. http://www.flickr.com/photos/knmurphy/2506896257/in/photostream/

“Untitled” by “Kevin N. Murphy” Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC-BY2.0). Accessed 21 May 2014. http://www.flickr.com/photos/knmurphy/2506896257/in/photostream/

 

I’ve been taking acting lessons for a while, and I’ve come to realize that it is a lot like writing. Let me explain.

The job of an actor is to deliver a performance that is true and believable. According to The Eric Morris’ System, we all have deep seated insecurities, anger, and all sorts of traumas and memories that we’re either too pained or embarrassed to accept. Actors need to tap into those vulnerabilities, and let go of their inhibitions and fears.

Now you might say, “That’s all fine, but what does acting have to do with writing?” Just like actors, writers need to tap deep into their thoughts, the good and the ugly, and explore around them. They need to be honest.

If The Eric Morris System were to be used in writing, one would lean on past experiences and use them in the craft, say when a character discovers his dead dog.

What’s important is to get to know oneself, top to bottom, recognize every sensation an emotion causes in the body, and pick at memories that have curled forgotten in the corner of the mind.

When writers are able to do this, it is much easier to “perform” creatively and truthfully. The worlds they create or simply re-tell on paper, then come to life and are able to captivate others. After all, great literature often emanates with truth and undeniable fearlessness.

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