Actors…who needs ’em?

Funny thing about writing, the more one’s storytelling plucks at some chord of truth, whether that truth is soulfully soothing or discordantly jarring, the more the reader can’t look away. And, like a brand new meth addict, once the writer feels that first rush of delivering some undeniable truth, however small, the search is then on, to find another, and another, bigger, more powerful, some larger truth. From smoking to snorting to mainlining, the writer is soon poking holes in every assumption ever made. And “every assumption,” by definition, must include the writer’s own. Actors were one of my assumptions.

Oh sure, some actors work pretty hard, I suppose, or so my assumptive narrative went. Yet, when we rehearsed the scenes from Face Of Our Father, my actors were the drivers, insisting on one more run-through, from the top, and then again, and again, and again. I worked hard writing my characters’s lines. My actors worked harder delivering them. As I wrote my novel, I didn’t dwell on wealth or fame, yet many authors emerge from their writing rooms to achieve both. My actors worked for free. And acting fame doesn’t come from performing the scenes of some obscure author’s novel before a few dozen people in an Indie bookstore. My actors brought professionalism, dedication, vulnerability and passion to my characters simply because they love the acting craft.

Please enjoy these admirable actors as they celebrate their craft, performing short snippets from Face Of Our Father, the micro-play. First up, actor Kevin Kennedy bringing to life protagonist Stuart Pierce, and actress Peg Tan as co-protagonist Angela Pierce, adapted from Chapter One of Face Of Our Father.

Director Paul Tan, an experienced actor himself (he played the role of Stuart Pierce during our Sundance performances), explained to me that if my actors were willing to lay it all out there, then maybe I should too. Hard to argue with that. So, here I am as the voice of the burqa-clad woman of Angie’s imaginations, adapted from Chapter Thirteen of Face Of Our Father. Observe Peg Tan’s discipline. I’m literally yelling in her ear, but she never once looks at me, instead always directing her arguments at the burqa draped over the chair.

Actor Andrew Maizner as Gramps, adapted from various chapters of Face Of Our Father. How does an author’s character sound in his mind? Precisely like Andrew.

I cannot give adequate thanks. To see the characters I’ve written come alive before my very eyes stirs feelings that exceed my every attempt to express. The word magic echoes through my mind. Dreams do come true. Stu, Angie, Gramps…they’re alive.

Actors? Who needs ’em? I do. To poke holes and burst my assumptions. To find some truths…to show me…to show us, what we were, what we are, and what we can become. Bravo, actors. Bravo…

Stream Of Consciousness Quotes:

“The more you do your homework, the more your free to be intuitive. But you’ve got to put the work in.”-Edward Norton

“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action…”-Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 2

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.”-Proverbs 31:8, Bible, New Living Translation