When did we as a society put importance on the “stuff” we have? Well, it’s probably been around since the dawn of time, but in this modern age of YouTubers and Over-sharers, it is getting really annoying. Yes, I am guilty of watching a video or two of various tours of condos, rooms and houses, but I felt I needed to voice an opinion. We have too much stuff.
I saw an interview the other day with Malala Yousafzai and Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. In case you don’t know, Malala is the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She is an advocate for Women’s rights and Education, and oh yes, she’s 16. A year ago, on October 9th 2012, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her. That’s right. They put a hit out on a 15 year old girl. Well guess what? She survived. She survived to not only tell her story, but write it down in a new book called “I am Malala.” It’s funny that if you think of your average American teenage girl, she’s probably watching a YouTube video about how to decorate for Halloween or do makeup. But, when I look at someone like Malala, she wrote a blog not about makeup or all her things, but the importance of her right to an education as a girl. Her passion, grace and sheer courage is inspiring and her name needs to be known. We need to teach our girls to emulate someone who embodies courage, peace and grace. We need to take a moment and yes, be grateful that we live in a society where we are able to have access to “stuff.” We need to be grateful that we lived today. That’s the stuff that I’m grateful for.
What do I have in common with Steve Martin, Tina Fey, James Franco, and Andrew McCarthy? We’re actors who are also writers. You read that correctly, Andrew McCarthy is, in fact, a writer. He’s an award-winning travel writer. Check out some of his stuff on National Geographic Traveler. Now, I’m not talking about actors who all of the sudden want to “write” their memoirs, and get a ghost writer to do it for them. I’m talking about people with actual skills, who do their own writing. As a matter of fact, Tina Fey and Steve Martin actually STARTED OUT as WRITERS. I’m guessing they did it while they were pursuing acting as well, due to the fact that they are in both realms of the industry. Granted, there are those actors who have also written screenplays or stage plays, and blogs, but that’s a different type of article all together.
I started acting when I was around the age of 8, maybe 9. But I started making up stories as soon as I could talk. I even had an imaginary friend when I was 5 who I would tell my stories to. Her name was Jinglelyn, and again, I was 5. When I actually learned to read and write, writing took a back seat to performing onstage. I had found my passion for storytelling on stage. And I loved it. It’s my first love. Telling stories, no matter what shape or form, is what I love.
What I find funny now, is the fact that my parents kept giving me journals on my birthdays or Christmas, and I never really used them. I wasn’t really a “dear diary” type of girl anyways. It seemed sort of silly to recount my day on paper. I started writing short stories and plays, and when I got to high school, I helped start up the creative writing club at my all-girls, Catholic high school. I wrote stories, parts of novels I was working on, and seriously wanted to become a writer and an actor when I grew up. I was involved in anything creative. I sang in choirs, acted in the school plays and wrote stories. My English teacher even gave me a writing award my junior year of high school. When I got to college, I majored in English because I love the element of story-telling, plot and characters. I thought it would help in the acting realm because I was able to learn about the different things that make up a good story. It was sort of like four years of script-analysis. I acted throughout college, even directed. My senior year of college, I got my first headshots and auditioned at my first major theater convention, which led to moving to NYC to study at Circle in the Square Theater School.
Within these past six years, I have been acting and putting writing on the back burner. I got my union cards and even pursued stand-up. The closest I came to writing, before starting this blog, was stand-up comedy, which I still love because you can create your own material. I started this blog because I wanted to get back into writing, and I wanted to write something from the perspective of an actor who was going through the ups and downs in their career. Not someone who is washed-up and giving advice. I’m still in the trenches and being in a career “lull,” I have been writing about what I love. Movies I love, movies I loathe, anything and everything that has to do with the industry, with a unique perspective. It seems like I’m in good company of those who came before me. If you use all of your talents, it can lead to something. What that is, I don’t know. But I am pursuing my writing and my acting. So I guess I can add a back-slash to my job description. I’m a writer/actor. And I’m so glad you are reading my blog. Thanks.
A fellow Boston-born actor, Edward Norton, made his film debut in 1996 with Primal Fearbeating out 2, 100 other actors for the role, including Matt Damon. Apparently,” When Norton met with the director for Primal Fear (1996), he told them that he, like Aaron, came from eastern Kentucky. Norton even spoke with the twang, which he prepared by watching Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980.)”–From IMDB. Additionally, “According to the Blu-ray behind-the-scenes information, it was Edward Norton’s idea to stutter as “Aaron,” as it appeared nowhere in the original book or script. In addition, when “Roy” shoves Vail (Richard Gere) against the prison cell wall, Gere’s shocked reaction is genuine, as that was another Norton ad-lib. Yet another Norton ad-lib is Roy’s slow clap at the end just before the exposition when Vail realized what had happened.”–From IMDB.
Edward Norton has always been an interesting actor for me to keep up with. He’s intelligent (he went to Yale.) He’s multilingual (he speaks Spanish and Japanese.) The fact that he managed to fool the casting director and production team with his accent is really impressive too. He’s gone on to star in blockbuster films and even received an Oscar nomination for his film debut. I think he was amazing in the role, and the praise is more than justified. I’d love to work with him one day, just to witness his process. I’ve always been impressed with this film and with his performance.