Saturday, November 20, 2010

ON ACTING: On a Personal Note

The following email was sent by an auditor in one of my classes. I post it on this web site because (1) It pleases me personally. (2) It pleases me and I want to share it. (3) It pleases me and I want to share it because the writer has the right attitude toward perfecting their acting: to become excellent in anything it takes hard word, the willingness to confront one's mistakes, and the confidence to be pleasant and forthright when dealing with that reality.

I hope and pray for nothing but success for this actor.

"Dear Cliff,
I just wanted to thank you for letting my crash your class last Wednesday. I really enjoyed the time you took not only to focus on me as a visitor but the way you handle actors in general. I love that you neither baby nor destroy the actor. I really appreciate your honesty with my work, and that you stopped me every time I strayed. I found myself trying to "act" like the character instead of being the character. It's been a while since I've had a wake up call like that, so thank you for the mini ass kicking.

"I also wanted to apologize for not telling you this as soon as the class let out. I work a lot of morning shifts at ______, and I was very tired by the end of class. However, this had nothing to do with how interesting I found your class. I later couldn't stop talking about everything you taught. My mind was reeling with words from the article you gave us, and left me contemplating how I approach being apart of a story.

"Thank you so much for the time you give to actors, especially us poor ones who would love to take your class had it not been for financial struggles. I really respect your passion for the arts, it seems so rare to find people who are actually passionate in Hollywood. I hope that I'll be able to come back and work with you again, because I can always use a good actor ass kicking!


She added, as an addendum: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Thank you, K; thank you from an old teacher's heart and mind.


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