Sunday, February 18, 2007

Public Profession; Private Man

We confuse celebrity with talent and artistry with commodity. This is somewhat understandable in the world of cinema where actors and performers are literally larger than life; arguably so in the weird, cool, bluish light of television; flat-assed wrong for people working on the stage.

In a universe where bottom-feeders like Perez Hilton [sic] shriek, "Why did you become an actor, then?!" - where preadolescent girls are answering career queries with the response, "I want to be a celebrity." - Where older, injury-challenged professional sports players muse into microphones, "I guess I'll become an actor." - it's time to draw a line in the sand.

As a successful stage actor, I live out in the Kuiper Belt of somebody-ness, yet even here in the cold, dark region of attention-getting the feature writers and publicity managers of our newspapers and theaters want to know more. About. Me.

That makes it considerably harder to do my job. My job is to sublimate myself and allow the character to step forward. I become a vessel - hopefully - where the ghosts of these varied creatures I portray may inhabit, allowing us to become a spokesman for the creator - the playwright. The less known about me, the better to suspend your disbelief and convince you I'm the character you're listening to and watching. I want your attentions to center on the ideas of the play, not on my comments to a journalist. It isn't about me.

And, yes, I am aware that blogging is a profoundly public and revealing act; but I'm in control here and this is as far down the beach as you may go...

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