Los Angeles, CA, USA – It took many years of soul searching for me to understand what I truly wanted to do with my life. For most of my youth, acting was merely a hobby, but later in my 20s I came to realize that it was more than just that. It took me years of working in all kinds of different jobs and realizing that they weren’t meant for me. It was only later that I allowed myself to take a leap of faith and pursue acting as a full time career.
It’s not an easy job, work isn’t consistent, however when it is your passion, it all becomes worth it. When you finally find yourself working on something you love, you don’t consider it work, you do it for your well-being. Through acting I found myself opening my mind to how everyone’s perspectives of life could be so different. By telling stories, I felt that I ended up contributing more to society than when I was working as a salesman, or a tennis coach, or any other job I went through before finally settling with acting. For the time being, I live in Los Angeles, and my contribution would be making great aspiring movies.
This is where my journey truly began, and through this discourse, I’m hoping to shed some light on how acting can help one find purpose in life.
Acting is an exaggerated imitation of life, and I will explain why. The camera reflects what the director wants you to see, the movie is narrated by the director. An actor tries to live in the moment and shows genuine emotion for each scene. The director is therefore the compass, guiding the actor through the narrative journey while focusing on the specific tone, rhythm of the story.
A story can be romantic, dramatic, satiric, or even comedic, that is why I call it an exaggerated imitation of life.
An actor’s craft starts when he books the job; he starts researching and tries to understand the essence of the character he will be portraying. Is it a character that is seeking love, seeking revenge, or wants a father’s acknowledgment? What is that character looking for in life? Everyone has a drive, an objective they want out of life. In any movie, if a character seeks nothing out of life, he serves no purpose in the story and holds no presence.
Once you understand the character’s objective, the next step is to find the common ground between your own personal experiences and the character’s mindset. Finding parallels are necessary in order for an actor to convey genuine emotions. The more specific you are, the deeper you get.
However important it is for an actor to mold his struggles to the character’s circumstances, it is equally imperative for him to understand the character’s obstacles. Without struggle, there’s no satisfaction from the audience.
The more obstacles presented in front of the character and blocking him from chasing his objective, the more appealing the story.
These are only a few of the points that an actor must take into account when understanding the mindset of his character, and bringing him to life. I am currently studying at the Ivana Chubbuck studio and if I had a book to recommend you all to read. It would be the “The Power Of The Actor,” the 12 steps Chubbuck technique that will help you take a character from script to a living, and breathing character.
I promise you, I learned a lot from her book.
Acting is about learning the mindset of a character and not judging it. No matter how evil your character might be, in his mind, his actions are justified as a means to his goal. The more you learn about the abundance of perspectives in society, the more you will understand the essence of human behavior and psychology.
With this knowledge, you attain a better understanding of the meaning of a purposeful life, and the workings of the human psyche.
It might seem complicated; what is our purpose in life? I can’t tell you specifically what it is, but what I came to understand through acting is this.
Life’s purpose is to remain dynamic, to keep moving forward, to keep chasing your passion, your objective. If you have reached your objective, set the bar higher. Never allow yourself to settle for the minimum.
As a human being, you learn more from your failures than your successes. By learning, you are growing and gaining knowledge about life and about yourself. Do not be afraid of change or the unknown. Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to learn something new. It is in our nature to develop habits and to grow accustomed to a routine, we tend to go on autopilot mode. Habits create laziness, change demands effort.
Most people live their lives in an endless cycle, with nothing to chase. It is essential not to allow yourself to get too comfortable with your habits, to take any opportunity that comes your way, this will inevitably help you grow as a person. It is also important to understand that the more you are open to listening to others, the more you will learn.
We all have a purpose. At the end of the day, life is about finding that purpose. Us humans live together and work together in a society, we are all linked on a daily basis. What can your purpose offer to our society, and what contribution you make will help society to progress for a better future?
This is my philosophy in a nutshell, a quick peek into the mind of an actor. I hope this drives you to find what you are looking for.
All the best | Just an actor | Sebastian Faure
Sebastian Faure is available for interview by appointment, pending availability.
Thompson Communications for Sebastian Faure