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Why did you choose acting?

For me, this is the hardest question in the world, a little too personal, and with a constant changing answer.

I think the “attraction” to acting starts from a very young age, in childhood, unconsciously at first. You have your inborn curiosity – that you train yourself later on to keep fresh – and you gather all sorts of skills like observation and introspection. Lots of day-dreaming. Playfulness. Role-playing. Position taking. Imaginary worlds becoming real in such a natural way!

And then, at some point, you need a context to “stumble” upon: an acting class/school/club… some sort of “accident” in your life leads you to this fairy land where you find your VOICE. Where you are not afraid of speaking in public anymore, where you inter(act) bravely, and you also have lots of fun! And you never wanna leave that place anymore, no matter the price!

And then, at some point, inevitably, people ask you: why did you choose acting? or How did it start? When did you realise this is what you want to do with your life? Each time this happens, I feel a little harassed, I must admit, and I don’t know how to answer. I feel like any answer I would give would be a little shallow, hypocrite, or incomplete, nonetheless. I think (for me) this is pretty much the same as asking Why do you love your significant other? What made you fall for him/her? When and why did this happen? Could you really, truthfully, tell? Is it something precise that one could point to so specifically? I don’t think so. It’s both too personal and vague, at the same time. Just as in love, things are way more complex, so different for each of us. Not to mention the fact that “the job requirements” are changing all the time, and so are our needs. One day you can be happy about a specific project, the next month you can be dancing your way between different theatres, working like crazy, or other times, the most fulfilling thing to do is to close yourself up in a library where you passionately research a subject that you secretly plan to write a play yourself on! Sometimes you’re poor, but happy, working on a total independent production. Other times you are rich, but too busy, having three rehearsals in a row, one workshop and a performance in the same day – so you don’t really get to feel any sort of accomplishment, because you don’t actually feel your body at all, anymore. No day looks like another. You (may) get to hate that once in a while, but you usually love it.

This is why I think it’s impossible to reach a complete answer to such complex question. Your motivation and needs are constantly changing – but it is indeed a very healthy question to ask yourself. Ask, wonder, suspect, observe, and ask some more. It keeps your acting alive. It keeps you driven and grateful.

Even though I can’t point out a specific moment (and I’m sure there are more), I did manage to identify a few details from my childhood memories that have become milestones in the way I see acting today. (Children are always inspirational. Go see one soon. But you, as a child, are even more relevant to yourself. You will know where to go to when you feel lost. 😉 )

 

  • Playing with dolls – ALONE – and switching roles so quickly! Growing up as a single/lonely child offered me the opportunity to play all the roles! Yey! I do remember being “the bad witch” torturing my doll, and than becoming (in an instant) the “good fairy” that would save and comfort the poor victim. Call it borderline, or schizophrenia if you want, but I remember it being: fun, conflictual, exciting, and fully involving! I still aim for all these each time I go on stage!

 

  • Imagining things that didn’t actually happen. Ups! Yes, you read that well. It took me years to differentiate when “my first kiss” (for example) had actually happened, and when was the one I had “invented”. My friends had all already experienced it, and I guess I felt the pressure to come up with my own story, but at the same time I didn’t want to waste the experience on anyone just to catch up with the girls. So what (I think) I did, was a mix of real characters and imaginary circumstances that led to a very exciting, romantic, still realistic story, that I told so many times, and in so much vivid detail, that I totally believed it myself! I really wish I could do that now, sometimes…

 

  • Finding freedom. As many others do, I come from a “not for me” zone. For some this was math, economics, or polytechnic, for me, it was the piano. It might sound “sort of similar”, being another form of art… trust me, it’s not! It has nothing to do with it. I hated being watched playing the piano. Each other pair of eyes would make my concerts less and less powerful, opposite to now, when I feel the urge to bring more people to my performances – the more, the better. Having someone “to tell my story to” liberated me. It gave me purpose, courage and freedom from the pressure of being watched. In acting you have so many things to do, to act upon, to influence, to reach out! It’s so little about you, and it’s so much about the other one, that for a very shy-lacking-trust-introvert like me, this felt like a total different world was opening ahead. It changed my life.

 

  • Switching my “dream profession” all the time. Another fun thing I remember from childhood is being asked: what do you wanna be when you grow up? I’m not sure what my parents remember, but I think I said something else each time. Lawyer, doctor, astronaut, archeologist, any kind of researcher, actually… I didn’t want just one, but all of them. Which eventually led me to acting. A pretty nice compromise, I would say.  It feeds both my need of inquiry, and my need of experience.

 

What is your story? Do you know how you got here? How did this “germ” get to you? Do you remember anything about your first performances, of any kind? Or about your first film watched? How did they influence you?

Have a great contemplating week with nice memories and good questions!

Weekend Plans

Theatre:

Romantic Fools – tonight, at Godot Theatre-cafe. It is a very funny play about love, about people in love, and their  way of complicating things, about their incapacity to communicate and to understand their significant other. Without being cheesy or instructional the show will remind you of yourself and you will simply have fun. It is smart and very well played.

 

Film :

Noaptea Albă a Filmului Românesc! It’s a kind of “all in one shot”. A must see, definitely! The whole programme if possible !

Pelicula – The first edition of a festival for Latin American films in Romania. It sounds so exotic, that one must try. Here’s an interview on the films in the festival:

„Prin Película îmi doresc să aduc România şi America Latină mai aproape“

„Prin Película îmi doresc să aduc România şi America Latină mai aproape“

and you can find tickets here https://eventbook.ro/elvirepopesco .

 

Music:

Bucharest Music Film Festival. If you happen to pass by the University Square in the evenings, you can stop and listen to the music. It might actually touch you. :)

 

Leisure:

This weekend you can go to Ham Fest ! It is a charity event organised by Red Panda association,  dedicated to the “dogs and their people”. There will be lots of contests, training demonstrations and other surprises. A great way to spend you day outdoors, and to learn about the benefits of having a pet, and to help de rescued dogs from the shelter. See you there! More information here:

Ham Fest 2016, în acest weekend la Bucureşti

Have a great weekend!

My first day of blogging!

ana by Iulian Nan

 

My Acting Blog

 

Today is the first day of my blog. This is a blog about acting, about the experience of trying to find out what acting is, about the adventurous journey of being a freelancer (in Romania!), about seeing life through the “lens” of acting. Acting as a way of living.

 

I’ve been dreaming to become an actress since my 8th grade… I was 15!!! That’s half of my life! I had a very strong impulse that made me fight for my dream and pursue theatre in high school, university, and then even for a Master programme and a PhD, as I really thought you never stop learning. I still think that. Trying to learn acting is something that gets deeper and deeper, and then, at some point even wider. It’s like scuba diving into a beautiful (apparent) lake, but as you go deeper, it gets darker, and wilder and you find yourself being on the bottom of an infinite ocean.

 

I traveled the world to complete my skills with workshops that implied different methods than what I had previously done in university. I’ve read so many books, and met incredible professionals that I’ve learned so much from. I’ve had performances on huge stages, or on small ones, in clubs, in improvised places, or in very high rated theatres… and still, when it comes to castings/auditions, or first readings, I feel like I am back at the beginning, being clumsy and uncomfortable, wondering if I know something at all.

 

But then again, all you can do in this kind of situations is to put everything aside, and let yourself embrace (with grace and vulnerability) a whole new experience, and see what comes out of it. (And out of yourself! 😉 )

 

Being an actor sometimes gets really crazy, it can tear you apart and can make you want to run away screaming until you’ve reached the other side of the world, but insanely, you fall in love with this process. It’s like a huge, unbearable love that keeps you awake at all times, and you forget to eat or to sleep… You realise that you’ve been laughing and crying and working for the last 12 or 14 hours, but you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. And then you start to be grateful, to feel really lucky that somehow you’ve made it so far and you’re there, doing what you love, with amazing, talented people that you learn from every minute, and you also make a living out of it! 😉

 

It sounds crazy, I know, and to some extent I think it is. “Normal” people don’t go up and down emotionally so often. Maybe it happens to them in their most extraordinary moments of their life. But we (actors) chose this kind of living, maybe especially for the extraordinary in it. You can get the happiest of the worst moments of your life from acting, every day. Its up to you how you manage those moments and how you balance them within your personal life, and the other aspects that complete your being.

 

I’ve decided to start putting them down, these experiences. And I chose to do it publicly, in order to strengthen my commitment. I would be really interested if you have similar thoughts, concerns, or experiences. It’s always good to realise that you are not alone. And also, if it is something else about acting that you’ve been struggling with… please write in the comments below.

 

My major themes, or categories (in blogging language 😉 ) include:

  1. Rehearsals 
  2. Performances 
  3. Workshops
  4. Filming
  5. Photo shooting 
  6. Events that make a change – Festivals, charity events, opportunities to open up and exercise your generosity.
  7. Meetings with remarkable professionals.

 

This blog is an exercise, a dare to do something bold, a true challenge, and a whole new experience for me. I’ve read so many inspiring blogs, and I kept wondering what could I write about? What could I contribute with to this amazing, huge, complicated world? So this is my answer and my trial. My self-acceptance as a person who thinks (maybe too much) about what she does, my chance to discover blogging as a true complementary experience or to fail bravely having tried.

 

Welcome to my acting blog! :)

 

Ps: I still have a lot to discover about keeping a blog, many technical things around (tags, buttons, so many options), so please bear with me, have some patience and I’ll find my way soon.