i recently went to sit in on an acting teacher of mine as she taught viewpoints. it’d been almost a year to the day that i’d finished my exam play at the american academy of dramatic art, which i have always felt was my breakthrough performance. that one performance i believe all actors must have that gives them the truth and courage to move forward.
we grow up listening to voices inside our head telling us “no”. out of safety, out of love, hate, jealousy, these voices are born and continue to grow as we do. my teacher calls them parrots. either way, they are there, and they are loud. and we forget sometimes that they only repeat what others have said. we forget we can’t have a conversation with them. and we forget that we don’t have to listen to them. funnily enough, my teacher’s text that i was capable of such work came before. not after. it wouldn’t be the first time she would be right. she helped me “KILL THAT MUTHAFUCKA” (her words… not mine). i suppose that’s exactly why i trust her implicitly. and for me, trust and love are the two cornerstones not just of life, but of acting.
watching through the class i was reminded of how lucky i was to have met her. i’ve no doubts that without her, there’s no way i’d be able to do the work i do so freely now. perhaps my timing in coming to LA couldn’t have been better. but speaking to her after the class, i felt compelled to ask her why she made time for me. even for someone who says yes as much as she does, being busy is just a fact of her life.
she looked me right in the eye, and said “… because i think you’re exceptionally talented. you’re brave. you’re gorgeous…” and when receiving text like that, sometimes it can go over your head. that parrot intercepts them and rejects them. but she continued on.
“… and because you’re a good friend.”
for me. that’s the text i really needed. and the parrot couldn’t reject that. because i knew it resonated as true. more than a teacher. alexandra billings is a friend of mine.
i once told a girl “i think i love you”.
to which she responded…
“i think you’re gonna get hurt.”