Actors spend hours preparing. Learning lines. Committing to the words until they own them. Knowing their blocking (where they stand and when). They prepare for the risk. The big moment. When they step on stage. When they reveal themselves in real time. In front of many, hopefully. Trying to break a leg.
Actors seek auditions. They look for opportunities to show their talent. They race rejection, frequently. When they get the part they invest their blood, spirit and soul for weeks or months. Not knowing if anyone will even show up when it’s time to raise the curtain.
They work jobs as waiters, waitresses, bartenders, janitors, and temp clerks. They choose to make less in hopes of being more.
Reactors sit in front of the stage. They laugh, they cry. They compliment, they criticize. There’s not much preparation involved. There’s not much responsibility … show up on time, turn off your phone, wait til intermission to pee, go home. Return to work on Monday to make more in hopes of making up for being less.
Actors face disappointment after disappointment. Yet the professionals keep showing up. Actors are known for being a bit quirky or crazy. Just like entrepreneurs, writers, artists or anyone else who tries to make a dent in the world around them.
Most of us are reactors. We want to be actors. But the unpredictability, the risk, the prospect of making less is too much. We dream of the audition. We might even find out where and when it is. We sense the exhilaration of taking the leap. But most of us will never show up.
The actor is living life. The reactors are acting a part.
What are you doing?