Actors…Why Are You Acting?

by Baron Brown Meisner teacher, Sharon Hogg

I had a great conversation with an old student of mine the other night.  From time to time we have our heady conversations about the world at large, its victories and failures and boy oh boy, was there a lot to talk about in light of all that has been happening around us…racial and religious turmoil, our presidential hopefuls, mental illness and ignorance and on the wind down, our beloved, “Art”….the “Art” of acting.

I was posed the question, “Sharon, how many of your students do this for the privilege of enlightening, teaching, influencing and even changing audience goer’s viewpoints, potentially guiding them to change their communities or the world for the better.  Honestly speaking, the answer in my heart at first was, well…I’ll just say, a minor percentage.  I say this because many students travel across the globe to Los Angeles and New York to enroll in acting classes that can one day contribute to their attaining full time celebrity status.  Because I know the power of this influential art form, this truth somewhat breaks my countenance as I’ve known, for many years, that a true actor’s desire to perform and master his craft, resides in their bones and courses through their veins.  They MUST do it.  Doing anything else would be a perversion of nature, a misuse of the Creator’s intent.

When thinking further on the topic long after my conversation ended, I chose to believe that perhaps a heart could  be guided and swayed to see the possibilities and power actors can have to make a mark and leave important imprints on our societal walls, bridging all kinds of gaps, raising consciousness and awareness in ways that positively impact our world…and that’s part of my job and responsibility as teacher of this magic.

As I wave goodbye to another graduating class, I hope they leave understanding they are more than a commodity, but a human being with the ability to use their talent to save a life, reunite, motivate, stimulate and inspire.

Please click on the link below and enjoy a brief interview with veteran actor, Dustin Hoffman who answers a young student’s question “Why do you do what you do”?


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