Lost among the headshots on a film school notice board – someone’s famous secret

As all great acting teachers will tell you, doing nothing is serious business. I struggle with these 10-minute breaks they give us at film school. Ten minutes isn’t enough time to actually do anything or go anywhere. But it’s just enough time to wonder whether you should be being productive. I guess people need to pee, and get coffee from the machine, but I don’t see why we all have to do it at the same time.

Any case, I was doing nothing earlier today, in the Actor/Director class interval… Interval! It’s exactly like in interval at the theatre, in which you always just enough time to queue in the insufferable crush of overly-perfumed ladies and pontificating trendies to order a coffee and not enough time to drink it. Except now it’s undergrad directors, who’re always, always short a quarter at the vending machine. Why? Why not a dollar? Or a dime? Always a quarter.

What do you do when you have nothing to do at a party? You stare at the bookshelves. Well there aren’t any in the Dodge College Film School corridors. So instead, I read the notice boards. And tonight, something caught my eye.

I'm like this, except with boyfriends.

Hidden amid the headshots from actors hoping to break in or built their reel, the out-of-date posters for extra expensive courses like the trip to Cannes, the ads for rooms to let and cars to buy… a famous secret, on a postcard. If you turn it over, you get this.

Actors... they're everywhere here in California, but unfortunately not all of them are real. The postsecret.com event happened in December and I could kick myself for missing it.

Turns out it was also an out of date advert. But there was something about seeing it when I’d just come from an acting class, and while surrounded by pictures of actors. The weirdest thing I’ve learned about acting is not how hard it is (it’s really hard) or how much I now respect actors (I really do). The weirdest thing I’ve learned is that though it’s all about portraying other people, most great actors find out how to do this by knowing themselves better. A painful process. And it takes a lot more than a haircut to make it look natural. It takes rediscovering your own experiences and yes, your own secrets, and using them to make feelings for others.

Go to postsecret.com for more – it’s one of my favourite blogs, full of great ideas for short films, and a place where everybody gets their five minutes of infamy without ever getting found out.

The professor I’m learning the little I know about acting from is the awesome Tony Spiridakis.

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7 Responses to “Lost among the headshots on a film school notice board – someone’s famous secret”

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