By Emma Green
What I’ve Learned: Acting in the Age of Covid
Video Testimonial Transcript:
“So this might be a little bit round-about and all over the place, but that’s how I live my life, so I’m not gonna change that and we’re just gonna roll with it. Ok, so, what I’ve learned… apparently it’s a lot.
I was in my Psychology lecture yesterday talking about creativity and consciousness… you know, how creativity criteria is really hard to meet — scientifically — how A.I. will eventually be able to do everything we can, but better; how we can’t really tell if we’re conscious or not; you know, all the good things. And at the end of that very comforting and reassuring lecture that made me basically question my entire existence, my professor said, “ but you, humans, are special.” Here’s why: we take unstructured matter, add the intent of creativity and we embed that matter with meaning. In other words, we create meaning in the universe from unstructured matter. I’ve learned that this is what we’ve done this year. We’ve taken the unstructured matter of the year, added an intent to create and learn and improve, and as a result, we’ve given the latter half of this year meaning. By doing that, I’ve learned that we are resilient.
In Business class on Wednesday, Laura said, “you don’t know you’re an actor because you’re booking. You know you’re an actor because you’re an actor.” Or in sports terms, because who doesn’t love a good sports metaphor, you’re not a professional baseball player because you hit a home run. You’re a professional because you’re holding the bat. That’s what we’ve done. We’ve stepped out of the dugout and onto that field, not knowing if it’d be possible to hit a home run, or even hold the damn bat, but we still stepped up to the plate. That we chose to do that in what might be the darkest and most uncertain time in many of our lifetimes, the decision to push through that, and our success in getting to this day, is borderline super-human. And we did it despite all odds. Some of us had to wake up at 5am to start Studio. Some of us finished Studio at 3am. Some of us completed the semester with an ensemble of only 3. Some of us had to stay home. Some of us had to take care of family and work a job and continue to work towards a degree, and the list goes on. We chose to continue our education. Some of us even chose to begin our education. And for simply making that decision, we’ve learned that we can do this, and that we should be doing this.
I’ve learned that change is ok, that it is inevitable, and that though it may not be ideal, it is doable. I’ve learned that thousands of miles can’t stop us, and that though sometimes it sucked, you can actually create something beautiful, honest and truthful through a computer with someone who might not only not be in your state or city, but might even be in a different country. And that this new medium actually allows for a lot of opportunities not otherwise possible. As Rory said last year, I’ve learned that I can really only control one thing, and that is my own work ethic. Everything else is everything else, and trying to control it is a complete and total waste of precious time. Particularly now. I’ve learned not to take my ensemble or time with other people for granted. I’ve learned the bounds of self-discipline I can and must instill when not surrounded by my ensemble or teachers for 8 hours a day, 3 days a week. I’ve learned that as Reggie also said on Wednesday, it is your job to just say the words and make a mess. And even though that’s sometimes all you can do, that is enough, and that has been enough. That has been enough to get us here. That has been enough to continue to learn and grow and create and live through this past semester, through the past 9 and a half months, through our final semester of training, or our first. I’m not sure how much of that was stuff I’ve learned, or just general thoughts, but it’s what I’ve got. Which is another thing I’ve learned: to be patient and kind to myself. And again, I’ve learned that I am resilient and that I can do this. And that we can do this. Because we did.
MARY McCANN (Executive Director):
Thank you Emma that was so beautiful, you made me cry…!