Monday, May 09, 2005

Amber, Sybille: On Acting ( 2001 Los Angeles)

On Acting

by Sybille Amber
Originally published April 11, 2001

Some days ago I received a newsletter, that I repeated to read whenever seeking words for what has changed in my life since I took my acting lessons. It made me think and ask myself why I began to act. Why did I decide to work as an actor?

Many years I struggled in search for a profession and it was no more than "choosing a profession". I finished high school, I attended university in ethnologies, cultural, and social anthropologies. I loved my studies and my distinctive aim was to listen and learn as much as I could. I remember the lectures even today, I remember the pictures that were shown, because I loved the subject.

Besides I worked in cafes, restaurants, in bureaus or promotion archives. I did my jobs in bookstores and I sold tea from all over the world, as well as music records. I wrote concepts, I directed theater, I performed with my band The Razor Blade. Essay writing was a job to communicate with a wider audience. Painting and drawing I gave up, because I lacked the ability to transform my verbally construed fantasies into pictures. I read a lot about signs and symbols, not to mention my pleasure in reading Umberto Eco`s literature and theory.

All this communicated experiences in the fields of human interrelations that I still value today. When I was thirty, my mom died. My dad died shortly before my fourteenth birthday. One of my grandmothers died the year before. My brother's illness shattered my personality, because he faced cancer in his twenties. Luckily he survived. Some years ago my nephews were born, and I love them all very much.

I bought all the newspapers and asked my friends to get me an acting teacher. It took me years to find out that Edgar Fell taught what I wanted from acting, training my instrument, my craft, sense memory, choice approaches and irreverence, BEING. The more I got into it, the more I could give and the more I committed myself to acting. I lost control about the intensity of my involvement into BEING and acting.

I experienced a kind of isolation that I never had before. I realized I would be alone in my efforts maintaining an acting career. In the search for respect and dignity I found hate, anger, and ignorance. My vulnerability increased and I needed psychological advice on a regular basis.

My life grew more complex and chaotic, which created a pool for creativity that I learned to use very slowly. Nevertheless I didn't give up, and for the first time in my life I felt an inner peace which I had never felt before.

As an actor I think you should write, learn, read, and share your experiences with other actors. In other words, be a part of your acting community. Get involved and introduce yourself by asking and answering these questions:

Why did you decide to act?
How do you feel about acting?
How do others treat you?
Are you supported by your family?
Where do you act?
What are your fears?
What training have you had?
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posted by Sybil Amber at 5/09/2005 01:45:00 PM


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