Last year, when loudlysilent sent me questions my way for me to answer on my blog, one of the topics he had me touch upon was my involvement in theatre. All of what I’ve said in that interview is true. It’s true that it spurred out of oblivion as a ten-year-old and turned into a backdrop interest of my life. I did act in a few plays growing up and what not acting, I would still be involved in theatre productions in any way I could. This was what eventually led to my decision to obtain a minor in the field in college as well.
To have this minor- as well as my subtle experience in the field- has actually become very handy for me. Not only has theatre- along with the wide range of classes I took as a Communication major- helped me become a better public speaker, but to have been involved in theatre has also helped me as a writer as well- especially when it comes down to the acting classes I have taken.
A lot of people think that when one writes, one is expressing him or herself. To write is one of the healthiest ways of relinquishing oneself by means to vent, to express, or to tell a story. While that’s all very true, when it comes down to the depths of writing a fictional story where you have a multitude of characters, one must consider the fact that not all of them are going to be a figment of you (even though they’re all a figment of your imagination). If anything, a good chunk of the characters are going to be off the chart compared to how you are as a person, and as the writer, you must embrace the head space of each and every one of those characters. That’s where the skill of acting comes into play.
It was in college where I truly gained a grand education about getting into the head space of another and then taking it from there. Acting is not just memorizing lines and winging it. An actor must bring authenticity to the role. An actor must consider the persona of the character and how they would react in a wide variety of circumstances and environments. And so must a writer.
That’s actually what makes writing very difficult sometimes, because we are dealing with characters that may or may not be placed in situations we ourselves may have never been in (and sometimes would be downright impossible to be in in real life). While some research is good regarding how one could react in such a scenario, sometimes it’s all about summoning the inner actor and taking it to another place. If anything, I think that’s why a number of people in Hollywood who start off as actors eventually go on to also become screenwriters and directors. They’ve had enough practice at inhabiting the head space of a character as to where they can venture out and try creating their own for others to do.
Consider the characters that I created for A Moment’s Worth and the multitude of head spaces I found myself going into (SPOILERS ahead for those who haven’t read it). Consider the role of the character Baleia and the unforeseen circumstance she found herself in. Not many people can claim ever being in that position before. There are also characters like Takoda and Justin, both of whom deal with circumstances that are very unlikely to happen in real life. Even Yvonne can be an example of such, for despite being an incredibly altered version of me, there are certainly not a lot of college undergrads- let alone people in general for that matter- who can claim the kind of living arrangement she finds herself in.
I would not find myself to be the wisest one to give one advice how to become a writer aside from the usual “just read and write a lot” bit, especially due to the fact that I am a work in progress. What I can say is that when in doubt, I would actually recommend for any aspiring writers to take an acting class. I’m not saying go full out and get an SAG card. What I am saying it take a class that will really lend itself towards teaching you how to get into the head space of a character.
A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 5 reviews so I’m already a quarter of a way to my goal).
Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.