What does it take to be an actor in an industry town?

There are volumes on what it means to be creative. Let me add two more metaphors to the canon.

To be an actor means to play in your own sandbox, on cue, under pressure, in front of a bunch of people who need to be reminded of their own, often misplaced sandboxes.

Buried by production, time, and personal pressures, the people sitting in many audition rooms usually look like they’ve just swallowed a half-pound of toxic waste. The air in the room can be stale with tension.

The paradox of the actor is to make a prepared moment seem fresh and spontaneous, lived for the first time. This special skill is complicated by yet another paradox—that the actor is being asked to do this in an atmosphere that is infused with corporate and production pressures.

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