Acting Log:
My struggle with being vulnerable (Part 4)

I have been trying to figure out what’s going on regarding this, and I found it.  This is really personal to me.

It goes back to my father.  He is normally a smart(er) person than average, who has seen a lot and has gone through a lot.  But he has a huge ego. And that ego has made him a drunk, wife-beater, child-beater, show-offy, egomaniac asshole who says whatever he wants to without any regard to whoever he is saying to say. He has not grown up since he was 10 years old.  And so, the first chance I got, I took that chance to move away from him, moved to a different country.  My mom and my sister are still with him, and every single waking moment of my life I feel like I have abandoned them.  In order to not feel like shit, I have suppressed my emotions because it’s too much to bear.  After my mom died, my dad got married again under the idea that it would be good for me, and we would also welcome her daughter as our sister.  While I am far from him, they are stuck with that monster, and I am doing nothing about it.  Every time I think about my mom or sister, I shut my emotions.  Every time I think about calling them, I just can’t.  I feel helpless, and I despise myself when I feel helpless.  I want to say all the nasty things to myself, but I am left with no energy or drive to say anything but just cower in my silence and find a way to distract myself from thinking about it.  I put on a brave face.  Maybe think about changing the world, tell myself that I am doing something nobler so two people suffering is not a big deal.  But… yeah.  This is not to say that I don’t have the capacity or the intellect to go up against the system and try to do something about it.  But sometimes my intellect becomes an escape from feeling.  So, the moment I realize I am about to feel helpless, I just shut myself emotionally and let my intellect take over.  I am justifying it right now, and it does make me feel calmer and more in control. And in an effort to never feel helpless, I am out to change the world.  This drive to not feel helpless is also a driving factor as to why I am in this field of acting.  How can I let this drive go?  How can I give in to my emotions and take a chance in case I figure out a way to deal with this issue?  What would my reason to act or change the world be?  What would I be without this drive?

The art of acting was supposed to be a way to find myself, and if I find myself I am not want to stay an actor.  And I love acting, it has changed my life. There is so much growth as a person in acting that I can’t give it up even if I want to.  It has become me.  But my reason to be in acting would have to change if I take off the mask.  And I don’t want to spend the time to figure out a new drive to pull me back up from my low moments as an actor.  It’s just easier to stay the way I am, and maybe in future when I am confident enough I may be able to get “fake” feel helplessness so effortlessly that no one will know the difference.  I am OK being a cheat in the future when I have the validation of others, but not now, not when I have so much to learn. If I resort to cheating now, I might as well cheat whenever it becomes too difficult.  That’s really not good for my acting career, nor is it good for me as a person on so many levels.

So when I have to feel emotional for a scene, I feel like I am being a cheat, a hypocrite. How can I be OK “feeling” in a fake made-up scenario from a script, when in reality I am suppressing my real feelings for a real situation.  How can I justify that it’s OK to “be vulnerable” in a made-up scenario when I have been running away from feeling vulnerable in a real scenario?

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