Many people that know me now are surprised to learn that I was a theatre brat in high school. I was never a boisterous, in your face, look at me kind of actor. A lot of what I did was behind the scenes. I was queen of the prop department for a few moments in time, but I also had some stage time. Because I’m more reserved, I didn’t get a ton of roles, but that was okay with me. Auditions were hard for me. I was a bit self-conscious and I had trouble getting into a role until I was actually on the stage. I don’t really have stage fright, but that’s because once I get out there, I just become the character. And I love that feeling. I love having who I am just vanish, and I love turning into that other person. I love being able to explore the inner workings of another individual and to be able to understand how they tick. I love feeling what they feel. It’s a mixture of both escapism and psychology for me. I can be someone else for a time, but it also provides me with the benefit of being able to really pick apart this other person and understand all the inner workings of their soul. I love analyzing things and coming to understand them. To me, information is a vast tapestry of interconnecting pieces, and I want to see every part of it so that I can truly understand and appreciate the whole. It’s even more interesting to me when that information is a person. I want to do that character justice, and more than anything, I think I really want to learn something new from them. I want to learn about the human condition, and maybe even gain some insight into myself at the same time. That’s what acting has always done for me.

I didn’t act after high school though I always, always have an intense desire to go back to the theatre; but life and my own fears have kept me from it. What I did find was role playing. I discovered it early on in college. I have never actually played a table top role playing game like Dungeons and Dragons or Vampire: the Masquerade, but I’ve done plenty of my share of playing characters in online chatrooms, and eventually in MMO video games. I’ve found that role playing scratches a very similar itch to acting, and that it allows me to explore a character in very much the same way. I suppose the difference is that in role playing, it’s a character of my own creation, so I am the one choosing what aspect of humanity I’m going to explore. I suppose it also scratches the writing bug as much as it does the acting one because I get to wordsmith in order to really get my point and character across, but still, for me, it’s more about the acting. It’s again that momentary escapism combined with the chance to really learn something new about emotion. A lot of times my characters will do or say things I would not have expected. They will go down paths I would not have imagined taking them on when they were just a mere concept in my head. But I love that. I love simply coming up with a character concept and watching where the character decides to go when I really become that character. Acting is like that for me as well. There are obviously more constraints with a written script, which makes it a lot harder to do, but acting is still about letting a character take me somewhere while doing justice to that character. For me, role playing is the exact same thing. Find a character, play it with my soul, and see where we go together. I love it, and I also love watching other role players do the same thing. It’s a window into them for me as well. I love observing brilliantly written role play as much as I love watching brilliant acting. I love to see it, and to be it.

Me with the other cast members of Anne Frank meeting Miep Gies.

Me in high school with the other cast members of Anne Frank meeting Miep Gies.

Advertisements