A few thoughts on acting.

As a child, I assumed that acting was pretending. Pretending to be someone you are not. For many years I tried my best to become someone else, thinking and feeling like I was this other person. I tried to become an expert at showing others that I could become someone I’m not.

Recently, I have realized that this really is the process of a child. A child assumes that you COULD be someone else – that you could somehow become someone you are not. But I have come to realize that this is not so. Even when I pretend at my very best, the ME in me always seems to shine through. So all my attempts at being someone else were always ultimately in vain.

Really, the best actors do not become anyone else. In fact quite the opposite. What distinguishes the strong actor from the weak is the one who is willing to go to places in themselves that they had never previously explored. To overcome the fears inherent in exploring yourself more deeply. Acting is not a process of pretending to be someone else – it is a process of becoming yourself in a deeper, more expressive, more genuine way. So it is not really about being someone else – it is about experiencing yourself differently, bringing to the surface parts of yourself you would not have otherwise have experienced.

So when you see a great actor, when you experience a performance that moves you, consider what it took for that person to go there – to go to that place in themselves and bring that to the surface. And appreciate that, if you were not willing to go there on some level too, you wouldn’t have been moved by them in the first place.


22 Replies to “Acting”

  1. Interesting. That’s a bit timely too, since I had just touched on this when I commented on objectifying under your topic of humanitarianisn’t. I’m glad that I chose to have faith that you are the man that you portray yourself to be by your words. So, what do you feel that you are exploring when you play Joshua? What parts of you shine through in him?

  2. you are by far one of the most talented actors i’ve watched and what you say is very interesting too…i see all the elements of acting in your character joshua…the exploration of every character you play if not on v…you bring your character to life and give personality…

  3. Uh, Mark, you might want to go check out your Facebook page. There’s some crap on there about you belonging to a cult. I don’t know if you can delete it or not, or even if it’s a page the you created, but it has your information, and you can do something about unnecessary slander. Just a heads up. I hope that I’m correct in thinking that you moderate these posts before you put them up on the blog for everyone to see. If you do, then you can delete this as soon as you read it. If not, I apologize in advance, but I didn’t have any other way to warn you. Sorry! πŸ™‚

  4. mark, perhaps your ulteruism has gone a bit too far. I think perhaps your last blog scared off some people from posting their thoughts / feedback. Which is a shame because I did like reading everyones (apart from that nasty 5%) thoughts as much as I enjoyed reading yours. Maybe you can just block that small percentage and let everyone else enjoy them selves and get something other than meaningless drab (that is out there) – and actually stop and think about things for a minute (which is the most thing I like about your blogs – and peoples responses) Also, it might be well to remember that english is not everyones first language – so we might not always be as articulate – but we mean well and we try.

  5. People, that last entry wasn’t about any of the usual posts on here, or I very much doubt it was. It takes much more than “I don’t agree with you” to make something an insult, really, so I’m sure it won’t be taken that way. πŸ˜‰ Have a little more self esteem. πŸ™‚

    jewels: lol seriously, a cult? Which one? Can we join? πŸ˜‰

    topic: I’ve actually always thought acting was about pretending, at least consciously. Though now that I really think about it, with the very limited experience I’ve had with it back at school (which really pretty much amounts to close to none at all) it was always terribly fun, because I got to *be* someone else. Which now I’m thinking probably wasn’t really someone else but me in a different setting and with social limitations removed.
    I guess now I know why I couldn’t ‘just pretend to be someone who’s good at reading essays’ in front of my own class, but didn’t have a problem with acting out a role in front of half the school. lol

  6. @feathers: I followed up on it and it’s some person barking about how young actors and actresses are using their popularity to draw in young teens to some cult that takes their money and pretends to help them. From my own perspective, it looks like a bunch of bilk. The person who wrote it goes on about how Mark is not talented, etc… and sounds pretty jealous in my opinion. I for one believe that a person’s personal relationship with divinity is their business and no one else’s. I think the world would be a much better place and there would be less war and bloodshed if we all left each other alone to worship as we saw fit and what comforted us. If you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else, what’s the problem? Anyway, I guess Mark or someone else who moderates this blog saw it and took it down off his Facebook page. I hated that I had to let him know so publicly, but that was the only way I knew how to contact him so he could do something about it.

  7. I think it’s amazing that you can play such an “emotionless” character on v – yet at the same time still have such a compelling presence.

  8. I am loving Battle Force 5! Nice work,Mark! haha… i remember the 1st i saw BF5. I said,”The blondie is soooo cute!!!!” I looked up the guy that plays his voice…BOOM! You become my favorite singer,pianist,and actor. haha… vert-“Arrgh! Let’s get the bootie!” team-“What?” Vert-“Never mind.” (ironic,you know? vert is voiced by mark,who is in a pirate movie,pirates of the caribbean 3,and all of a sudden he says “arrgh!” Huh,weird…

  9. jewels what is a cult? 1.(don’t call me stupid;i’m only an 11 year old girl from the caribbean.) 2.(hey,mark…where did you film pirates of the caribbean 3? cuz i am puertorrican.)

  10. Hey gm, I’d never call you stupid — when you don’t know something, the best thing to do is ask. That being said, this is probably a subject that you’d want to talk to your parents about, as it can have different meanings to different people. πŸ™‚

  11. that makes such sense and probably explains why some actors can ellicit such strong emotions from their audience – but just curious – i was reading the other day that an actress said she felt much more comfortable when she was playing “someone else”????

  12. *jewels*, as to the cult (I know what you mentioned), why should Mark remove the information about his belonging to it? If he does belong to it, he might believe this cult is a good thing to do
    Rather strange advice you gave, from my point of view

  13. zakuka: errrrrrrrmmmmmmmm… because cult = bad idea? ^^
    See, I don’t care what people believe in, but I’m a sceptical person when it comes to organized religion. It’a power source based on faith alone, therefore without much room for arguments or – god forbid – revolution. Pressure from below, though, is the only thing that keeps power at bay. Organized religion can be and, let’s not lie to ourselves, is being abused very easily. And, again, let’s not pretend otherwise: there are certain reasons why we call a cult a cult. We could say that any “legitimate” religion is, in essence, a cult as well, and in a way it is, seeing how much crap they cause in, say, Africa. Or let’s not even go that far, it causes more than enough crap right in front of our doorsteps.
    But the problem with cults, among other things, is, once they get a good grab they aren’t about to let you go. And that’s somewhat err… problematic in my book. πŸ˜‰
    But like I said, I’m no fan of organized religion of any kind, I can barely live with the “legitimate” ones, only because they have an image to uphold, thus aren’t very keen on bad publicity and have to at least try to behave. πŸ˜‰

  14. I didn’t mention whether I thought his belonging to a cult was good or bad. As a matter of fact, if you’ll check my earlier posts, I specifically said that it is a personal decision and should remain so, and that many arguments would be prevented if everyone would just stop trying to tell everyone else that what they believe is wrong. As to why he should remove it, the link to the blog on his facebook page was kind of ugly — implying that he was using insidious means to brainwash younger people. I don’t care whether he belongs to a cult or not; I do care that the person who posted it on his page seemed to be implying that what he was doing was unethical and perhaps harmful. From all Mark has said on this forum about his beliefs, I think that the link that person put on there was totally out of line. I also noticed that someone removed the link from his facebook page soon after. Call me a mother hen if you wish, but I’m glad it’s gone. By the way, I’m a Druid, and yes, we are considered a “cult” even though the practice of Earth Spirituality is becoming more mainstream every day. πŸ™‚

  15. jewels, I agree with you 100% – feathers, I can completely understand where you are coming from – “religion” has alot to answer for. but i think there is one very important thing that needs to be mentioned in this discussion – faith and religion are two completely different things.

  16. P.S. jewels, you might call yourself a mother hen but i do think that this forum does need a “mother hen” type person and is better for it. also, are you a re-incantation of “primrose”???

  17. *jewels*, Mark is perfectly capable of wasting his life any way he would like to choose. If he belongs to cult, why on earth cannot he mention this fact on *his own* facebook page? Also, I believe, it would be more honest

    As to the cult you were talking about, I read their site and I still can hardly believe that adult people might be involved in such a pathetic and trivial mottos.
    Anyway, as I said before, everybody has the legal right to waste his/her own life as he/she wants to

  18. raven: they are different things, of course. Faith is the most powerful tool when people try to influence masses through religion, but I don’t consider faith as such a bad thing: it’s just something that needs to be handled with care.

    zakuka: Allow me to explain, then. πŸ˜‰ To sum it all up – I see a lot of dangerous potential in any structured religion, in a “believe in your god, but don’t trust the people who bring you his words” sort of way. Even in the instances where there is no misuse, it’s still far too easy for some rotten apple to roll along and grab the reign. Cults are especially dangerous imho, since they usually don’t (have to) care as much about publicity.

    Naturally, people have the legal right to try and cross the pacific on an inflatable toy-dolphin. (Provided they have the necessary papers. *g*) Doesn’t mean I have to shut up about it being a really crappy idea. πŸ˜‰

    Of course we have the right to think and say that joining a (certain) cult is a bad idea. We also have the right to assume that certain people match our personal definition of β€œsomeone who knows to avoid a bad idea”. So here I am assuming that Mark Hildreth is not a member of an allegedly adolescent-eating, evil cult – and saying it. πŸ˜‰

  19. Zakuka yes people have a legal right to believe what they choose to in just the same way other people have a legal right to have an opinion about it.

  20. I thought this was very inspirational
    I read it this to my dad and he looked
    at me like I just read to him the bible
    I think thought of it that way too
    cause he also said amen to it

    I wish I could see the world the
    way you see it,when I started watching
    V I loved it so I searched it and I saw
    You had an album out so I looked at it and I
    Saw how talented you were and it came to me
    That I should appreciate the world as much
    As you do. So I went to bed thinking
    To myself hey I’m feeling happy (I haven’t
    been happy for a long while) and every thing
    was fine then I woke up the next
    Morning to this barren waste land
    Then is started to sing your song magic spell
    And it gave me hope and happiness again
    So thank you for being inspirational

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