“The Dead Shark”
I did something today I’d not done in over a decade: I presented a scene in a class. I expected to be nervous, but somehow a preternatural calm came over me, as if I belonged. Still, it wasn’t until after the critique that I understood the full impact of what I’d done. How can I put it? I resuscitated a shark. (This will make sense in a few sentences.)
The last several years of my career have been defined, with some small exceptions, by doing what I already knew how to do. There was no desire to continue studying the craft, or push my abilities. And like a shark that stops moving, I died. I could still make a living and get cast just enough to appear to be a working actor, but I’m not afraid of the truth: as an artist, I died.
Over the years I had always found a reason not to go through with classes. They cost too much. I’m too busy pursuing work and my own projects. I already know how to act. (That last one, in retrospect, should have ruptured my gut with laughter, but anyway…) But the real reason was another. All desire to keep learning and growing had been lost.
By the end of class I had tears in my eyes, my pulse had quickened and I wanted to jump out of my skin. But there was no time for that. There are miles ahead to swim, and the water feels good.
For the Mineralava Musings, this is Edoardo Ballerini.