A Forbidden Room

Spirit – Artistry – Community

Brown

We were in class, Monday night. I’m halfway through my second subject on The Imagination. We were gathered around a tiny projector, linked to our teacher’s iPad, with two disposable water bottles as speakers. It was dark and strangely cosy, tucked in a little room refurbished from the 1920s, oblivious to the craze below on Hollywood Boulevard. We were watching two filmed examples from a play called ‘Fences’, by August Wilson. At the beginning of the scene, a young man, stricken, comes to his father:   CORY:   Can I ask you a question? …  How come you ain’t never liked me? […]

The Human Actor

‘Love is a fire It burns everyone It disfigures everyone It is the world’s excuse for being ugly.’ Leonard Cohen   I have been in Los Angeles for two and a half months. There are thousands, upon thousands of actors in this city. When I first came over two years ago, I was warned about it. The ‘LA Days’, when all you do is cry. The diet fads. The ‘rules’. The years spent driving freeways. The endless visa conversations. The shallow culture, the emptiness – and yet the simultaneous creative ferocity. The lines of young people coming over for a […]

The Tongue of Us (Art and Peace)

The first sermon I ever heard was about my tongue. If I was a ship, my tongue was the rudder, steering me. Wherever I was at, I could probably thank or blame my tongue. If my life was burning down around me, my tongue was the spark. It was weird, but it resonated. As I listened, I physically felt the truth to it. My words mattered. Not in a self-help –  ‘speak it out and the universe will manifest it’ – way, but in the nature of integrity. The consequences of choosing a complaint over gratitude, criticism before encouragement, slander instead […]

Healing

I went back to the theatre this year. It was anticipated (on my behalf) and terrifying. It had almost been two television-filled years since I last performed professional theatre. I had wriggled out of a contract early just so I could take up the role – the script was a beautiful essay on neuroscience, love and depression, and I was a first-hand explorer of all three. In prayer, about two weeks before rehearsals started, I got a strong impression that the job was going to be difficult. My pride would be tested. I would feel my own limitations. This wasn’t […]

Hands

June 2012. I was trying to fall asleep in an hotel room in St Kilda. I was restless. I was in Melbourne to film a job, but I felt strange. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue acting. It was beginning to grate against my chest. My trajectory was unpredictable. The opportunity to forfeit integrity was forever present. I didn’t know if I could still serve the work. I didn’t know if God would bless the process or the pursuit. I was finding myself desperate to live for more. To do more, to be more. To make a difference. Acting – […]