We are not friends yet but I hope to meet you in the near future. I just recently saw your movie Spy and I enjoyed it immensely to the point where I may see it again. (rarely happens for me, you know how much movie tickets cost nowadays?) As an aspiring actor I look for little facets of myself in people I watch on-screen and in you my dear I see a lot of me. I was told i’m naturally funny in acting class especially when im not trying to be, which could be good and bad. We shall see.
I do want to apologize because I never saw you on Gilmore Girls and up until recently never watched an episode of Mike and Molly. The movie is where you caught my eye. Bridesmaids was hilarious and pretty much you were my reason for buying the Blu-Ray. I think some others enjoyed your performance because hello Oscar nominee. I’m just saying. What brought this letter on you might be asking (or your assistant, depending on who’s reading your mail).
One of my local newscasters reviewed Spy and one of his comments was that he was sick of you playing the same character over and over in different movies. Youre an actress, I’m an actor so I get it but what a shitty opinion to have! First of all you play what you’re good at. Second I believe that there are so many layers to being a comedian especially a funny one that many people don’t realize there are subtle differences in each movie role. Would I love to see you put on makeup and play a deranged killer or a football loving mom who takes in a homeless kid, yes but I’m ready when you are.
Your physicality when tackling any role is awe-inspiring. I’m a big(er) black dude who is trying to get over my fear of letting my bigger size define who I am as an actor instead of just being in the moment, in the character and in the scene. It takes some of my emotion away when I’m worried about how I look instead of going full-tilt boogie at every turn. Its a process and I’m learning. Your performances on SNL are legendary in my book.
I saw Spy before I did my first acting showcase for school and watching you gave me confidence to be the best I can be in that moment and I believe it strengthened my performance for the better. Just know you have fans from all walks of life and are inspiring to us all. You are a divine treasure in this world and I’m so lucky to see you shine on that big screen.
I’m trying to be better at every turn and when I’m watching these amazing people my confidence drops a little. How to stay in a place of gratitude and confidence when you are in the company of performers? You see I havent had this issue before because I’ve never did something I wanted to do. I stay in my comfortable place and let life pass me by until this year. Acting has been a eye-opening lesson in so many ways, opening up to a lesson about myself.
My ego thought I would get in this class and kill it. The reality is that I’m new and I need training. Is it gonna come easy like it does to everyone else? Maybe or maybe not. I honestly thought of not going forward, not because I can’t afford it (I can make it work) but because I don’t wanna waste time on something I like versus finding something I love (writing and directing). It’s all confusing and I don’t wanna seem lost when I pretty much am. I was the kid who wanted to do EVERYTHING for a job.
How do I get out of this rut. Go to Acting 3 because it’s the last of the series and I can learn more, while putting what I’ve learned in my acting toolbox. Take a writing class and develop that skill. Take a directing class and develop that skill. Admit I’m scared shitless that the vision in my head of Joe Q Oscar Winner could never come? There’s a lot to think about before June 23rd when the next class starts.
How do you get out of your comfort zone?
P.S Isnt that Spiderman Bed the coolest??
When I was younger my aunt used to babysit me, everyday at 1pm I had to be quiet because the “stories” were on. What are “stories” you might ask, they are really soap operas but in black households they were called “stories”. Usually when asked what you are watching you would just blurt out the channel. My aunties channel was ABC. I grew up watching Loving, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital. It kind of put a passion in me to wanna know how these people acted so crazy and or funny so effortlessly. It started me also thinking of storytelling in a way that was over the top (The classic catfight in the pool) or serious (Character dying from a disease). In a way it has shaped the way I write fiction and the hobby I’m pursing now.
This year ive decided to spend money on experiences more than mere possessions. I’ve always wanted to act, sing, dance, write , fashion design, architect, paint, be a world leader and a superhero. When I got older and self-doubt crept in, built a mansion, furnished it and would not leave I didn’t pursue what my passions were I pursued what others wanted me to be. That got old fast I tell ya. Depression decided to rent a room and the mansion got so crowded that something had to give. I slowly came to realize what wasnt working and went and made plans to fix it. I tried an acting class.
My expectations for acting 1 were high, I mean after all I watched enough soap operas to cry on cue or get angry with the snap of a finger. The focus was on individual preparation and completing a monologue. I did ok, my teacher kept saying more emotion. I thought I gave it all I had, ended up being so disappointed in myself that I declined to do the student showcase at the end of the semester. The next acting class was to focus on scene work with a partner and you HAD to do the student showcase. I’m no punk so I enrolled in acting 2.
One of the best decisions in my life. There are 5 students from the previous class so the comfort level was there, but add 11 more people from other classes and you get some of the most creative, inspiring people I’ve encountered in a long time in one room. 4 hours of laughter, fun and we are all there to learn and do a good job. It’s the one day of the week I look forward to, I can be my true self with no judgement. There’s no grades so there’s no competition and that takes a load off.
I encourage anyone reading this to pick a hobby/passion that you’ve abandoned for whatever reason and give it another try. Small steps are always better than no steps at all. I’m having a great time and I’m truly thankful.
You never know, you may see me on your movie or TV screen soon
I found my tribe y’all…… It only took 35 years