Every so often I get a email from Mr. Brian Timoney, based here in London – in fact his business is in my neighbourhood, some ten minutes walk from where I live. I took an interest in his Method Acting Training course but was never able to take up the challenge for no other reason than I could not afford the fee, being the penniless struggling Thespian I am. Seriously though even though that is true, I don’t see myself as a failure or see failure around every corner. I think I am successful, I see success in front of me and around every corner. And each day I am doing something to add to that arsenal of success. Each day is unique, each day brings new challenges, new issues to be resolved. The one constant is that each day consists of twenty-four hours and no one has anymore or any less hours in a day than anyone else. How we use our time is our own responsibility and what we achieve in those twenty-four little hours (as the song goes,) is entirely up to us.
Reading Mr. Timoney’s letter and the discussions I have been having with a dear friend (and smart cookie,) in Minnesota USA and recent telephone conversations I have been having with Mr. Nick Pelas of the Pelas Theatre Company here in London as well as Ms. Alix Longman of Vocal Confidence (also based in London), has (and not for the first time,) prompted me to ask certain questions of myself and ask exactly why am I in the business of being an Actor. There are many reasons, the main one being I want to do good creative work, express myself to the best of my ability while entertaining, informing and educating an audience be it on Stage, Film, Television or some other medium. And of course be successful in doing so.
In order to do all of the above, one has to be extraordinary in order to do the extraordinary. It is not all about me, I am not seeking to see my name up in lights or my face on billboard posters – while that is desireable it is not my over-riding goal. I just want to do good creative work, enjoy the process of working with like-minded individuals and together pooling our talents to produce something special, remarkable even – while making a good living doing so I might add (smiling). And in doing so my friends above remind me in their own unique way to think about what one is doing, curb one’s tongue (in some cases,) and not be a lemming in wanting to be so successful and be so extraordinary I rush blindly in only to find myself falling head first off a cliff with all the other lemmings, who think they are doing something extraordinary when in fact they are making the same mistakes and strategies of failure everyone else is making.
So it was in reading Mr. Timoney’s letter, the advice of the good people (along with his I might add,) came to mind. His letter goes:-
“The Truth About Lemmings”
You’ve seen them I’m sure – throwing themselves off cliffs in their thousands, selflessly “making room” for the “survival of the species”.
Well, it’s a myth.
What they’re doing is looking for space – always more and more space because of overpopulation. And because lemmings aren’t the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree, they simply run and run and run… right off the edge.
Worst of all… because one does it… the rest follow. Thousands of them, all going headlong into the Great Beyond because not one of them is smart enough to stop and think… “Hang on… what are we trying to achieve here?”.
Earl Nightingale once said, “If in any situation you’re not sure what to do… look around and see what everyone else is doing… and then do the opposite”.
Because “normal”, and “ordinary” behaviour and actions will get you “normal” and “ordinary” results.
And in the acting business “normal” and “ordinary” usually means scrabbling around for work and spending as much time waiting on tables trying to make ends meet as it does actually practising your craft.
If you want to BE extraordinary, Daniel, then you’ve got to DO something extraordinary.”
I take a great deal from the above letter and advice from friends both personal and professional, as they have proved time and time again that they have my best interests at heart. Thought I would share the above with those who probably (like myself at times,) have lost their way and need words of comfort and inspiration. It is never too late to make a success of your life. Faith and a strong belief in your abilities will enable you to be ‘Extraordinary in Order to do the Extraordinary.
Thanks for reading this.