Monday, May 11, 2009

I used to be an actor

Last night we went out with friends after church to the local rib joint, and one of the people whom I had recently met started asking me about what kind of work I liked to do. It led to a whole discussion of my resume in the arts and theatre, and at one point he asked me if I ever missed acting. I said, "No." And then I wondered..."Why don't I miss it?" Sometimes when I am writing or talking to someone, I find that things become clearer, the lines fall into place, and I understand something that I did not comprehend before. And so it was last night.

Having grown up in a fairly conservative environment that did not provide a lot of outlets for passion and creativity (and to be honest, somewhat discouraged it), I chose to channel most of my emotional energy and abundance of imagination into acting and other artistic outlets. This created a certain division in my life between the quiet, shy Matte and the charismatic, intense, and passionate Matte. As I have chosen to face many of the fears that ruled my life and to let go of counter-productive self-imposed restraints, I believe much of that division has been eradicated. I don't need to act, to perform, to take on a character, to have a script written for me, or to step into a fabricated scene in order to be a strong and vivacious person. I can bring that energy, verve, whole-hearted focus, and this authentic, captivating character with me anywhere I go.

I still love the theatre, but I suppose my involvement in it was a bit of a substitute for living large in my own skin. And last night, for the first time, I vocalised the fact that I don't miss acting because I have found that all my strong emotions, crazy ideas, and intense, focused charisma are now pretty much a part of my everyday life, as they should be. This makes me a more honest, whole, and happy person. Woohoo!

Thanks, Howie, for asking me the question.

This is one of the many bagel shops on the Plateau in Montreal. mmmm, bagels.

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