Saturday, February 24, 2018

Why being a working actor is like Wakanda

I just finished watching the new film, Black Panther. It was awesome! And I realized, walking out of the theater, being a working actor is like living in Wakanda, the mythical African world of the Black Panther. Follow me on this.

1. You have a resource that you can share with the world. Do it.

Wakanda is driven, fueled and powered by a bluish space meteor material. It has magical abilities that heals and empowers. I know, eye roll. Give me a Kurosawa film any day.  BUT doesn’t that sound familiar? Without Art, acting in particular, we would be lost as a civilization. Since the first human could scratch shapes into rock, they started mirroring their world. Plays, movies, tv, they are all powerful tonics to the pain we suffer, a beautiful gift to show what we sometimes can’t see. We need to share our talent with the world. Either through Shakespeare or a paper towel commercial. Let it shine. Black Panther did.

2. Be careful of large rhinos your friends own.

Did you see those things? Enormous and very dangerous. Rhinos with actual armor. Yikes. The Black Panther was almost taken out by one of those OWNED by a FRIEND. Have we come across those? Do we find ourselves comparing and contrasting with other’s careers? Jealousy? These are armed rhinos right? Just remember, if we become jealous of friend’s successes, it’s really because we secretly don’t believe their successes can be ours. We feel it’s out of our reach, therefore, the spite, anger and frustration. OFCOURSE it can happen to you, ESPECIALLY if it happens to a friend. Celebrate it. And watch out for those metal horns.

3. Your own suit of armor is created by your family.

The Panther’s witty tech savvy assistant was actually his younger sister who liked to make fun of him, give him the finger and generally be a pain in the ass (when she wasn’t saving his life.) She was an incredible force in his life. Why? Well, for one, she CREATED his armor. And our family helped create OUR armor. Now our armor can be good or bad. Good Armor protects us from the ups and down of our career (our confidence and tenacity) and bad armor keeps success away (self doubt, learned bad habits). Armor is great if you’re AWARE of it. It was easy for the Panther to be aware of his armor as it was, you know, shaped like a panther and, you know, stopped BULLETS. It’s not always readily apparent what armor we’ve been given by our family. While our family may or may not give us good armor, if we are AWARE of it, we can use it, or throw it by the wayside, like he did when he was fighting by the train, with the special force field and oh, just go see the movie.

4. Be funny.

I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud in a super hero movie. It was funny.  And I encourage you to be as well. Be light. Be observant. See the absurdity in things. Be honest. You may be a King, but you don’t need to act like one. Thank you Black Panther. A mythical, crime-fighting, spaceship flying African king, and a working actor. You can be both, right?