The Writer vs. The Actress

My best friend and I have grown up in artistic households. Both of our mothers are writers, painters, and musicians, and encouraged the two of us to follow in their paths. Today, my friend is an actress and a painter, and I am a writer and an artist. This past summer, we talked about the different forms of art we find ourselves drawn to–her, preforming, acting, and abstract paintings, me, writing and surrealist ink/charcoal drawings–and where we gathered inspiration for our separate mediums. My friend talked about observation of other people’s actions. She can mimic the speech patterns of someone after speaking to them for a few minutes, she can master their small tics, the gestures they make with their hands while they talk. She can mimic what they do, but does not always think of why they may act in a certain way. At least not to the extent that a writer would. She described writers as being more internal, going out of their way ton understand both their own feelings and the feelings of others, and allowing that to be the guiding force in both the thoughts and actions of their characters. She went on to make this analogy:  a writer is a self-sufficient island, while an actor requires attention and aid from the outside world. (It’s been a few months, so I may be misquoting her)

I’m not sure if I agree with this, so I’m taking it to this blog to see what other’s think.

One Reply to “The Writer vs. The Actress”

  1. Amanda,
    I guess I can understand what your friend means and I think I agree with her. While I do rely on my analysis of the world and of people for my writing, my writing could not exist without me. My analysis of the world informs the way I move inside of it, and therefore, whether I receive attention or not, and even without my ability to analyze others, I will always be a writer because I will always have the world and the way things move around me (even if it’s objects or nature) to inform my internal exploration and my desire to write. Whereas to progress, an actor must try out their skills in front of an audience to better them, and their career is based on the reception of their skills. Acting cannot exist without an audience…and if it can, it will be almost useless–unless acting in monologues eternally.

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