Friday, June 24, 2016

30 Before 30: Day 5 - Looking Back on Strasberg

The past two years, which has basically been the entire time I've been back in Los Angeles, my time studying at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute has been nothing less than an adventure. It was really only because of my Army service I was able to attend the institute and my time there has changed me in more ways then one. As I rocket towards that dirty thirty I must say that near the end of my 20's my time there has been a bit of a rock and foundation in my life as I wade through the insanity of this city.

There has been a lot of drama, both inside and outside of scene work, and I have made many friends who have come and gone from the school, many of whom have returned to their native countries for one reason or another. And as it usually goes, I try to keep up with some of them but find it becomes incredibly difficult. At this school people come and go, something that I've gotten quite used to in my 20's. I still don't like saying goodbye, though, so instead it's always something like "Until next time" or "I'll see you again." Maybe I won't. But hopefully I will... unless I don't really like you. I only have so much energy to give away.

I've gone an emotional journey at the school and it started rocky. The first semester had an extremely unfortunate incident occur that shook up the entire school and certainly didn't help with my already severe depression as I transitioned out of the Army and into this city. Though I was able to learn and understand overtime how I operated and how my emotions have affected me over time and what causes many things. A lot of this is due to the sensory work that is part of the core work of Strasberg. That and relaxation exercises, which were important for my tense body.

But more than anything I found something that I haven't had most of my life: self-confidence.

This has led to friendships I wouldn't have otherwise because I learned to speak up and care less about what other people thought about me. Taking this long to find it, though, it seems at times has made it take longer to find out I connect with certain people. People that I would want around longer but may be leaving sooner. When you find those people you connect so deeply with it's hard to let go and even harder to say goodbye.

So here I am today, after my last day at Strasberg. I didn't think I would be sad but a part of me is. Mostly because I realize how big of an impact this school has had on my life and who I am as an actor. The teachers and many students there have helped me to grow as I continue to discover who I am.

But life continues to move forward. Others will come and go. I will meet knew people and continue to meet with ones I knew. The forward momentum doesn't cease to exist because I have finished. This is just the start of another adventure and my good friends know how much I like a good adventure.

But today this is for all of you who I've made friends with at Strasberg, whether you're still in Los Angeles or not. I've created memories with many of you and am grateful for those friends who have come into my life.

Remember, you are loved and you are not alone.

Enjoy your adventures while you have them.

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