Feature

Don't act, just be.

By Alain Deen

Volume 1 Issue 5

February 12, 2021

Don't act, just be.

Image provided by Alpha Inclusion

Emotion. It is something we simply cannot hide from. Whether you like it or not, emotion amasses a large part of everyday life. Take this experience for example. You probably are reading this, thinking: “Yeah I knew that already”, OR: “Really? Tell me more!” Two contrasting emotions at its finest. Arguably the most important human asset, emotion not only connects us with others, but also ourselves. If you know me, you will know I love to act. With that said, there happens to be a lot of life coaching that comes with the craft. The best piece of advice I have ever heard stems from my coach and mentor: “Don’t act, just be”. On the surface, this quote sounds straightforward. For instance, someone might simply interpret it as sounding more natural while spurring out lines instead of minutes of mindless dialogue. However, it goes much deeper than that.


Although what I stated earlier is true, there is a lot more to it then just “sounding more natural”. Instead, there is no such thing as “sounding more natural”. It is growing a deep connection with yourself as a human being and becoming comfortable in your own skin. As unrelated to acting as it sounds, it is completely necessary in character build up and story development. You cannot pretend to be someone else until you are capable of playing yourself. If you tend to mask your true and purest form of personality…you are acting. Besides the title, acting doesn’t actually involve acting. It’s being able to approach various situations with a sense of open-mindedness. And yes, you’re probably concerned about reciting every single line correctly, down to the punctuation. But in reality, the best conversations stem from pure emotion. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to recite every line correctly. What matters is the emotion you communicate to the audience. Audiences are looking for stories told through a multitude of lenses, which then connect to them on a personal level.


As humans, we approach every conversation with a desire. This could range from the desire to get rid of boredom, to even the desire to hurt someone. Having said that, a conversation never starts and ends in the same note. Someone might walk away feeling happy, disgruntled, uncomfortable, and so much more. This concept encapsulates the importance of your intentions while acting. Ask yourself this question: “What do I want from the other person”. While being aware of this, there is no room for melodrama.


“Human connections are deeply nurtured in the field of a shared story.”

-Jean Houstan