To Write is To Act

I've been thinking about the connection between writing and acting quite a bit this past week. Balancing my wanting to write my latest WIP with needing to memorize all my lines for the spring play has got me pondering the relationship between the two. And I've come to the conclusion that they're intertwined and connected more so than I've ever thought. 

Not to say that writing and acting themselves are similar at all. They aren't. While acting is for the exuberant extrovert, writing is for the quiet introvert.

But, when I'm acting and when I'm writing, some of the same exact feelings surface. To be a good actress, you have to totally immerse yourself in your character. So, for my character, who's kind of off-the-wall, I have to wholeheartedly believe that I invented cheese and banana bread. I have to be over-the-top and extravagant in a way that I'm totally not.

And you know what? The same exact thing happens to me when I'm writing. To write a good book, a book that strikes a chord, you have to totally become the character. Sure, you get to create the character, whereas with acting you become the character, but still. in my new project, I have to know Leila like I know myself. I need to feel what she's feeling and want what she wants while I'm writing, or else it'll all just feel fake to me, you know?

With both writing and acting, you have to work toward something. It'll never be perfect the first time around. The first interpretation will always be wrong. You go through multiple "drafts' and "revisions" each one getting closer and closer to the end product that you'll eventually be proud of.

So whether you like being behind the scenes doing the writing, or on the stage performing the written word, you get the chance to become something you aren't. You get to tell a story. You get a chance to be so deep and involved, and almost become the story.

So writer or actor?

How about storyteller.

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6 comments:

Amaranthine said...

Did you mean "While acting is for the exuberant extrovert, writing is for the quiet introvert. "?

Nice post! I'm not much of an actor myself, too shy. XD You're lucky you get the best of both worlds!

Amaranthine

Paige said...

Totally agree with all of this!
Loved this post!

Laura Toeniskoetter said...

I do both. And I agree, in both instances, you have to leave yourself behind and be replaced with someone else.

Mia said...

I don't know if acting is for extroverts only and writing for introverts. I don't think it really matters who you are just as long you like doing it.
But I totally understand what you mean and I completely agree. The things that actors do to get in the head of their characters, we as writers do too.

Marisa said...

@Amaranthine: Yes! Silly typo, haha! Fixed it. Thank you :)

@Paige: Thank you! :D

@Mia: I know it's not as clear cut as that obviously... I just meant that acting is typically for the outgoing kids whereas writers are quieter. With me, I've always been on the quieter side, so being around all these outgoing people in the show I'm in is really helping to bring me out of my shell :)

Mia said...

Marisa: I get what you're saying. For me, I've always been rather quiet as well but I've always wanted to try acting to get more out of my shell, like you said you've experienced. I'm glad you're getting such a positive experience from it! How's your show going anyway?