Magic, God and Perfection

VVG 1886

“I was devastated, and wrote the passage to remind myself and anyone else struggling through a similar hardship that an artist’s relationship to their art is a uniquely precious experience, and while it comes with many sacrifices, it is ultimately worth pursuing.”

– David Ackert

Who is this and what are they talking about? Once upon a time, an actor, David Ackert wrote an inspired paragraph that has become a bit of a mantra in the acting/creative community. It goes like this:

"Actors are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, actors face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every role, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because actors are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul. Actors are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes."
VVG 1887

Very uplifting. And here’s the kicker – David Ackert retired from the entertainment industry in 2009 when:

“I discovered that I could create, perform, and produce original content in the business world. Once I learned how to broaden my definition of success, I gained access to opportunities that were much more attainable than Hollywood stardom. Now I channel my creativity on my own terms.”

What is my definition of success? Is it broad enough? Am I being creative on my own terms? Am I being creative? Am I dedicating myself to a limited/limiting idea of success? What can I change? What will bring me closer to “that crystal moment”?

VVG 1889

Thanks to:

Marci Liroff’s article in Backstage about Ackert’s quote and Terry D. on Twitter where I first saw the quote mentioned.

My Octopus Teacher

Chuffed to see this South African documentary making an international splash.

‘I think what’s powerful about the film is the fact that there’s this big South African guy who is telling a deeply intimate story about an animal that is essentially a modified snail. He takes us into this fragile creature’s world and she transforms from an underwater alien into a protagonist that we can really relate to and care about. At a minimum, I think that viewers will make an emotional connection with her, but I really hope that the bigger message that comes through will be an exploration of our own identity and fragility as part of the living planet.’

Pippa Ehrlich, dir. “My Octopus Teacher”

Actors note: Craig Foster (chap in the water) has a native South African accent (of which there are many).

Put a monkey in someone’s stocking this Xmas!

The year of Covid has flown by and Christmas is just around the bend!  If you’re after that unique stocking-filler or fabulous find that elicits the sought after “Wherever did you get this?!”  then check out The Rare Monkey picture books!

“Any children’s book should have the principle target of entertaining its young reader first and foremost, but if that book is able to add a moral to its story, then it becomes the perfect children’s book. The Rare Monkey does both,” – review by BookWorm Mummy.

Optional gift wrap, dedication messages AND signatures by author Joanne Gale and Yours Truly (who did the squiggles) available at The Rare Monkey Book Shop.

Both The Rare Monkey with the Colourful Bottom and The Rare Monkey Can’t, Couldn’t, Can! are self-published and printed in the UK on responsibly sourced paper-stocks – a ‘Rare-ly’ special gift that supports a small, creative business.

Hope to see you at The Rare Monkey Book Shop and wishing you all happiness and health this festive season!

Ethan and my South African English accent

Here I’m playing a doctor in a corporate piece for South Africa – sporting a burly beard and doing my native South African English accent.  The man on the phone at the beginning is doing an Afrikaans accent – the one stereotypically associated with the country.

Go behind-the-scenes on the Barksy website.