5 Things I learned from Acting School

5 Things I learned from Acting School

Hello everyone,

I went to acting school when I was only nineteen years old, in a completely different country, and had to re-start my life over there. It was a great experience, first time alone, in a country with different language, different culture, no parents, nor anyone to solve my problems. Let’s say it was a crucial time to shape me into the woman I am today. I have come to discover who I really am, because I had the time and permission to do so.

So here they are, the five things I learned in acting school that I will take with me for life: Ready? ACTION!

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  1. Engage with people, and learn to listen.

When someone (the cashier at the grocery store for example) asks you “How are you?” Really take time to answer. We usually say, “I’m fine, and you?” And thats it. Engage them on conversation. After one of my teacher told me that, I started doing this all the time. Eventually everyone knew me at my local Grocery Store because I always engaged them in conversation. It’s so automatic now that sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Take time to really know people, it will make a difference, and really LISTEN.

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     2. Fail, fail again, but fail better. 

I believe is one of the most important things for me to remember. One of my teachers used to say that if we felt like we failed at the scene, we should do it again, but do it better. If you failed the scene again, you should keep going, because each try would only be better than the last, and we would always learn something. This is so important to use in our daily lives, when applying for a new job, working out, or trying something you are afraid of. Just take a chance, and keep fighting. Failure is just one step away from success.

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  3. Write your experiences.

They always encouraged us to keep journals. We should write our experiences, write what we see, write about people we see in the street, write about anything, actually. When we write, we are doing a study of the Human psych, and in acting we need to understand humans. We need to know how different people feel, react, their objectives in life, etc… So, I’m really trying to work on writing more what I see.

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  4. Respect each other’s background.

In my class we had people from all over the world, with different ages, cultures, colors, languages, and background. We had to share some pretty personal things in order to learn how to trust each other (which could only make a scene better), and to be vulnerable. I got to learn great stories, as well as sad ones from so many people, and that taught me we shouldn’t judge someone based on what we think we know. We don’t know each other’s past and struggle. We can only be supportive of one another.

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      5. Do not compare yourself with others.

This one is a biggie for me, because I am terrible at it. We learned that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because everyone was different, with a different strength or talent. We could only compare ourselves with ourselves, because that was the only way we would see our true growth. If you compare where you are to where others are, you will end up frustrated. But if you stop to realize how much you improved, you will feel the fire to keep improving. That is a must for anything in life: health, body image, personal projects, work etc. Do not compare yourself with others. Only you can be the true measure of your growth. You will always be enough, because no one else can be a better you than you.

CUT!

What did you think of my 5 lessons from acting school? Make sure to leave a comment!

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A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

Hello everyone,

What do you see in the picture? Books, right? A book means someone (the author) is trying to give you a message. Trying to transport you to a different place, time, or simply to make you see your own world in a different point of view. The whole purpose of a book is simply to give you a message, to make you think critically, or to make you stop thinking about your daily life, and just drown within its pages. The same for a movie, play, music, painting, or any form of art that triggers something inside you.

But I was astonished to discover over the weekend, while I was taking a self-publishing course, that here in Brazil some books are not considered Literature, because they are more commercial or because their writing style isn’t as refined as others. I felt like these types of books were underestimated, as if they weren’t as good or valued as the others.

I always thought we had one Young-Adult genre, where all the sub-genres derived from, however, we have a Literary YA, and a commercial YA. (The names are different in Portuguese but won’t change the meaning of what I’m saying.) So where does this in-between commercial YA lies? Why Brazilians are not publishing Young-Adult novels that are not so refined (but still sends you a message clearly), and are more commercial? Most of the books we consume here are Young-Adult novels that come from english speaking countries, however, we ourselves are not writing them.

Doesn’t a book still have the same value even if it’s simply entertaining, and not didactic or refined, or stylistic more polished? I believe that books, no matter what genre, should all have the same value, because they are all trying to teach you something, entertain you, or make you feel something. The more rules we put on how books should look like, the less people will read it, because they will stay within one category. A book is supposed to make you feel fun, silly, courageous, strong, vulnerable, and intelligent. Just like we have different moods and tastes, so should books. Yes, some people think that YA books are silly or for teenagers, but they still make me feel good. Isn’t that the whole point of reading something? Having a good time?

If we want to stop complaining that the new generation doesn’t read that many books, why don’t we stop discriminating books in the first place? If it makes you feel happy, whole, and overall satisfied that is all that matters.

Don’t give up reading,

Fefe.

Re-learning How to be Creative.

Re-learning How to be Creative.

Ok, so let me ask you something. Creativity is a talent, right?

Nope.

I used to think that too, until recently I’ve stumbled upon a course taught here in Brazil by a comedian Entrepreneur, Murilo Gun, who decided it was time to break the traditional thought that some people are creative while others aren’t.

His whole course is based upon the idea that everyone is born creative, but as we grow up, we start getting blocked from the way society makes us behave. We lose that childlike innocent creativity where every thing we see is considered an input for creative thoughts.

I have been suffering with creative block since I started working in a more traditional logical job, and haven’t been my normal self since then. So, I decided to take a shot at the course to see if it would help me re-learn how to be creative.

The course hasn’t started yet, however, all the “students” already created a group on facebook and on Whatsapp, so we could start getting to know each other and share our experiences of the course as we move forward.

For me, just that experience is already worthy enough. Imagine about a hundred people, from different cities, backgrounds, ages, jobs, hobbies, personalities, but all with one goal of re-learning how to be creative? It’s the most incredible experience ever!

Everyone is so funny, and interactive, and they all have something different to offer or to teach you that sometimes it’s even hard to keep up. I’ve been having a blast just by knowing all these crazy people just like me, and sort of felt back on first day of college where everyone was friends with each other and we were all so united. Some of those people are still my friends, and I can only hope to come out with more friends from this new experience.

I have a feeling that they will help me towards my creative path, and that we will all have a great experience together.

So if you are feeling like you need a change, why don’t you try starting a new class somewhere? Something different and unique, with people who have the same goal as you? Get out of your shell and try meeting new people! If you are open minded and respectful of everyone’s differences, you can only come out with more knowledge about human beings and perhaps you can even change your mind about pre-conceived ideas.

Happy Creative thoughts,

Fernanda.