I’m an Actress: Caught in the Act – True Love

In

life, I’d always felt vaguely disconnected from other people. I say vaguely,

because even though I’ve always had lots of friends and immediate family around,

always stayed in the social mix of things, and stayed busy with

extra-curricular activities; at the end of the day, I never missed anyone once

they were gone. Never felt lonely.

 

I

was perfectly content in solitude, and actually preferred it that way. My

feelings always stayed very surface, and “out of sight, out of mind” couldn’t

have been a truer description of life for me. I was connected, but disconnected –

if that makes any sense.

 

As

a matter of fact, when some of my own extended family members would tell me

that they loved me, I would internally wonder, “Really? How, when we hardly

ever see one another?”  How do you find

things to love about someone that you

hardly ever talk to? Like, maybe. But

love?

 

What

exactly is this “default love” and connectivity that everyone else feels? Are

they just faking it? Or am I just immune? Up until recently, I still pondered these

basic human questions. Come to find out, I would uncover the answers in the

most unlikely of places – at my performing arts studio, while rehearsing for an

upcoming showcase. Let me explain…

 

I’ve

done lots of film and television, but for the very first time in my adult life, I am part of a stage

ensemble – a wonderfully energetic mixture of song and dance and drama; Hip-Hop

and soul; a journey from my freedom fighting roots, to the freedom of throwing

my hands up in the club. And even though I am one in a mix of about 20, what I

do individually on that stage profoundly affects my fellow performers.

 

Likewise,

what they do profoundly affects me. If they’re off-beat, it throws me off. If I

misstep, I may hit someone else. If their energy is high, it ignites the person

next to them, and the person next to that person, sending an inferno racing

through the room.  If their energy is

low, they muffle the beat of the next man’s drum.

 

We

all matter to each other, whether we

like it or not. And we may not even know one another all that well, might have

just recently met, but in this exchange of living creativity, we all have to

fall in line with one another as if we have been connected for years. We must

believe in the connectivity ourselves, or in short, our existence on that stage

will be a disaster waiting to happen. We belong to one another, and it’s not an

option.  So as I stood there in rehearsal

on that Monday night, I had a light bulb moment that sent my heart racing. This

is kind of like… life!

 

It

also occurred to me that actors and performers, on a fundamental level,

especially those that start from a very young age, constantly must make

physical connections in order to achieve their creative goal as a group. And

it’s just natural law that when your body repetitiously does something, your

mind follows suit, then your heart, and finally your soul.

 

On

a basic level, creative people (actors, dancers, and singers, etc.)  are thrown into the midst of humanity each and

every time they perform with others, forcing them to connect, which in my

opinion naturally makes them more open, receptive, feeling, and sensitive people;

hence, my biggest emotional puzzles being unlocked in the midst of performances

and rehearsals. As someone who had my “emotional faucet” turned down to a

trickle at a young age, it felt absolutely explosive standing there when I

finally understood. So believe me, it was no coincidence when I received a

life-altering phone call just days after that very same rehearsal.

 

Ever

since I could remember, I struggled to understand the place that my paternal

grandmother (may she rest in peace) had in my life. I honestly felt no

connection to her, and the outpouring of love she displayed when she

occasionally saw me actually made me feel uncomfortable and distant, because I

just didn’t understand where she was coming from. Again, I would have those

same questions: How can you love someone so deeply that you hardly ever see? Was

she just saying all of that? What exactly was her place in my life? Does she

really even know me?

 

Then,

sometime last week, my maternal grandmother

gave me a call. Before we got off the phone, she asked me what I was working on,

and I told her all about my upcoming stage performance. Then something in her

voice changed. She said, “You know, your other

grandmother used to do this speech that mesmerized a whole room!” I, of course,

had no idea, since I had rarely spoken to her when she was alive. She continued

on, “Yeah! And she would be so into

it! She used to do this thing where she would slide down on the floor, and I

can’t remember the name of it, but the whole room would just burst into a

standing ovation…. You know, that’s where you get it from!”

 

Those

last words from her caught me by the throat and sent a shockwave of revelation

through my body. Literally, driving on Interstate 285, it seemed like my 80-mile-per-hour

world came to a screeching halt.

 

“That’s where you get it from.”

Wow.

That’s where I get it from?

 Yes!

That’s where I get it from!

 

That

was the very first time I was able to

place my father’s mother in my life so personally. It was the very first time I

felt a connection to her. Years after her passing, the first time that I truly

felt all the love she extended to me, and could allow myself feel it 100 times

over in return. All this time, she and I were a part of an ensemble, and she

had passed on a gift to me that I had never allowed myself to see or receive,

until that very moment. I felt human. I felt love. I felt a connectivity to

this ancestor that had tried so hard to reach me in life; and not only did I now

understand her meaning to me, but it truly opened up the floodgates to the

realization that everyone else I’d ever known is an integral part of this

ensemble as well.

 

I’ve

finally found true love, and it has revealed itself to me through acting.  

 

Love,

Hip-Hop and Thespian Discovery,

Noree

Victoria

 

Hit Noree up at

myspace.com/noreevictoria

 

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