What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
The cliché is, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Some clichés are grounded in truth. This one is ass-backwards. The only things that can hurt you are those things you know nothing about. The enemy of life is ignorance, not knowledge.
Knowledge is power, is certainty. If you know all aspects of your career, genuinely know them, you will run along smoothly. If you know the machinery of your job, then the machinery can’t bite you. If you know the mechanisms of life, then you will run life — life won’t run you.
Seeking knowledge and truth is supreme.
An actor should know all there is to know about his craft. And since an actor is performing different characters and expressing a multitude of life experiences, he must be an avid student of life.
Don’t accept the clichés or what “everyone” knows to be true. Observe for yourself and make your own decisions. Watch life. Sit at a busy corner and look at people. Examine their facial expressions, their clothes, their emotional tone, their gait. Try to figure out what they do for a living and what they’re thinking about as they walk past you.
Observe how people respond to good and bad news. It might not be what you expect. See what you can discover about individuals that isn’t immediately apparent.
This is a full time job, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An actor never stops studying life or seeking life improvement.
The pursuit of knowledge is supreme.
Great actors are the best students of life.