Okay, my first ever, blog entry. I suppose there are plenty of reasons why I haven’t written one before now, but none of them come to mind at this moment.
Today I am reflecting upon reasons why people embark and then stay in the career that they have. I’ve been noticing that all too often I tend to look at others in their careers as if their grass just simply has to be greener; especially those who seem to be “better off” than what we ourselves are. (Either financially or ultimately happier) I guess that reflection caused the reaction that I had when looking at the recent SAG Awards and reading the speech from James Earl Jones upon receiving his Life Achievement Award from the SAG.
There have been several of these awarding moments recently and I guess I’ve chosen now to sit down and write about how watching these screen legends makes me feel based upon the words that come from their wisdom and experiences henceforth. In his acceptance speech, Jones quotes from the Bible book of Genesis, comparing (and apologizes in doing so) the actor to God. “Then the Lord shook man from the dust of the ground. And in his nostrils He breathed the breath of life, and man became a living being.” He further explained this analogy to the responsibility that the actor has when he takes on the character he is about to portray. He says that “only the actor can do that”. He then thanked fellow actors for “knocking him out” in breathing life into the characters that shaped his own career.
Why these words made me stop to think is beyond me. I wouldn’t call myself an “over religious” or “traditional” Catholic, but rather a faithful believer in things to come. I live or at least try to live my life, breathing life into all that I can do so that one day my kids (any of the four) may see that same spirit in their own lives. At the risk of this “blog” becoming a testimony of what I’d like to see my kids achieve, I won’t elaborate any further on those thoughts. I just feel the explanation is necessary to the foreground of my blog, so that you may get into my head just a little. (scary place, be careful!)
Being involved as the owner and creator of a website in tribute to one of the greatest actors of our time, it is with that heartfelt regard that I attempt to get my thoughts down on paper (even if it is the web) in hopes that it helps others reflect even just a little on what “knocks them out” on stage, on the screen or in life. Who does that for me? Al Pacino. He knocks me out as the retired Colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman when he advocates the fact there is “nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit”. This spoke volumes into the anger it seemed the character had throughout the entire film. It also spoke volumes into why Al was the Academy’s winner that year too. He did this several times in many films and continues the prolific outpouring of talent and exuberance in EACH of his endeavors. Just my opinion? Maybe, but it is an opinion with honor and the warmest admiration.
Albeit the Oscars approaching us and we hear of the careers of actors of all generations and from all genres being the people’s favorite or the chosen, I wonder why. I like to look into the winners to see if there is something or someone that challenged them to be the human beings that they are, and if they can find it in their hearts to continue to knock us all out for generations and years to come.
I have said it before in a couple of other forums and will say it again here; Recently, Pacino received the award as one of the great alumni of New York's Actors Studio at Italy’s Internazionale del Film di Roma's Marc Aurelio Acting Award. He was quoted in one interview as saying "In life we act...but in our art, we go for the truth..." Hopefully, that knocks you out! It does me!