It’s a compulsion
Toni Collette just wants to be “turned on” as an actor, she notes:
“I’ve been doing it [acting] for half my life now and life’s too short to put your energy into something that you don’t believe in, that you don’t find entertaining yourself or doesn’t speak to you in some vivid way.
“When I choose a script it’s almost like it chooses me and it bypasses my brain. It’s not an analytical thing, it just speaks to my gut and it’s a compulsion,” she explains.
“Even if I do go searching it’s still going to be apparent that I have to wait for the right thing to come along. I can’t really force it or control it and I’ve been offered stuff where I would be paid a whole heap more but I can’t bring myself to do it because I just don’t like it, it doesn’t mean anything to me.”
Acting as play
Compared to when she she was starting out as an actor, she says, “I probably have the same amount of passion for it but it’s not the be-all and end-all, so I guess my priorities have shifted.
“When you’re a young woman you have no responsibilities, you’re just running around the globe, having fun, and enjoying it, as well as getting excited about it. Now I still do those things but I feel like I’m a much more responsible human being.”
Yet she still views acting as an extension of play, something she always felt from the outset. “That’s still what keeps me going and that’s the crux of it for me, which is why I do it.
[From interview by Paul Fischer, July 25th 2006.]
Gabriel Byrne on meaning
In his books and counseling, therapist, creativity coach and writer Eric Maisel, Ph.D. emphasizes the need for creative people to nurture meaning. See his articles.
Another actor, Gabriel Byrne comments about meaning: “So many actors feel that their work is themselves, and if they’re not working, they’re somehow kind of worthless… then life doesn’t have any meaning because they’re not doing the thing that they love. But the lesson I’ve learned is that life comes first and acting comes second.” [From the article Filling your time with meaning.]