Posts Tagged ‘Abigail Breslin’

Oh Lord, It’s Hard To Be Humble

Not really, because I am so NOT PERFECT in any (rather long every) way.  I see by the old stat count that I have reached a total of 666 posts (I’ll get off that with this one).  The title… a friend recently posed an interesting question.  Does acting make you more humble when it comes to things concerning the human condition: like ego?  I like to think that I’m not a very ego-centered person, but does that in itself make me egocentric.

In my humble opinion to be successful in any role, you must first know who the character is beyond what you are given in the script.  Where does he come from?  What makes the person who he is?  What was his life like before he takes his first step onto the stage?  This is ultimately as important for the person who has a one-line (or no-line) cameo as it is for the actor playing the 300+ line lead role.

Of course, understanding does not always mean you must empathize with the character.  That would be totally insane!  I could never be a mean, curmudgeonly miser but I sure had a ball playing one on stage.  And as much as I humbly hate to admit it,  I could never be a sexist, Liswathistani visitor covering for news new owner America country.

I am now at the point at which I am ready to take on even more challenging parts.  To be able to take on roles that really challenge me to step out of my zone and look at other elements of the human condition.  Just as Abigail Breslin is now bringing her take of Helen Keller to the Broadway stage in The Miracle Worker.  Plus… still have fun doing it!  The moment it is no longer fun is when I stop and I don’t see that happening any too soon.

I think during my years as an amateur actor, I have come to see (not necessarily understand) more elements of the human condition than I had before.  At least enough to want to continue to do so.

Spread Some Sunshine

Smiley FaceAny family who sees themselves as dysfunctional needs to watch the movie Little Miss Sunshine. The Hoover clan gives new definition to the term. At the head of the household, we have the motivational speaker (played by Greg Kinnear) who is himself a total loser. The frazzled, chain smoking mother (Toni Collette) whose idea of a home-cooked meal is a bucket of fast food chicken…. cleverly disguised as NOT KFC. The clinically depressed, suicidal uncle (the brilliant Steve Carell) who lost the title of #1 Proust student to the new lover of his ex-boyfriend. The rebellious, teenage, Nietszche follower who has taken a vow of silence (Paul Dano). FINALLY, we have the fun-loving, expletive shouting, drug addicted grandfather (Alan Arkin). They all pile into the family VW van in order to take little Olive (Abigail Breslin) from Albuquerque to Redondo Beach to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest.

While on this road trip, the Hoover’s learn some valuable lessons. You should never apologize for yourselves no matter how dysfunctional you are. Little girls who eat ice cream may or may not get fat. AND (strangest of all) pornography can be viewed as a sign from God; or at least be useful when pulled over by the police.

While the film contains a magnificent ensemble cast, one character in the movie deserves extra credit. The poor van that almost seemed to have a personality all its own. It should have been given a screen credit. Its broken horn gave voice to the pain it must have been feeling as it continued on the long journey with a bunch of kooks. Not since THE ORIGINAL Herbie the Love Bug has a Volkswagen been as memorable a character as any human.