The Experience of Escape
By Ryan Huetson
Among the many things to love about acting, the one I love most is the escape. When I’m on stage I’m not thinking about my current day-job; my personal relationships of the past; my fear of the future.
I am going to risk losing the audience. So I have to stay there. Stay in my escape to the here-and-now.
When you are on stage you are living in the here-and-now. All you can think about is committing to your character and living in their moments. Those moments when you know you have the audience in the palm of your hand. You can feel them hanging on your words and watching every movement. If I break my commitment to the reality of those moments by letting personal thoughts and feelings filter in, I am going to risk losing the audience. So I have to stay there. Stay in my escape to the here-and-now.
It is a rarity in life when you can clear the thoughts of your own self-centered existence.
Audiences and actors want the same thing from this experience. To get away for a little while by sharing fulfilling moments together. It is a rarity in life when you can clear the thoughts of your own self-centered existence. And it’s hard. At least, it’s not as simple as it sounds. So even if those occasional self-serving thoughts do creep into my head while I’m acting, it’s as close to an escape as I can get.
Ryan Huetson is a long time actor, comedian, and writer. He is a major contributor to The Kirkwood Players, taking on roles in every Kp production and event.