Just Find A Way To Play

“To me, acting doesn’t really feel that different, one job to another. The set’s different, and we had no money, and we had small catering and stuff, a small crew, but it doesn’t feel that different. If you play basketball on a playground, and then you play in a college game, you’re playing basketball. If you’re playing guitar in the park with some guy, or you’re playing on a big album, you’re playing. It doesn’t feel that different to me.” -Interview with writer/director/actor Tom Noonan

The above quote is in reference to Tom Noonan’s low budget, 1994 indie directorial debut, “What Happened Was.” If you haven’t seen this film, I highly, highly recommend you seek it out. (Hat tip to my friend Kevin for first turning me on to it.) It’s phenomenal and inspiring on so many levels including what you can do with just two actors, one room and a whole lotta passion, thought and care. (Oscilloscope just released a beautiful 4K restoration as even though the film won the 1994 Sundance Grand Jury prize, it was previously only available on VHS. It’s also currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.)

Whatever you’re doing–writing, acting, painting, playing a sport, etc…–what are the simplest tools you need to be able to actually do the thing you love. To practice your desired craft. Pen and paper? Canvas and paints? Ball and a hoop? Your imagination?

Once you acquire those simple tools, then find a way–even if it’s just a few minutes throughout the day–to do it.

The budget and size and circumstances might be different, but the actual doing of the thing is exactly the same. So just find a way to play.

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