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“Acting is a spiritual quest to touch human beings” Larry Moss
Actors hold a tremendous amount of power over their audience; with this power comes a responsibility. Too often, the spoken word is abused and taken for granted. Phrases are strung together hastily, with cruelty embedded throughout. These laced words hold power as well. Given the opportunity to start a nonprofit organization with $10,000 dollars, I would design a summer camp dedicated to actors who have fallen victim to bullying.
A certain degree of confidence is necessary to achieve a magnificent performance. However, this confidence can be shattered by the words and actions of bullies. A summer camp dedicated to building strengths and reassurance will benefit aspiring actors immensely. The building blocks of an inspiring performance lie within the actor. There is no set, script or amount of money that can amount to the tools of the mind.
I feel a personal connection to this cause. In seventh grade I dealt with a bully, and developed a close relationship with my guidance counselor in hopes of resolving the issues. This experience left me seeking reassurance that I was enough, and especially that I was strong enough to continue attending school despite the anxiety I felt. My family and friends provided me with an exceptional support system, and I found that theater nullified my fears and built my selfesteem as well.
Through acting, I finally began to feel in control, a feeling that had been foreign to me. I focused on finding the tools within myself to further my performances, and aimed to find sufficient validation from myself before I sought it from anybody else. My confidence began to soar, and my theatrical talents continued to improve. Perhaps the most electrifying aspect of this discovery was the power I had acquired. I was finally able to use my words to bend the emotions of my audience in a positive way. A certain magic occurs when I say a line and hear the resulting audience reaction.
The summer camp that I hope to build will benefit young actors by demonstrating the magic that not only inspires the audience, but can also inspire the actor. With the $10,000 I will invest in a facility with an appropriate number of studios for independent practice, as well as classes designed to spark a positive outlook in the students. However, the studios do not hold as much weight as the faculty. With the money available for the nonprofit program, I will handpick a board of ten esteemed actors and professional “inspirers.” The faculty will not approve techniques or methods as true, false, right or wrong. Every student will leave each class with greater selfawareness. Each faculty member will address every student by name, creating a personalized experience. The kids should not and will not feel as though they are lost in a crowd; they will be a crucial aspect of the camp, and they will be aware of this.
A great performance can change somebody, and a really great performance can change the actor. The nonprofit organization will not only teach, but also prove each student’s worth. My hope is that a safe haven will be found in each child’s mind, providing him or her with the validation and confidence that every person deserves.
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