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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Actor and His Suitcase

  • Author(s): Williams, Maurice
  • Advisor(s): Donnelly, Kyle
  • et al.

The idea of the actor as journeyman is as old as the profession itself. The travel troupes of yesteryear laid the groundwork for the theatres of Shakespeare and the regional theatre circuit here in America. So if there is one thing an actor must have: it's a good suitcase. Or two. One for the rags and trinkets he, or she, holds dear; and another for all the skills he, or she, brings to every project.

When I left the east coast for San Diego I brought with me those two suitcases. Luckily for me, the latter of the two doesn't have to be checked or carried-on. That second suitcase was filled with all the things a young aspiring actor should have: unearned confidence, unwarranted self-doubt, and unrelenting will to be best he can be. Thrown in also were some "soft-skills" I hard learned at the undergraduate level. I was packed and ready for a new journey.

Upon arriving here at San Diego I had to be willing to set down that suitcase, turn it over and empty it out on the sidewalk. Fore it was to be filled with new ideas and skills that wouldn't be a weight on my shoulders; but more so a Mary Poppins bag of magic. I had to work extremely had for every addition to that suitcase. But now that I stand here with a full suitcase I'm thankful for the time and energy that it took to fit each article in it.

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