[Update my favorite quotations section on my facebook.]
As mentioned on my LC blog bio, three words to describe me are bubbly, optimistic, and energetic. If Meryl Streep had a LC blog, her three words would be classy, inspirational, and funny.
I was fortunate to spend an hour listening to Ms. Streep share her advice and anecdotes of her acting adventures, keeping her audience full of laughter and good spirits. The lady is a legend; and yet pleasantly down-to-earth. I was surprised to walk in and settle into my seat as the Academy Award-winning actress was cracking jokes about conceiving a child in our great state of Texas.
She said we were allowed to ask any question, nothing was off limits–she would answer all of them–except her weight. While the atmosphere was unmistakably charged with an excited energy and lively spirit, Meryl Streep put forth her sincere honesty and constructive guidance to the aspiring actors of UT’s Theater and Dance Department.
“Acting is really listening,” she said, “I believe in the work I’ve chosen.” As she spoke these words she had the whole theater hanging on her every word, as only a true performer can. She answered other questions with her memories from her undergrad work at Vassar and graduate work at Yale University.
I sat there, personally awestruck that I was able to be in the same room as Miranda Priestly from the Devil Wears Prada, Donna from Mamma Mia!, Julia Child from Julie and Julia, and Jane Adler from It’s Complicated. I was thinking, “She doesn’t really seem like she a demanding fashion editor, a song-singing mother on a Greek island, a chef, or a woman who was having an affair with Alec Baldwin.” That moment confirmed two things.
One–what an AMAZING actress she is, that she can really convince people she really is her characters. It proved her point of “Actors can help understand people who can do monstrous acts…they can console an audience member so they feel like they aren’t the only ones going through something.”
Two–Especially after being around theater my whole life, I was pretty ignorant that I was expecting her characters to be showing up on stage.
As if it wasn’t obvious, the audience wasn’t ready to let go of Meryl Streep and her sharp and witty observations about the acting industry at the end of the hour. Her passion and emotional attachment to acting translated to the audience. Her pure love and enjoyment of acting was apparent, and she was refreshingly real in her demeanor.
I, of course, was a huge fan before the talk with Meryl Streep, but I am even more so now. After finishing this blog, I plan on logging into facebook and editing my favorite quotations to:
“Be present. Be Alert. Stay on the balls of your feet not the back of your heels. Not just in acting, but in everything you do.”
- Meryl Streep