Growing as an Artist

by Lainnie Felan

Since starting at Inner Circle Theatre, I’ve become a part of a giving community of actors that are collectively teaching me more than I could’ve ever hoped for. Because of them, I get to grow and become a better actor every time I walk through the doors of the Avery Schreiber Theatre. Here are some thoughts I gathered along this journey of growth with my teacher and peers:

There are a lot of things I don’t know (not the best way to start, but hear me out). For example, I don’t automatically know what my character wants when I first pick up a scene. But, recently I’ve discovered that maybe it is okay not to know everything or to be (dare I say) wrong. I’ve heard that courage means acting even though afraid, acting in the face of fear. If we have the guts to make choices and dive into dark waters afraid, we are opening up to this beautiful process of growth in our craft, while becoming more dynamic and experienced performers.

All paths stem from discipline. I think that in developing as actors, some of us may hit a lot of walls (yours truly especially). There are barriers that are hard to get over and mountains that seem difficult to climb. On the way to becoming the best version of ourselves as actors (and really as human beings), we wonder if we’ll ever get there-if we’ll ever be putting our best possible work forward or if we’ll ever be able to pay our bills doing only acting. I don’t have the answer to that-only that I’ve learned that throughout this process, we get to rely heavily on discipline, so that no matter what happens in our opportunities, we know we have done everything we could.

We will never be done growing. The beauty of accepting that is, the work we do right now may be good, it may be great, but it will pale in comparison to the work we’ll be doing in 20 years. Although this makes my heart sink ever so slightly, I am filled with so much hope and anticipation knowing that someday I could play characters and scenes in ways I never dreamed I could.

I’m learning so much everyday here. I’m learning to make thoughtful choices and not worry about being right all the time, I’m finding ways to fight my nerves with discipline, I’m learning that we will never stop growing. But, the absolute best and unexpected part I’ve gained from this journey are the travel buddies that I’ve discovered along the way. I can’t wait for us to grow together and follow your careers with pride and appreciation.

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