Feb. 16, 2017


One of my biggest thrills in life is learning something new and applying it to my craft as well as my life. Acting class has always been fun, but I definitely want it to be worth it if I'm going to devote my time. Flashback to last week when I found the opportunity to audit a class that seemed like it would be right up my alley, well at least that is what the description indicated. Anyway, the location is in North Hollywood at a time when the illustrious LA traffic is at it's peak. Enter OBSTACLE #1.


I'm really an expert at not stressing out, so I just focus on the excitement of the actual class and get ready to head out. So I pull out my GPS and type in the address of my destination. I usually give myself an hour and twenty minutes to get to the valley/Hollywood for auditions and meetings, but would you know the fastest track would take one hour and thirty minutes...YIKES!! Enter OBSTACLE #2. I can feel the stress start to rise as I go in an out of traffic, watching my GPS gain and lose time. I'm also thinking that WHAT A GREAT 1ST IMPRESSION! I'M LATE! I go into my normal deep breathing exercises and gratitude as I'm driving and this calms me down. Ultimately in every situation, it always works out in my favor, even if it looks like a complete mess physically. My route takes me through Nicholls Canyon and in that moment, as I'm riding past the scenic overlook, I remember this is why I moved to Los Angeles six years ago to follow my Hollywood dreams. A rush comes over me and I'm super excited to get to the place and share my gifts. Enter TRIUMPH #1. As I'm driving and I get an idea of where I'm going, I call the studio to let them know that I will be running late, but no one answers the phone...Ugghhhh! After coming to the therapeutic conclusion a few years back that it's ok to feel your emotions, I voice my frustration out loud! Enter OBSTACLE #3. This oddly enough makes me feel much better and it actually warms up my voice as well as adding comfort to the situation. Enter TRIUMPH #2. I finally reach my North Hollywood destination only to find that there is no parking anywhere. Enter OBSTACLE #4...



I just shake my head as I drive around the neighborhood I used to live in just a few years ago. Although it's getting to be stressful, it helps me realize that I've come a long way since sleeping on my relative's couch not knowing, but trusting that things would always work out for me. And they have. Enter TRIUMPH #3. I decide to pull into the walgreens after ten minutes of circling the building like a vulture only to see a sign that says: ALL NON CUSTOMERS WILL BE TOWED! As I look to the right I spot three cameras. CRAP!! Enter OBSTACLE #5! I park anyway and I walk into the studio and no one is more friendly than people at casting studios (Totally being sarcastic). No one knows anything, even if they did, they wouldn't tell you and basically it seems as if they only care about themselves. I find my class and I pop in. There's about 20 people in class and the entire time even as I introduce myself, All I can think about is my car being towed away...Hmmmm reenter OBSTACLE #5. All things aside, you often know in the first few minutes if a class was for you or not. This one definitely wasn't for me. After forty minutes of trying to be present, I dart out to the parking lot. Imagine my relief when I see my car parked in the same spot! Enter TRIUMPH #4. Before I stop to take off for the almost 25 mile ride home, I stop, I think, I laugh and I give thanks! This was a bit of a whirlwind but it was definitely thrilling and it seemed worth it in the moment. Enter TRIUMPH #5 



I talked to my brother the next day and told him everything that transpired. He paused for a moment and then told me, do you know what just happened right? Obviously I didn't.  This is what he said, "You just went through an advanced acting course. All of those things you were dealing with on the inside while still being present in the moment is the true art of acting which is being. The obstacles and triumphs give your character the substance it needs to be relatable to your audience." My reaction was speechless because he was totally right. The one hour and a half in the car was likely the best acting class I've had in a long time. And it led me to this message which relates to our careers and our lives so well:




Shaun Grant