Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Never Too Late

As most of you know I am still fairly new to this whole acting thing. Most people who are actors have been doing it their whole life. They did plays in elementary and middle school. Then took high school courses and did plays. Moved onto college and so on and so forth. I got into it because I needed a credit for my college education. A blow off class is what we like to call those. So I signed up for "Intro to Theater." It all changed from there. I recall my friend telling me, "You are going to love that class!! Everyone will be like you and you'll have a blast." I assumed she didn't know what she was talking about, but sure enough she was right. It changed my whole life. I applied for an Institute, The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Not thinking I had a chance in hell I sent in my homemade headshot, that my g/f, at the time, took, and my resume which listed my band gigs; Zero acting. I don't know how, or why, but they accepted me. First acceptance letter I've ever received. It was awesome!

When I arrived in LA I didn't know what to expect. I had a great friend lend a helping hand and let me crash at his place while I was waiting for my place to be move-in ready. I drove out to school on a Monday and entered. It wasn't like a school or university like most would be use to seeing. It was a building next to a 7-11. I didn't know what to expect. I arrived about 20 minutes early because the last thing I wanted to do was stroll in late. I enter the classroom and there was 1 other person as smart as me. He was sitting there just hanging out. I looked around. There were a bunch of chairs lined up facing a small-modified stage. It was about 2 inches off the ground. Very small, but then again it was a class and not a theater. I walked over to the guy and introduced myself. He ended up becoming one of my best friends and one of the best actors in the school in my opinion. Anyway him and I just sat there talking about the last thing I would ever find in an acting institute...sports. He's from Boston, a very big sports town just like Dallas. It was nice. Then about 10 minutes later another early bird walked in. She was very attractive and foreign. For the life of me I can't remember her name but she was very cool and was a singer.

After all the class arrived the teacher walked in, or the professor. He was older and had this intense feeling about him. When he sat down he said, "alright, alright! Settle down guys. Lets get to work." He was from New York and HATED Los Angeles. It was hilarious the way he talked about this town. Made me start wondering..."am I in the right town? Should I head east?" I was scared of him but of course in the end he ended up being the best teacher at the institute. He went to school at the original Actors Studio. Where Strasberg, Adler and Meisner all taught. Some of the greatest actors of all time were his classmates. So not only was he scary, but intimidating. I learned a lot from him.

After that class I had a break before my next class. The next class I met a few cool people and it was a "LA" style class. Laid back. Teacher was cool and just worked with us but no fear, no intimidation. It was nice to have a class like that but at the same time I loved the other class because it was a challenge and he challenged us. I never felt truly challenged in this class.

After studying there for a while I found myself wanting more and searching for other institutes to study in. My acting teacher from back home told me before I left, "The best thing you have going for you don't know shit. Seriously, you have no idea and it's a beautiful thing. You're like a puppy dog. You need to keep being a puppy dog and learn from everywhere. Stay open. I always get these students in my class that think they know it all because they've been trained and been doing this their whole life. You, on the other hand, didn't. You were fresh and took everything in. Keep that up and it will take you far." I will never forget those words because I still keep it fresh and always am looking to learn from anybody, young or old, in the industry. Even friends that aren't in the industry help me without even knowing it. I'm an open book.

I'm really wanting to get back into a class but I need to get some things straightened out before I can A. afford it.

I guess the point to this blog is it's never too late to do something new. I run into high school friends from time to time and they always have the same response..."WHAT?!?! You're acting? You didn't take acting courses in school. That's crazy." I've also heard a story of an 80 y/o that always wanted to be an actress and finally decided to get up and do it. She's starred in some commercials and is doing it. And as for me...I got into acting about 5 years ago and have done so much that I am proud of that 5 years ago...I never thought could be possible. I have a long ways to go and can't wait to see what's next. It's never too late.

Jonathan Baca

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