BY HANNAH PRIMAN
If you were to ask me where I get my inspiration from it would be one simple answer. Poetry. Picture this, it’s a warm sunny afternoon, you’ve got your favourite drink in one hand and a poetry book in the other while in the background you hear the distant trickle of water colliding on rocks, the sound of complete bliss.
As an actor I like to constantly be in the creative realm of things, whether that be designing photos, writing lyrics, sketching or being in the outdoors. Keeping the mind fresh and active is a way of developing, learning, and growing.
Poetry is an expressive way to understand how language and symbolism work, it’s an expansion of our imagination, very similar to the way actors read scripts, we have to imagine what isn’t already there. Poetry is saturated in imagery that appeals to our senses creating feelings, moods, themes and meanings. For me poetry is my favourite thing to read purely because it stimulates ideas and helps me articulate my craft.
Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words. – Paul Engle
Maybe I’m a little biased when it comes to poetry, but you should…
READ, READ, READ
*READING IS IMPORTANT ESPECIALLY AS AN ACTOR*
Poetry is great at developing skills such as reading, writing, speaking and communicating. Actors that don’t read are what I call stale artists, without reading, it can be harder to create fresh and new things. And that my friend is not good news, striving on innovative creativity should be in our very bones, so I would encourage you to visit a library, thrift shop or shop online to find poetry books, find a nice spot to sit down and let your mind do the imagining.
My love for poetry started when I read John Milton’s famous epic poem Paradise Lost. Let me tell you, it’s really complex. I had to read it at least 3 times. The fact that it was so complex and filled with figurative language I instantly found a new love for poetry, even though it was a hard read my mind was comprehending different ideas and perspectives. I love reading poems that challenge my views, opinions and standards to get another look at someone else’s position. This helps opens my mind to how people function, how the world works and why certain things happen the way they do. As an actor never settle for comfortability, instead always accept challenges.
Challenge yourself. Here are a few challenging/favourite books I love.
WRITEI don’t know about you but sometimes I can really find it hard to express exactly how I feel inside, but somehow when I write down my feelings in a form of poetry I feel like the paper gets me, for me it’s an expressive act of comfort. Write rhythmic patterns, stories, lyrics, meaningful analogies. Express yourself. Poetry and acting come hand in hand when it comes to expressing. The more you read the more it helps you to comprehend ideas and think of new things. The more you think the more ideas you have to write down.
Poetry is not just the pages we read but the songs we listen to, the movies we watch and the art we see. Start reading and get creative.