Monday, April 15, 2013

The Question, April 15, 2013

How To Be Understood

Tristan D. Lalla is an award-winning actor and Dawson College Professional Theatre honours graduate. His work has been seen across the country on stage, and internationally in films, TV shows, commercials,  and video games.

CHARPO: Your comments on Facebook and Twitter about approaches to life and how we live our lives often represent a philosophical view. How does this view manifest itself in your decision about accepting and/or performing theatre roles.

LALLA: Like many of us (artists, and non-artists alike), I am a creature of instinct. (What's really fascinating to realize, is that our instincts evolve over time. We don't always have the same gut reactions to things that we once did ten years ago. Such is Life. But already, I digress...)

A philosopher is one who is, literally, a "lover of wisdom". I like to think that that partially describes me pretty well. I genuinely enjoy Learning (and UnLearning). When in a situation, I'll often try to change my vantage point to see if it changes my point of view. (they're different things.) Often it doesn't, but it may give me a deeper/ wider/ different perspective from someone else's eyes -- which leads to empathic conversations and shaking me out of my comfort zone.

The Theatre, in my eyes, is our live artistic mirror to society. (Or at least, it should be.) It's the Truth, be it good/ bad/ ugly, pretty or anything in between. It's where we come to hear about ourselves, and fully relate to characters and stories (all without anyone else in the audience knowing at times. So many personal journeys occur every night in an audience, that we never hear of. Silently cathartic epiphanies... poetry).

When preparing for/considering a role, I always ask myself: "Why this story? Why is this relevant Today? What is it saying? What is the message? Does it Speak to me? Will it Speak to Them? Why?...", etc. As a lover of wisdom, I instinctively ask myself questions such as these, because my job as an actor is to interpret these roles and fill them with Truth, so that those watching on any given night might recognize parts of themselves in parts of my performance (and not just for theatre, but in all areas of performance - Films, TV, Video Game characters, voice roles, etc).

I'll share this with you as well. My favourite actors are those that love life (in all its glory and flaws), and show how much they've studied LIFE in their work. I believe that everything is connected and relative. Yes, I went to theatre school, but prior to that I've spent many years training to draw, paint, play/compose music, and dance.

I had a severe stammer as a young person, and my speech impediment didn't cease until I was almost a teenager. In those younger years, the way I expressed myself wasn't verbal, it was: physically, musically, sonically, textually, and tangibly. I somehow overcame that small hurdle in my life, and soon after I couldn't shut up... but my point is this - in an attempt to seek the knowledge and wisdom of How To Be Understood, I ended up finding my career, and a way to express my voice and My Voice. So much of my work today is Verbal/Oral, and had I not known the other end of the spectrum, I couldn't enjoy the sweet irony of it all now. Everything is relative. Oh, and I've also received a diploma from completing an online Philosophy course last year.

If you're an actor, Study Life. It's your job to recreate it truthfully.

1 comment:

  1. After reading this I am truly blessed to be your Mother:)


Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.