At the end of Monday’s class we spent a little bit of time discussing the meaning and purpose of art. I think it is important to note that art can be seen as a form of travel. As everyone knows, art can be expressed in many different forms: literature, music, painting, drawing, sculpture, filmmaking, acting, etc. People often describe anything they are good at as “their art.” Ultimately, art comes down to the representation of oneself. It involves taking one’s skill and sharing that skill with others. Our art allows us to show others a representation of ourselves and allow them to associate with that representation. It allows people to find a common ground and share a common passion. In that way, art is something that transcends cultures, something that all people can share. In addition, art is a way to challenge oneself, allowing a person to stretch his or her abilities. In that way, art is much like travel in that it can help a person identify what essentially represents him or her.
I’ve never considered myself, nor did others ever consider me, particularly artistic in the typical sense. If you were to give me a pencil and a pad and asked me to draw something I would probably give you back at best a stick figure; at worst a broken pencil and a balled up piece of paper. And believe me when I say you would not want me to sing you a love song. However, I was particularly talented when it came to acting. Although it’s something I have pretty much given up now, I was heavily involved in dramatics all throughout high school. When all else failed, I found drama to be the art form through which I could represent myself best.
Throughout my life I have always been particularly outgoing. I love to joke, and I love to put myself in front of others performing and goofing around. I often memorized entire scenes from movies (something that came very naturally to me) and recited them in front of friends and family members in order to get a rise out of them. All of these aspects of my personality incited me to take a particular liking to drama. It is the only art form where I could truly express my outgoing personality to the fullest extent. It let me take on various roles and present them to large audiences. In a way, it allowed me to take something I had done my whole life in front of family and friends and do it on a larger scale.
Furthermore, I think the art of acting is particularly expressive of oneself in that two different people can play the same character in completely different ways. Whenever an actor takes on a role, that character will naturally retain some of the personality traits of the actor, no matter how good of an actor the person is. Therefore, when an audience watches an actor play a particular role, they are not just seeing that character, but they are seeing part of that person revealed through his or her art.