Karina Schink: In defense of acting


Karina Schink

People change constantly. 

We grow up, we lose teeth, get freckles, gain inches horizontally and sometimes vertically. We can gain or lose octaves, become a redhead or bluehead and maybe even change genders.

Growing up is this crazy process of dynamic events that shape who we are and who we will become and what we believe. I knew it was for me.

There was, however, one thing that always remained the same: I wanted to act.

It’s so hard to remember how it started, how this passion grew and became such a huge part of who I am, even if I kept it a secret from everyone. Only my best friend knew and she was the only one who knew me entirely, or as much as one human can really know another.

I was told at a very young age that acting was a disgraceful profession. The people who choose that lifestyle and career were headed nowhere but downwards. And so the fear of telling people I wanted to be an actor was instilled, until last year.

These few words that I am writing here are a defense of acting, a defense of the only thing I want to do with my life.

I could just copy and paste a ton of Jennifer Lawrence quotes and be done with this column. I’m going to copy and paste a couple because I’m not in the business of denying myself the pleasure to quote her among other actors who decorate the walls of my room. 

But I’m not going to do that yet. First, I’m going to describe to you, dear reader, what it feels like to find your passion.

When I’m about to act, whether it be off-stage, in the corner of the classroom in Speech or outside the door of my acting class, I’m nervous. Yes, it’s probably the anxiety that I’m diagnosed with, or maybe it’s just the fear of being bad, but that doesn’t matter.

What matters is when I’m acting. I’ve written three novels with characters going through horrible situations that are out of this world, some of them literally out of this world, and I have a hard time describing this feeling I get to experience all the time.

It’s like whiteness is all around you and all that matters is that moment, those words that are coming out of your mouth.

I’m not me when I’m acting. I’m a character, and for that few minutes, I get to be someone completely different until my acting teacher says cut or until the scene is over, but I get to be someone else for a short time.

It’s pure joy. Three novels and writing every single day don’t even give me this feeling. I love memorizing monologues from my favorite actors and tv shows. I like picturing what it would be like to portray all these different characters who have yet been transformed onto screen.

So, why acting? 

I get asked that all the time. Why not writing?

It goes deeper than the feeling of white euphoria. 

I want to move people with stories, but I don’t believe I can do that with my stories. Maybe with some more practice, but not yet. I want to move people with the characters an amazing mind created and I get to portray.

Now come the Jennifer Lawrence quotes.

“It was the first time in my entire life that I felt like I was 100% made for something and that I could be good at something and that I understood something. Because I spent so many years being lost in school and feeling stupid.”

This is how I feel, but put into words that I could never really define.

Some people were made to act, and maybe I won’t be like Jennifer Lawrence and win an Oscar, but that’s okay. As long as I’m in front of a camera and acting, I’m where I’m meant to be.

Even further than finding what I want to do for the rest of my life, acting has forced me to come out of my shell I had lived in for so long. It forced to me to take control of my anxiety and face my fear of public speaking.

This leads me to the quote from the actor I hold as highly as Jennifer Lawrence, Jensen Ackles.

“I used to be scared of uncertainty; now I get a high out of it.”

Acting has helped me overcome things I have been battling my entire life and it has helped me find the thing that makes me feel like I belong. I know that acting has changed other people’s lives and not just mine.

I don’t understand how anyone can put someone down for finding what they love and I won’t let anyone put me down for wanting to be an actress anymore.

What do you think?