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  • Writer's pictureJason Cicci

The Love and Business of Acting

I’m not certain how I became interested in the performing arts – I always did it without thinking about it much. I just knew that I loved it, thought it was fun, and an obsession began. Since I was 6 years old, my parents always encouraged my interest, signing me up for piano lessons, driving me to play auditions and rehearsals. Ah, it was all so easy then.

My interest in the arts continued through high school, eventually leading me to choose acting and music as a major in college, where I learned that there is much more to acting and singing than just my enjoyment of it – there is the artistry of it. And if I thought I loved performing before, I REALLY dug deep into the history and the craft of what I was doing. Feeling that way was a real eye-opener. I discovered that my talents were being developed to suit a story – whichever story I was fortunate enough to be chosen to tell.

But there is even more: there is the business of it. This was an aspect of a career in the arts that I hadn’t much considered in my…ahem…younger days. And, it wasn’t much touched on in college. We were all really immersed in technique of acting, singing and dance without homing in on the practical nature of how we would be sharing our talents in the world and in what situations.

This made it imperative for me to figure out how to continue nurturing my love for acting with the notion that I may not get to do it much unless I was cast in a show. So, what did I do? A few things come to mind. First and foremost, I began writing, creating roles that I could play that would showcase my work as an actor. This led to my career as a producer, telling stories from the inside out. I took classes to keep my curiosity intact while pounding the pavement auditioning, sometimes 3-4 times a day. I also frequently held play readings at my home, banding together with my actor friends and reminding all of us how much fun we have when we get to do what we love.

All of these things allowed me to remain focused on being an actor even though nobody was asking me to be an actor. It was the biggest challenge for me when I was younger. You can get so defeated with rejection that you start to wonder if you should throw in the towel. In those moments, you have to rely on your inner champion to guide you and inspire you.

These days, I am not pursuing an acting career. I’ve shared in the past how my increasing love of storytelling led me to develop my writing/producing career and I’d say I’m still there…BUT! I would never say never. One day, I might decide to pursue acting again. After all, it was the initial art that inspired my career. Perhaps I will be ready to share that part of myself again, and through older, wiser eyes. Whatever I decide to do, I will always be grateful that the bug bit me so young, for all the wonderfully talented people I got to work with, the patient and encouraging teachers I’ve known and the creative relationship I’ve cultivated with myself. That is, perhaps, the part of the arts that have afforded me the best accomplishments. Knowing who you are is the best way to know how to share it.

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