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Why am I an actor?

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“Why are you an actor?”

Was one question that I wasn’t quite sure how to answer if it were to be asked to me on the spot. Weird right? I should be able to answer this quite easily since I’ve been in showbiz since I was 11!! It caught me off guard when my acting coach asked us this after our workshop and so I went home and decided to just think about it. Lets get one answer out of the way: Yes, the job pays well. But that shouldn’t be the only reason why I’m in this industry right? Since I could always find another job that pays just the same, heck, maybe even better. Second answer: You’re famous!!! Honestly, this is something that I could never deal with. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get noticed for the work that you do and I appreciate all my supporters, but sometimes I feel so weird when people notice me on the streets or ask for a picture of me while I’m shoving a burger in my mouth.  The thing is for most actors or celebrities these are valid reasons, but when I really thought about it, these reasons weren’t enough for me.

So to answer the question:

I want to be an actor and a damn good one because I have a lot of messages to send to my viewers, I realized I’ve been given this huge pedestal to spread positivity to those who watch me and that it’s so fulfilling to be able to make people laugh, cry and smile with me or at me. For them to relate to what my character is going through, even though most of the time I play the bad girl, I feel like they can learn from my struggles and the mistakes my character portrays. People who watch the shows that I do can have this connection with what they see on screen and be able to maybe, sometimes, not feel like they are going through whatever it is – alone. That there is someone, even though it’s a only character on screen who they can relate to. I don’t wanna say that the characters I portray aren’t real, because in everything I do I always put truth into it.

The most important part of this is educating the viewers. Lets not pretend anymore, there has been some crazy stuff going on all around the world lately. Sexism, racism, terrorism, bullying, body shaming, rape, hatred and so much more – and because of social media everyone has a voice that can be heard (or read) much more easily now. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good – if what you are saying actually makes sense and you aren’t hurting anyone in the process. Bad – when people use it to spread hate and fake news, which is sadly a trend nowadays. Everyone has a reaction and an opinion but theres a difference with having a valid opinion and being a bigot. So why does this happen? Mostly it’s because of what we read online, watch on tv or even the environment we are in. Which is why I feel like I have this responsibility to be socially aware and to spread truth, love and acceptance to those around me, and so for most people, they might think that all I do is cry on cue, crack stupid jokes and parade around a studio trying to look pretty but for me it is so much more than that. I have a voice and my stage is the screen, and I really want to use what I have been given and put it into action.

So hopefully the next time you turn on the TV, read an article, or decide to post a long post on Facebook about your opinion on something – do so with an open mind, approach it with caution and always think that the words you send across to someone will always have an impact whether it be positive or negative. Lets all be socially responsible with all the actions and decisions we make it life. You don’t have to be an actor, a celebrity or a politician to have a voice. You are capable of doing this regardless of the job title you hold so when you are given the chance or the opportunity like I have been given why not make the most out of it, right? Spread kindness, love and compassion.

Thats the beauty and potential I see in being an actor, you just don’t entertain but you can also teach people a thing or two. 🙂

Always,

Lauren

(photo above by Xander Angeles)

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Lauren Young

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