An Actor Arrives: Elena’s Journey From Ukraine to Impulse. Part 3.
As my first acting teacher said: “You cannot teach someone to act, but they can learn”.
Briefly, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. And if we are talking about the acting profession (and I believe any other creative profession) – learning has a beginning, but no end. I never feel like I know enough, I never feel that I have reached a level where I can stop developing. And the great thing is, that even when I develop as a person, I develop as an actor. Because I am my own instrument in a way. In the same way that a pianist has a piano, a painter has his painting equipment… actors have themselves.
And that’s both the good and the bad part.
I learned a lot. In university, I, like most of my fellow students, were taught Stanislavsky and Chekhov’s methodologies. And I always wondered: why does the world have so many acting techniques, yet we are limiting ourselves with these two? I mean, we all aim for the same result, but still.
I worked a lot. I starred in films and TV series; I did theatre: physical and improvisational, and I worked in touring theatre for about four years. And then Covid hit and spoiled everything. If only I had known that those were the good times, right? All of us had quite a big pause in our creative work and I definitely felt like I wasn’t in my best acting shape. And then I saw that Ivanna Chubbuck’s Studio had opened in Kyiv, so I headed to learn there. The best part was that my teacher there had studied the Meisner technique, so we talked her into teaching it to us.
And then the war started. I was so afraid that everything was over and that I might never have a chance to do what I love again. But even then, almost unconsciously, part of me analyzed everything that was going on with me and those around me, so that I could put it into my scripts or my acting roles.
It’s different now. I work at two non-creative jobs, sometimes I write at night and I feel such a terrifying lack of acting. It’s almost unbearable. I do realize that I’m lucky, because I have actual jobs and I earn money to live on. But, sadly, it does not fulfill me. I don’t feel whole. So I started to search for a suitable place to practice. I didn’t care about fancy names or star coaches. I wanted to develop, I wanted to find a safe place, a real place, where I could make mistakes and explore myself, I wanted to feel alive. And more – to be alive while acting.
At one of the networking events I attended, I overheard people discussing The Impulse Company. Of course, I googled them as soon as I heard the name and it hit me: this was exactly what I needed. Meisner! The perfect path to my true self. The perfect path to feeling alive again.
After another grey and tiring day at work, I was so desperate that I wrote a huge letter to The Impulse Company and sent it straight away. I thought: I will dare to do this. I will take every chance I can, because I cannot exist without creating. Yet still, I expected nothing.
So imagine my excitement when I got an invitation for a Zoom call from those beautiful Impulse people and the invitation to start learning in January! The thought of coming back to acting keeps me going.
Now I repeat to myself:
Dare, always dare.