July 20, 2022
-So, what is the difference between a gift and a talent? In this video, we'll talk about that question. So, what is the difference between a gift and a talent? Tom, what's the difference? -What's the difference? Do you have a talent for working? Beware of the word gift. You know we talk a lot about opposites and that every positive has its shadow side. The word gift you know when I meet actors who were told that they were gifted they often are the ones that are the least motivated to do work. Because they're told, "Well, you know I had a gift", well, maybe in your school, in your grammar school, your junior high school, your high school, your college, you were seemingly the most gifted one. But as an actor in the world folks. You know most of us were in the school play but in the school play your parents paid school taxes or if you went to a private school if you were that fortunate they paid tuition for you to be in that play for two weekends. It wasn't a tv show, it wasn't a film, it wasn't broadway. Now, you are saying that your work your gift we put in quotes, not air quotes don't do those it's cliche. That you ought to be paid for your work, right. So, the person who was told they're gifted is the one that sits and waits for things to happen and I see so many people that and the gift is you know they're physically pre-possessing but then the inside they're not cultivating because they were told they were gifted. So, the talent and the gift is, do you have the gift of curiosity?
Do you have the gift of working of really challenging yourself and competing with yourself over and over and over again. -So, then do you think that actors are born, can somebody be born an actor? -I don't know that I believe in the born actor because I think there's so much to learn that I don't really know what that means. You know I've been reading a lot of and listening to a lot of biographies on audible and when you listen to early descriptions of Laurence Kerr Olivier or the Great Irving who was the first actor to be knighted in 1895. These guys were described as not being very pre-possessing in what they looked like. You know Olivier was said to have a low forehead which meant maybe not such a large brain and and Irving was you know who changed the face of the theater. Again, the first one to be knighted he actually gave it respect. These guys they basically said you wouldn't look at them twice but they were so incredibly self-competitive that they said, "Yeah, wait", and they went to work and Olivier created the national theater of Great Britain and directed Henry V and Hamlet and Richard III you know on film when nobody had done that stuff. You know maybe silent versions of it. So, these people were very self-motivated. So, the gift, the gift. Beware of the word gift because you know I often say that this is more like a sport than it's an art and I'm a big football fan and ESPN did a documentary on Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and they interviewed their high school coaches and they said the same thing. So, guys, take this to heart. They said that Peyton Manning clearly had a gift but when everybody had gone home after practice he went to the gym. Tom Brady's high school coach oh clearly, Tom had a gift but when practice was over and was said rehearsal. When practice was over he ran the bleachers when everybody had gone home. So, there's the gift but why do we know these guys? Why have they won super bowls? Well, they're very self-competitive. So, let go of the myth of overnight success or getting discovered. You don't get discovered you get found out. We find out you don't know what the hell you're doing right and you clog it up and we often say that as an actor you're guilty to prove and talented here. You'll go, you're an actor. Really? have I seen you in anything? Dude you sell insurance back off, right. -Well, what would you say because I know there are those of you out there who go, "I would love my life to be all about acting but how do I know if I am talented enough to pursue this?". What would you say to somebody who asks you that? Because I know people ask you that. -Well, usually they ask me if they should be an actor. -Yeah. -And I say, "Absolutely not", and they said, "You don't think I'm talented?", I go, "Well, you didn't ask me that you asked me you should be an actor".
So, if anybody can talk you out of it you shouldn't do it, right? That you know again it's athletes and that you know there's a great parallel between football and an acting career. Because if you go to watch a practice you will see you know a car truck that's 20 years old 15 years old in the parking lot. That guy is on the practice squad and he's fighting to make the team and then you'll see two three-year-old car. That guy's on the second string he wants to start on Sunday and then you'll see very high-end new cars the latest models, star quarterbacks, star tackle, star wide receiver, could be a star center. They're all playing football but they're playing at different levels. But if you talk to them about their commitment they'll be a shared ethos there. So, you know, guys, if this doesn't just happen you're on a mission. Now, I've been fortunate to work with people that went on to become very successful and some I worked with after they already were successful but they share the same thing they are so driven. I mean, one of the most ridiculous things I heard in the last year is I was unclear about someone's commitment. I said, "Well, you know is this a hobby for you or do you want this as a career?", Because it's up to you and if you pursue it as a hobby don't be upset when it doesn't treat you like a professional and I said, "So, is it a hobby or a career?", and they paused and said, "Well, I wouldn't mind having a lead on a series", I was dumbfounded, it's like, "You wouldn't mind like these things fall from the clouds into your lap? You gotta fight for it and you gotta win the role and you gotta get it and that fight that drive to learn to be better is what makes you interesting", because you're very self-competitive. It makes you really engaging to watch because there's a certain primal feral organic quality to your work. -So, are you on a mission with this too? Hit the subscribe button below. There's so many folks who come in the door who look like an actor. Oh, they're an actor and then there's people who come in the door and they're kind of bookish sort of understated people and you go, "One time we're probably not knocking", but if the latter one has drive and work ethic and the first does not the latter will win up every time. -So, you've got to have a talent for your talent. -Yeah, talent. -When I was at Juilliard there were so many sensitive souls there had a very large talent. But for many of them, they had a thimble full of belief or street savvy or street sense and very little happened there right and then there's the people I know that are not particularly talented, right. But boy do they want a career they are gonna get it. So, they might have a thimble full of gift but they've got a drum. They might have a symbol. Yeah, I have symbols at home I put them upside down a lot in there more than a thimble. So, those folks might have a thimble full of natural gift or talent but they have a dumb truck full of belief. So, you got to have talent for your talent. You know folks success leaves clues. Watch your favorite actors. I mean, what I've loved about this strange time we're living in is while we were hunkered down and sequestered I was able to go into biographies of actors that I thought I knew something about directors producers and I learned so much while I was planting trees or doing other household things I'm listening to these books which made those tasks something I really look forward to because I was going to learn something.
But look at Ida Lupino amazing actress, became one of the first and foremost female directors of film when nobody of that gender was doing it. Look at the work of Rob Steiger average looking guy. Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, these are your your basic people right with extraordinary drive that made them so interesting. So, that's a choice. I mean, that's one of the great things about being an actor. That if you want to sing opera you mean you could study and study and study but there's a certain level of gift. If you want to talk about a gift to sing at the met or to sing throughout Europe at the great opera houses you really need there's a certain gift that does have to be there. You could study and study and improve but to be singing at that level very difficult. But the thing as an actor, it doesn't matter what your age is. It doesn't matter what your gender is, what your nationality is. You know, are you the best version of you that you could possibly be? -Oh and that's a great point too because I know a lot of folks ask, "Well, I really want to be an actor but am I too old am, I past it, am I", and that's one of the beautiful things of acting is you really you can do it into you know in at any age. -We need folks of all ages. -We do. -When somebody who's 30 or 40 says to me, "Am I too old?", I go, "Yes, absolutely, you should put your head in the oven tonight". No, you're not too old we need everybody and the further along you are the more you've lived. You've known heartbreak. You've known loss. So, you have more stuff to act about, you know. -And there's less competition there's so much more competition. -Because people drop out as they get married and have kids etc... -Commitment. -Discipline's a choice. No baby was born disciplined, right, it's all choice, you choose that right and it doesn't matter what age you are. So, I believe this. What you take from this life is what you learn through what you love and that's what makes the journey with you. That explains musical prodigies at four years old going. Well, maybe they were here before and they love mozart so much that's the one thing that made the trip. Now, I can't prove that but you can't disprove it. So, play the love, it's all you need, love takes time, love makes time. Come visit our Saturday class. Take the time, make the tim,e see where you are in this with yourself. Yeah. -Click on the link below.