Last week, I spoke to someone who is writing a book on the movie “Revenge of the Nerds”. The book depicts Revenge of the Nerds as a kind of turning point when Nerds went mainstream. In the process of this popularizing of “nerdom”, a nerds lifestyle was sort of co-opted. He used the example of nerd glasses being a style, sometimes worn when people don’t even need glasses. The whole culture has become almost a caricature of itself.

The author’s ideas seemed to parallel what I think Hollywood has done to acting. We put so much stock into Hollywood, we don’t even know what acting is separate from Hollywood. I am only now coming to see how deeply intertwined my ideas of acting have been with Hollywood. Acting has been, in way, co-opted by Hollywood. Real acting is not separate from Hollywood. That’s how I felt anyway. You are not really an actor unless you’ve made it in Hollywood.

But, acting is an art form as universal as singing. It’s maybe more universal than singing – we all have to speak and listen, and cry and laugh. Acting is primal. Speaking, listening, feeling, that’s what we practice in an acting class.

What really pointed out the fact that acting and Hollywood are not one thing, was to me is working with non-actors, and seeing the changes acting made in their lives. People having experiences of really living on stage, and then having that experience transfer over into their lives. Acting is not limited to a desire to make it in the movies. It is a universal, fundamental, developmental activity. It really is life to me.

– Michelle