Acting is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It is both the hardest and the easiest thing I do and have ever done. It is the thing I love the best and learn from the most.
I love developing a character. It’s breathing life into an untouched being and building her from scratch that interests intrigues and involves me as a performer. When the writer and director are also interested in my comments and input it becomes a magical dance, and when the cast also has that opportunity – something fantastical happens: people set aside ego and commit to creating genuine people undergoing extraordinary circumstances with real consequences. And that’s when something miraculous happens – when an audience gets to see electricity on screen and on stage.
As the actress it is my job to map, then make the journey and live the choosing night after night, performance after performance, shot after shot. As the actor wrestling with, coming to terms with the finality and the consequences of Stella’s choice (Asleep at the Wheel), and the realities of the character, I realized how much I love life, how much I love my life. This is such an amazing job I have, where I can have such profound revelations, share them with an audience and move them, affect them, offering options for thought and reflection about the choices human beings have and how we make them.
It is amazing to me that, for example, what seems to be a simple retelling of say Grimm’s fairy tales can have such profound realizations and awakenings in me, and hopefully that translates into something special for the audience that sees me perform.
It is these deep, dark night of the soul moments, and those moments of being one with self and universe – the stretch to infinity, that source my abilities as an actor, knowing there is always something more to learn – it’s the best thing in the world.
Heather Allin was elected President of ACTRA Toronto, (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists) in January, 2009. Since 2013, Heather has been Past President. Over the last 14 years, Heather has also served as councillor, vice-president and founding chair of the conference committee and is the chair of the National Women's Committee.
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