Actors and Writers

Two neighbors of mine (a couple) are actors. Last night, I accompanied one of them to see her boyfriend in the opening night of a new play. After the show, the two of them, plus the leading man and lady (who are also a couple) came to my place for drinks and socializing. It was great fun. They’re really nice folks, all of them.

But as we were sitting around the table, I couldn’t help reflecting on the differences in our creative fields. To be an actor is to be a team player. In preparation for a play, you rehearse with the rest of the cast. You support them and they support you. For the period of time when you’re involved with that production, you have a second family, almost. You form relationships that may last the rest of your lives. It is an art for the gregarious.

Gosh, we’re happy!

But writing is an art for the introverted. To be a writer is to be solitary. In preparation for a book, you research, by yourself. Your supporting cast is test readers and editors, not a pseudo-family. Interactions with them are not social, but professional, typically not in-person and usually brief. Writing is, ultimately, a lonely gig.

Gosh, they look happy.

I don’t know if introversion is a universal attribute of the writer, but I suspect it’s far more common than not, just as I’d imagine there aren’t all that many introverted actors. For those writers, such as myself, who are at times too introverted, having some actors as friends can be a refreshing, balancing, social outlet. I highly recommend it.

Posted by vmwales

Leave a Reply