Let me preface this with I’ve never acted before. Well, not really. Growing up in Southern California I was surrounded by friends who were bit by that particular bug, but I was a timid, shy child. However, that was only my Dr. Jekyll side, when I was completely comfortable, Mr. Hyde came out to play — I was off the hook, a total ham. In fact, due to my acts and overall silliness, my family was convinced I was going to grow up to be an actor, comedian, or some kind of performer. Perhaps I would have, but I wasn’t that confident in my early teenage years. I took shelter sitting behind an art desk surround by pencils, pens, and paintbrushes — falling in love and mastering a craft that had gripped me with all its might. However, always in the back of my mind, I knew there was a performer inside of me waiting to break free. A path not taken.

I finally got my chance in college to take a drama class. It was amazing. Those college years were truly a fantastic and transformative time — I was just coming into this idea that I could do anything, I didn’t need to impress people, and that every day was new, full of possibilities. The onslaught of new classes cracked open my mind and filled it with new ways of thinking. I found myself brushing the dirt away, revealing a new, more exciting Dean at my own archaeological dig site.

That drama class gave me an arena to shed all my insecurities, to take risks unfathomable to me before, to embrace my weirdness and silliness that I had muted, and was once so defining. Now, I’m not too proud to say that I was definitely the teacher’s pet. My instructor was so enamored with my performances in class she offered me a small part in a play. Sadly, due to scheduling conflicts, I had to decline. And after that class ended, I never acted again.

Film, creative writing, speech, photography, sculpture, there were so many other classes that grabbed my attention. Classes I longed to devour and let shape me. Not to mention, my talents as an artist and designer were becoming more and more developed, urging me to take more creative classes.

As I approached this particular project I was extremely nervous. It had been years since that drama class. It is one thing to perform, but to immortalized in film? To be scrutinized? On the internet? However, once I got in front of the camera and after a few takes, I began to remember that drama class and how I let everything fall away. Slowly I stopped reading the lines, I became the lines. I believed everything I was saying. I became passionate. I began to act.

I wrote this monologue for the specific purpose of learning to create the effects in Adobe After Effects. It was definitely frustrating at times, as teaching yourself anything always is, but rewarding in the end. I feel there is a lot of room for improvement and I’m sure I’ll look back one day and laugh at how amateurish it looks. But for now, I’m one proud demon.

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

—Kurt Vonnegut


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