“…make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
I was recently reflecting on the joy’s of the actor’s life and how I have had wonderful opportunities to experience new things recently while preparing for various roles. Last night I watched the incredible Into the Wild for the second time, and was reminded that these new experiences are helping my spirit to develop. While my path may not be paved with gold, my inner path is glowing.
“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences.”
In the film Shadowed, I play a police officer. For the role I prepared by doing a full day ride along with an officer from Kent, during which we were called to the scene of a mysterious death (which I almost got to witness), among other routine stops and calls. This experience not only got me out and about into the day of a working officer, but gave me the chance to talk and examine someone I did not know in a profession that is rather foreign to me. To compliment my preparation, I also took a class on handgun safety and basic firearm instruction, and began target practicing at a range. In The Art of Racing in the Rain, I had the great privilege of portraying a dog. Yes, a dog. A dog whose master drives race cars. This dog not only loves his master, he also loves to ride in race cars. So, thanks to the author Garth Stein and racing instructor, Don Kitch, Jr., I (along with the cast) got to take a field trip to Pacific Raceways for hot laps in a BMW M5 and other track vehicles. Taking hairpin corners at 85MPH is an absolute thrill. And rocketing down straightaways at 130 is pretty darn sweet, too. Most recently, I participated in a battle development workshop for Ramayana, which will be produced at ACT. During this workshop, we trained under stuntman, marital artist, and all around badass, Bob McDougall, learning some pretty sweet maneuvers with a quarter staff and an awesome sword and shield fight, which I rehearsed and performed with the supremely fierce Khan Doan of Chop Socky Boom.
These three recent experiences are a few of the many new adventures I have embarked on during my journey as an artist. The more I explore, the more I enjoy, and the more I discover myself along the way.