Elia Kazan’s Actor vow is something I stumbled across a few weeks ago for the first time. For me it has served two purposes. The first is as a validation of the frustration we sometimes experience in the acting process. The second is a reminder of the power that comes from committing fully to pursuing truthful work in every class, audition, and performance. You can find it hanging on the bulletin board inside the studio.
I will take my rightful place on the stage
And I will be myself
I am not a cosmic orphan
I have no reason to be timid.
I will respond as I feel; awkwardly, vulgarly,
I will have my throat open.
I will have my heart open.
I will be vulnerable.
I may have anything or everything the world
Has to offer, but the thing
I need most, and want most, is to be myself.
I will admit rejection, admit pain, admit
Frustration, admit even pettiness, admit
Shame, admit outrage, admit anything and
Everything that happens to me.
The best and most human parts of me are
Those I have inhabited and hidden from
I will work on it.
I will raise my voice.
I will be heard.