It seems strange that great actors and actresses can take on any imaginable character, acting out all of that character’s neuroses, triumphs and transformations and still suffer like everybody else in their own lives. Great actors seem to have the ability to become their characters on stage. They forget themselves as they perform. When they step off stage, they remember themselves and real problems begin. It is difficult to step out of our own character, because wherever we step becomes our character. If we want our character to be enlightened then we need to act enlightened.
Enlightenment is accepting what is without attaching to it. Acting enlightened doesn’t mean sitting around with a goofy smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye. To act your own enlightenment, when you are feeling miserable and afraid, act miserable and afraid. It’s okay to act miserable and afraid if the script calls for it. The enlightened part of the acting is knowing that although you feel these feelings, you are able to handle them and your circumstance. As you act enlightened, connect with the dignity of your character and feel great compassion for your character as it suffers, bravely facing the script of fate.
One trait of enlightened people, which could help any actor, is that they tend to meditate. As you act enlightened, accepting and performing the struggles of your character, have your character sit in peace and understanding for a few minutes a day. Use that time to connect with the actor performing the character. That is your time to rest back stage.
Acting enlightened is the role of a lifetime. When you are able to immerse yourself in this role and forget yourself, you may find yourself sitting there with a goofy grin and a twinkle in your eye. That’s okay too. It’s all in your character.