These are my two cents
Being born in the late 80’s I find that people of my generation live in a world of anxiety and halted dreams. My childhood was the 90’s. The most prosperous time of the American economy in recent days. It spoiled us and made us feel like we could go anywhere in the world saying Civis Romanus, or in this case, Civis Americanus... My adolescence was 9/11, my young adulthood was The Great Recession, and now, my adulthood is Populism and Religious Extremism. The world is turning differently... No matter which side you relate too, both can admit that the world has never seemed so bleak and desperate .
"When will we go back?"
This is a question that I can't answer, but what I can answer is my childhood dream.
"I want to be an actor."
I guess that could be one answer to all of this. When times seem uncertain and unforeseeable ask yourself.
“If today was the last day I lived what would be the last thing I would want to do?”
As funny as it sounds, I would find my way onto a production of one of Shakespeare’s great plays or a play from one of the great American Realists. Unfortunately, some people think the most disappointing three-letter-word you could ever tell your parents when asked.
“What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Is the small three lettered word...
When I left the Marine Corp. and returned back to my hometown I enrolled at my local community college as a Criminal Justice major before I stumbled into a theater audition. Being a first generation American, my immigrant father was a little more than concerned for his son. Not just for the fact that it is well known that artists live a life of suffering, but because I had already sacrificed so much for my country overseas. In his eyes, I had already given up enough of myself. At that time, I was about to be in my first production 12 Angry Men and, ironically, I was Juror #11 the immigrant. This is what I said to my father.
“How about this, you come down to the show tonight and if I suck, I’ll never do this again, but if I’m good- You have to admit it and be fine with me doing this.”
As most Italians from the Old Country, he sat back, lifted up his newsy cap with one finger, sipped from his wine glass, and contemplated while Sinatra could be faintly heard in the background. After a couple seconds of silence, which felt like an eternity, he looked back at me and said.
“What time is the show?”
Obviously since then, my Papa liked the show and I have continued on with my career and education in Acting. While writing this I find myself asking.
"Was it worth it?"
If this was my last day and this was the last thing I could do would I still be doing it? My answer to that is.
"hell yeah it was worth it."
I have met so many wonderful people and have had many wild memories that can’t be counted, bought, nor planned. One of the things I have learned so far in this art is what it means to be an artist and not just an actor. I know this might sound a little pretentious or arbitrary, but think about this. Sing right now. Sing any song like Happy Birthday or White Rabbit. By definition you are a singer, so what is the difference between you and Jennifer Holliday? The difference between you and Meryl Streep, Warhol, Brando, and so many others who have come before and after our time leaving their mark? In my case, what is the difference between an Actor and an Artist?
These are my two cents
An Artist one day realizes they no longer have the privilege to judge. All they can do is just be.
"Fail boldly and always be an Artist in your endeavors."
- Matthew Domenico
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