Are Actors Actually Aristocrats?

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Are Actors Actually Aristocrats? 

By Jessica Soares

I remember the first time my acting teacher described the craft as a “noble” art. It gave me pause. 

“Noble?” The very word people tend to associate with aristocracy (also known as nobility), priests, soldiers, the unusually ethical, or perhaps even martyrs? At that time, I had yet to hear anyone describe any artist as noble, let alone actors who were often seen as the bottom of the rung—immature, irresponsible, and incredibly vain. 

“Noble, because you offer your own body, your own heart so that others may experience a deeper truth.

Noble, because you must completely eliminate yourself and serve the essence of the character. 

Noble, because there is no room for distraction, there is no place to hide. To honor the craft is to be fully present. 

Noble, because it’s not about you at all. And everyone around you will think that you think that it is.”

He continued to speak passionately, watching closely to see if we had been sufficiently inspired.

At that time, I hadn’t. But a door was opened, a seed was planted. And as I continued to immerse myself in this training, I began to experience much more than I ever thought possible. I would step on the stage, and I would feel empty. The show would begin, and in that moment, that was the only thing that existed. I became a vehicle for the truth to express itself through my character. It was like I had never felt so free yet connected, and the bliss that followed when the lights came down coursed through my body for days. It was through acting that I learned presence and concentration. It was through the theater that I learned how to feel and witness my emotions and my experience. It was through this art form that I learned how to listen, not only to my fellow actors but to my inner voice, to the depths of my heart. It was one of the first times that I knew and felt, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was not solely this human form. That there is something greater and that I am not who I think I am. 

A Different Seed, All Towards the Heart

Meditation opens a different door to that same realization. Perhaps more direct, perhaps simply more accepted and validated. But what is true is that somehow, by sitting on the cushion, walking step-by-step, or relaxing into an asana, we can find that same sense of connection to divinity. To have the experience of becoming empty of our small selves and experiencing a taste of our true Self. We learn how to listen to the Heart. We set sail on the journey of recognizing that we are the Spiritual Heart

Spiritual practice is a noble choice. It is a way of being that allows us to serve not only ourselves but those around us. The ripple effects are endless and infinite. To focus, to witness, to be in Stillness are noble acts. Not noble as in playing faux humility to garner praise, but noble as in an offering. Something gifted back to the gift of life itself. In a world that has taught us that our worth is tied to our productivity and that being is a waste of time and that profits matter more than people… choosing to return to the Heart, choosing to purify all that stands between our union with bliss is an act of reclamation and it is a gift. When we realize we are divinity, we can remind one another of who we really are. 

The Task of the Artist

This awareness is also the most profound power and purpose of art. Poetry, dance, the magic of a choir. The Sistine Chapel and Love Poems From God. When connected to the Heart and expressed through the Heart, art has the power to transform, to awaken. There is an ancient Mesoamerican poem that states:

The true artist draws our all from

his or her heart.

The good painter is wise, 

God is in his heart. 

He puts divinity into things;

he converses with his own heart.

Artists are tasked to “put divinity into things.” In this way, the piece of art becomes both a bridge between the artist and God and a portal for others to awaken. There is a reason that so many mystics are also poets. When we open the door of the Heart, we feel compelled to express it, to share it. Love simply pours out from itself. 

In 2024, with infinite avenues for creation and self-expression, we must ask ourselves from where we are creating and whether we are using the power of art to its greatest capabilities. It is about embracing the meditative state and not simply the meditative act. Bringing the presence of the Heart into every action, every interaction, and every moment is how we become Love embodied. Allowing the creative playgrounds to become extensions of our practice might be one of the most transformative tools we have available. 

It’s all about expansion, and in this, may we also expand our ideas around when, where, and how the Heart speaks. Let’s remember that it’s on us to listen. The Heart is always there. In the silence, in the Stillness within. And when we listen, perhaps what we’ll find is that God truly is, everywhere.

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