The Honorable Profession
Rumors are going around that George Clooney is positioning himself for a run for political office in California. Like clockwork, the chorus of boos can be heard. Many of the voices stem from the idea that actors are ill equipped, too vain, too egotistical, too unintelligent, too selfish, too amoral to be considered worthy of higher office. I call bullshit. The best actors I have had the pleasure to work with and know, have an uncanny blend of ego, world view, intelligence and empathy that would seem to be the very attributes that would make up a perfect public servant. But the argument against actors as incapable of greater action than being an “entertainment puppets” goes much deeper. It speaks to the idea of actors as unintelligent, ego driven, and childlike in their desire to not grow up; that we somehow devalue and lower the public discourse and poison the youth of America. For anyone that has truly pursued the craft and business of acting as a vocation knows, it is second to none in requiring you to bring so much of yourself to the table to succeed. The dedication, hard work, sacrifice, and soul-searching is extraordinary; and the scorn that befalls actors on a daily basis, be it from family or co-workers or friends, is a heavy burden to bear. Acting is truly an honorable pursuit. At it’s simplest, it entertains. At it’s most profound it changes the discourse of an entire population. I can think of few other occupations that would better serve the public trust.