I remember the day I met my friend and mentor 'Stuart Freeman'. He looked me in the eye and said. “To act and become someone else, you have to learn a major understanding of emotions, a concept of imaging, a knowledge of philosophy, and an awareness of being, can you do that?"
Cocky and young I smiled and said "Sure no problem."
He turned and picked up the biggest book I'd ever seen, the complete works of William Shakespeare. Opening it up to a random page he handed to me and asked me to read. I remember, it was Henry the 5th act IV. Scanning the words I was lost, this was one of the very few times I have ever been lost for words.
I remember struggling, fumbling through lines, and on top it all, I never really understood a word I was reading.
But Stuart didn’t care that I was making mistakes, or pronouncing words incorrectly.
He just sat their patiently and gave me his full attention and listened. As I finished, he smiled and said good.
'Now think about the emotions of the character, imagine yourself there and understand the character and his surrounding and then JUST BE, Now go learn it."
I stared back gobsmacked. I recall saying 'You gotta be kidding, how’s anyone going to remember all that. Have you seen how many pages there are. It’s alot to remember'. He simply smiled back at me with a gentle smile and said ‘That my boy is acting’.
From that day on Stuart took me under his wing and mentored me on the film industry and how to better myself as an actor, a human being and a father. Stuart helped me on my journey to believe in myself again that I could accomplish anything.