Ever since I was in kindergarten, my dream was to become an actor. Unlike most other people, I followed my dream. In school, if any acting opportunity was to arise I would jump on it instantly. In drama, I shot to the top of the class and after that I studied Acting for my Bachelor’s Degree. I aced it.
I lived in Manchester, UK for most of my childhood. After I finished university there were little to no acting jobs available, and auditions that were available someone else would get. However, I had saved up small amounts of money ever since I was young, and since I got many jobs over time the money increased, so eventually I had enough money to move. I chose to move to Los Angeles, in America. I moved to a hotbed of acting auditions. Eventually, I noticed an audition for a feature film and I jumped on the opportunity, as it was for a lead role. Everyone was impressed with my audition, so I got the job.
The casting director noticed I needed more effort into my performance, so he recommended a temporary acting coach. Reluctantly, I agreed.
The acting coach's name was Nick, medium height, bald, but always wearing a purple beret or some other ridiculous hat. He wore thick-framed square glasses, and often wore a checkerd shirt. Shouting was his trademark. Whenever I forgot a word or stuttered he would convolute into nothing short of a rant. He seemed genuinely angry whenever I made a good ol' mistake. I wanted this acting job so badly; I refused to speak against him and tell him to ease off the pressure. I very quickly became stressed, and dreaded going to see him for a session.
After a few more sessions, we moved on to emotional acting. It is basically learning how to cry on cue, and expressing emotions vividly. He attempted to teach me to cry on cue, but I couldn’t. The way most people cry is through remembering an extremely sad event that once happened in their lives, but I lived a generally happy childhood. My grandparents died before I was born, and my mother and father lived happy lives without ever speaking of divorce.
When I couldn’t cry on cue after several tries, Nick’s anger was stronger than I’d ever seen it. He tipped over several chairs and upturned several surrounding desks, and even punched a dent into a nearby metal mesh. He said to me: “We were so close, and we had to reach this dead end!”
He added: “I’ve never failed before, and I don’t intend to now. I don’t like doing this, but you leave me no choice.”
I left the session in confusion. I had no idea what he was talking about, but now I figured it was time to tell the film director I wanted to discontinue these sessions, as it was getting too much.
Next week, after shopping for groceries, I swung my house door open and sighed in the doorway. I walked over to my phone to call the director, but as I went to pick it up and dial, it rang. Confused, I picked up the phone. I remember the exact words that were said:
“Wesley Thomas? It’s Manchester Metropolitan Police. I’m sorry to tell you we discovered a homicide in your parents’ house. I’m sorry. Your mother and father are dead.”
The sessions discontinued. Nick was never arrested, as there was little evidence against him. But, to this day, I can safely say I can cry on cue.