*Acting for Kids and Teens Showcase @ The Studio Northwest, 2019*
Some say "those who can't do, teach."
Jim Kwik, an expert in the field of memory who has taught thousands of people how to improve their memories, says "when you teach, you get to learn it twice."
This resonates with me much more.
When I started teaching acting, something I always knew I wanted to do in some capacity, I felt a slight pang. That first annoying phrase resurfaced in the back of my mind: those who can't do, teach. Was I a failure? I had already chosen to leave Los Angeles and that comes with just about as many stigmas as this teaching phrase.
I have no idea where it came from but I imagine this phrase has been keeping brilliant people from sharing their knowledge on their individuals crafts for as long as it's been around. Thankfully, I decided that the opposite was true.
There is no way I could teach acting if I couldn't act myself. No way.
As Kwik says, I have the unique opportunity to learn everything I teach over and over again. When it comes to my own auditions and jobs, I am reminded of all the wisdom, tools, and tricks that my past teachers have taught me. Now that I've begun teaching myself, these are only more solid because not only do I have the voices of teachers past in my head, but I also have MY OWN VOICE. This is huge. This is helpful.
With my own voice reminding me to utilize the many tools available to us as actors, I am able to more seamlessly integrate them.
Teaching has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Being able to learn how to formulate my thoughts on the craft in a way that can translate to others has been a beautiful challenge with many rewards. Seeing a student take the direction I've given and FLY, well, that just fills my soul right on up.
So I politely but firmly reject this false phrase and hope that you are able to do the same. If it's in your heart to help others (that's what a teacher is meant to be doing after all) then I invite you to adopt the more true and positive message from Jim Kwik:
"When you teach, you get to learn it twice."
Or over and over again.
Thank you to all of my students for allowing me this privilege.