Stepping Into Someone Else’s Soul

There are not too many things I enjoy more than watching a really great movie. Looking up at the big silver screen, I can be kept captivated for hours.  Regardless how long it is, if it’s a truly outstanding story, I am sad when it ends.  I always want more.

The stories I like best are real life ones.  I do my homework before going to see a film so I know a bit of what to expect… Like studying about a place before you visit it. You want to have enough knowledge of what’s in the area so you don’t miss anything, but not too much that you aren’t still surprised and thrilled once you get there.

Films can do so much more than entertain us.  They can inspire us, they can motivate us, they can transport us to another place in time…They can put us in someone else’s soul and allow us  to feel as if we are experiencing what that particular individual is experiencing.

There are some directors, actors and actresses I feel are simply masters in their craft.  A director can create such a clear vision of a place in time, whether it be past, present or future, you can see yourself there, as a true part of the experience.

If you watched enough good films, you’d begin to recognize a director’s work as soon as the film begins, without knowing prior who the director is.  Directors have their own unique style of directing that distinguishes them from one other.  To me, all great directors have one thing in common, however.  They transport you somewhere else.

Actors and actresses are the mediums the story is told through.  The actors and actresses that move me the most are the ones that do not play the role they’ve been given in the film.  Instead, they transform themselves into who and what their character is.  You quickly forget you are watching an actor or actress play a role… you feel as if you are watching the actual person the actor or actress is portraying.

When Daniel Day-Lewis first spoke in the film “Lincoln”, where he portrayed Abraham Lincoln, I instantly forgot I was watching an actor and felt as if I were watching our former President.  That feeling lasted the entire film.

As I watched the movie, I felt as if I personally got to know President Lincoln during the period of time the film portrayed.  I became a part of him.  I could feel his kindness, I could feel his humor, I could feel his humility, I could feel his frustration, I could feel his pain.  I could feel why so many people worshipped him, and I became one of them.

Daniel Day-Lewis channelled President Lincoln’s inability to exist in a country ridden with the disease of slavery. The President’s innate compass for moral fairness haunted him relentlessly, as did the realization eradicating slavery was solely upon his shoulders.  I could feel its weight.

A friend of mine, who is also an author, told me in our very first conversation about writing, in order to get an individual’s attention, you must first touch their heart.  If you can achieve this, you have a chance of them taking what you say or what you portray and applying it to their own life.

This is my biggest dream as a writer. To be good enough telling someone’s story, whether it be mine or someone else’s, and touch the reader so profoundly, they feel as if they are stepping into someone else’s soul.  We have so much to learn from each other, and simply listening is not enough.

We must experience to grow.  If we can experience from other’s experience, we will not have to go through the suffering and challenges the original experience came with.  We will only get the cream off the top…the growth, the lesson.


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