I had an experience on a film set yesterday. An experience that would otherwise be just a regular occurrence any other day, but it compelled me to look at things from a certain angle in relation to a fact I have known my entire life.

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We had just wrapped up a few scenes. Immediately the director said “Cut” virtually the entire crew approached me. They all came forward to congratulate me on a job well done; saying it had been a long while since they saw someone interpret the role the way I did. You can imagine how elated and fulfilled I felt to hear those words coming from, not just one person, but the entire crew.

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It was later on my way home it suddenly struck why I gave an excellent performance. A few days before the director called me to the set,  I had immersed myself in the script completely; not only memorizing my lines but also doing my best to give a distinct personality to the character I was about to play. I worked hard to give it my best shot to make it memorable for the audience. This is the paramount objective Actors should have when interpreting roles. However, most actors are not aware of this. And they don’t go the extra mile, like I did, to achieve excellence on the job.


At first glance, my audience would say I am a great Actor. Yes, I would like to think of myself as an outstanding Actor. Not because I am better or more gifted than my contemporaries, but because I work hard to observe the fundamental principles and technicalities of acting. 

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I do a lot of research regularly to improve my skills and techniques for the screen. I work hard.  Much harder than most to attain a desired level of excellence. And this (besides divine providence) is the major reason, in the short time I keep getting roles in the film industry. 

My work has received commendation that many of my older and much more experienced colleagues are yet to attain. Because, unlike me, they have become content to remain at a certain level of expertise. They have grown complacent, and cannot see why they should strive to grow beyond that level.

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I am not perfect as an Actor. Far from perfect in fact. As much as I have garnered (and still garnering)  a reputation for excellence on the job, I still believe I have a long way to go. But at least this hunger for growth helps me know I am on the right track. And will continually give me an edge in the film industry.

This principle applies, not just to filmmaking alone, but to every other thing in life.

Many people today are stagnated; unable to grow beyond a certain level in their endeavours. The reason it’s lost to them,  and they keep wondering why their neighbour who plies the same trade is fairing better than them. They rarely see it could be because their neighbour has taken extra measures to be in a better, more elevated position.

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You must always strive for excellence and perfection in all you do. Because with excellence comes prosperity, and with prosperity comes fulfilment and joy. And it all starts with hard work and diligence.

Rex Umeh

© 2018 Max Umeh. All rights reserved.


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