For Acting students immersed daily in the process of becoming an actor, it is easy to develop the sense that actually being a working actor is a distant, even unattainable, fantasy. But Anthony Michael Hall provided a much needed antidote to this fear by offering a view from within the industry that students found accessible and approachable.
"He's been in this business for 20 years, and it's so nice to see somebody so humble and not jaded," says student Magda Apanowicz . "It was something of an epiphany for me to realize that I'm really doing this for myself, not for anybody else."
Currently starring in the hit TV series Dead Zone, Hall is perhaps best known for his credits as a teen actor in popular '80's films like Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and National Lampoon's Vacation, as well as later films such as Edward Scissorhands, and more recently HBO'sPirates of Silicon Valley.
Despite his obvious success and astonishing ability to re-create his identity as an actor, Hall's straightforward discussion of his craft appealed to students in attendance, who credited him with helping dispel fears that becoming a working actor is the domain of other people more gifted or better prepared than themselves.
"What was great for me was that he reinforced a lot of the techniques we're learning here at VFS," says Matt Wells. "He made it clear that what we are learning is applicable to the kind of acting he does."
Indeed, the arduous work that goes into understanding the process of acting at a professional level brings with it realistic expectations that the road ahead is equally difficult. But hearing from Hall, students were returned to the core passion they share for acting as their art and their craft.
"It was great to hear such a positive perspective about acting in the industry," says Russell Pearce. "He's definitely a working actor and it helps to be reminded that this is a fun profession to be in regardless of how difficult it can be at times."