HanSarang Thoughts #11: The Artist in All of Us

When I was kid, I was forced to play the violin (an unfortunate case found in many Asian kids) and for the most part, I hated it. Especially in the first 3 years of learning, I would always move the minutes hand a slight degree on my violin teacher’s clock hand each time when she was out of the room to go to the restroom or get some tea (or me making up some request to have bread or whatever). This continued on for another 5 years as I was (strongly) encouraged to join the middle school orchestra. It was fun, but really, I stayed because the girls were pretty to look at.

When I moved to Korea for high school, my mom wanted to keep up the training. They got me a violin teacher, a rather dainty (but very pretty) woman who would have a hard time trying to get me to practice. For the longest time, it would be extremely difficult to get me to practice anything over and over, let alone understand the meaning of taking things slow and embracing patience.

Okay before I wind this into a long story of my history with the violin…long story short, I abandoned playing the violin.

It was only recently that I decide to pick it up again, after being inspired by my acting class that an actor should reinvigorate any forgotten forms of expression they used to do. Slowly but surely, my hatred of playing the violin soon transformed into love and now, it gives me the greatest solace and comfort every time I play.

I believe this applies just as strongly to anyone who is not an actor. I don’t believe it when people say to me that they are not artistic or expressive enough…if you feel emotions, the kind that just wants to burst out, whether it be happiness, rage, or sadness, you are an artist simply because in the struggle we all find ourselves in lies the potential for the artist to express the complexity that is our lives. It may not happen immediately to some, it may take years for others, but when we reach the point where words fail us…that, that is when the magic happens.

Expression in these artistic forms is something to cherish because they show what words cannot. Acting is only a tiny aspect of what expression, the full extent of it, can truly be. Whether it be painting, drawing, writing poetry/prose/novels, dancing, singing,  or playing any sort of instrument, I strongly believe that each and every one of us have talents (that we have abandoned long ago), or a desire to express something but have never taken the first step

I totally understand those who are afraid to take the first step. Expression is hard, especially because once you do, you are exposed to the world and whatever hurtful things they may fling upon you. It is, after all, so much easier to not express anything and to burrow our heads in our monotonous everyday lives.

But who can honestly say they have lived a full, satisfactory life by playing it easy?


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