“Everything that it takes to be a good actor precisely coincides with what it takes to live a meaningful and happy life.” – Patrick Page
Prior to his current acclaimed performance in Broadway’s Hadestown, actor Patrick Page‘s best-known Broadway role was playing the Green Goblin in the ill-fated Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, with Page’s performance often cited by reviewers (when they finally had the chance to review the show) as one of the best aspects of the star-crossed show. While Page received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for the role, a Tony Award nomination eluded him for his first twenty-five years as a Broadway actor. He finally received one for his performance in Hadestown and, speaking with Forbes, reveals what he finds liberating as an actor and what he enjoys about teaching acting.
Though Page would describe himself as shy, like other actors he find being on a stage freeing. He explains, “I have always been very introverted. There is something about being on stage that feels very safe, comforting and liberating. I can show parts of myself that I wasn’t able to access at other times.” Nonetheless, the process does begin with Page being alone, with him remarking, “When I shut my dressing room door and begin to prepare, something chemically changes inside of me. I begin to feel a kind of comfort and ease with myself.”
Page is also an acting instructor, which he believes helps him develop his craft. He states, “Without question, teaching makes me a better actor.” As to why he specifically loves teaching acting, Page continues:
Every actor has tricks. And tricks are a way of putting something over on the audience, fooling them. In class, I can spot an actor’s tricks, the places where they haven’t done the work and tried to cover their tracks. Sometimes I think maybe my own tricks are undetectable. They are as obvious as anyone else’s.
I also get a lot of joy out of watching my students make a breakthrough and open up a new part of themselves. Everything that it takes to be a good actor precisely coincides with what it takes to live a meaningful and happy life. There’s the ability to be present, listen, make real contact with another, focus, not let the mind wander, accept one’s self with all of the imperfections and allow those imperfections to be visible to others. I love watching students open up to all that.