Post from Big Love Guest Artist Tom Mounsey (Class of2008)
It was strange, coming back to PAC this way. Guest Artist. Let's ignore the "artist" part, and focus on "guest." Isn't that someone who comes and stays in your home, but is never really part of the family? The students at PAC work and practically live together throughout the course of their training, and I know from experience this creates a bond that one can only describe as familial. Would they accept me? I can answer that question with a resounding "yes." I haven't worked with a more welcoming group of people since I graduated from PAC, and I have only worked with lovely people. This goes not only for the students, but also the other, much more talented, guest artists involved in the show.
And what of "artist?" My first reaction to that word is always, "I'm no artist. Van Gogh was an artist. Come on." So let's think of it a different way. How about someone who does this acting thing out in the
Would I have wisdom I could share with them? Would I in some way be able to set a positive professional example? I have to admit, I'm a bit of a goof, so I don't know about setting a professional example. Wisdom? The best thing I can come up with is "always be polite and respectful," and that's something people are supposed to learn in kindergarten. Looking back now, I can't think of a single time I provided wise words, or a specific example that I set. I hope I have been helpful in some way, but to be honest, they seem wiser and more professional than I have ever been. I think I've probably taken more away from them than they have from me.
So I achieved my goal of being a guest artist at PAC. Yes, this is in some ways the icing on the cake of my graduating in the first place, but the main thing I have learned is that I am still a student. Not officially at the Conservatory, but of acting and of life. I have learned every day, both directly from Philip as my director, and indirectly by watching my cast-mates take Big Love from a table-read to the living, breathing piece of art it is now. And it's been wonderful. I would do it again and again.