I say all the time, I'm not that interested in training. Just being trained does not make you an interesting actor. English was my secondary language growing up, and in my household it was always Polish.
The central line of something can be quite obscure or quite not what you'd expect.
There were a couple guys in my class who were doing big movies. It was the best of times because my mother lived in New York when she was in her 20s and in part of her 30s, and she would tell me stories about her life there, so I had always romanticized this life in New York City. We would do a lot of things like breathing exercises, a lot of things with our bodies, methods that had to do with balance of the body and that kind of thing. I know that it had to do with vocal projection and being heard at the back of the room, but I felt like a lot of that was done at the price of the other work that was more valuable.
It was bizarre, to say the least, because I'm from Mississippi, and my experience with that life was entirely through television. So when I got there, I felt like, "Finally, I'm home." School was what I did between what I wanted to do, which was discover this crazy city that I had dreamed of living in since I was a kid. I'm saying this because I want people to know the truth. I would lose roles because the faculty didn't think that I was committed. A lot of stuff in the curriculum felt very abstract to me. But in the three years that I was there, I didn't see how the work that I was doing there was relevant until my third year. If they felt like you weren't performing—in terms of coming to class on time and doing the work—you could get cast in a role by an outside director and the faculty would take it away from you. I honestly felt like, "What does this have to do with me getting somebody to believe me? Now, trust me, I'm not saying that I still feel that way.
It depends on the kind of actor that you want to be.
I get into conversations sometimes with people when they talk about rappers and others who get jobs over trained actors.
It wasn't something that I took seriously, because I didn't appreciate it. One thing that was incredibly important at NYU, at least when I was there, was that you had to be to class on time. It just didn't feel like I was getting the skills that I needed to be an actor, or what I thought I needed to be an actor.