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James Dean Taught Me a Lot About Myself

I became a different person, in a way.

James Dean as Cal Trask in "East of Eden"

When I was 20, I was given a homework assignment to do while I was in college. I had to watch Rebel Without A Cause with James Dean, I was kinda excited because I had it set to record in the middle of the night and was able to watch it as soon as I got home the next day.

The next day, I got home and it was time to watch the movie. As soon as the movie started with the Warner Bros logo on the screen and the music booming by Leonard Rosenman, the first scene I see James Dean in is him laying on the street playing with a toy behind the title credits and there was something that drew me to him especially when you see him put on the iconic red jacket.

After seeing the movie, I met the writer of "Rebel Without A Cause", Stewart Stern and he talked about how he met James Dean. After meeting him, I watched documentaries about him and I was interested in what he did along with why he was the way he was. Then, I found myself trying to become a better actor like how he was doing and carrying the same thing in my wallet as he did, it's called, "The Complete Man: The need for love and security, the need for creative expression, and the need for recognition and self-esteem".

I became more closed off and would think about a lot of things that are really personal to me like sometimes I worry about my mother and I think about her along with how I'm going to be a recognizable actor and how people may see me. I even ended up using my eyes to talk more especially when I liked a gal and to be honest, I still do it but I haven't done it lately.

I wrote two small stories that were like two separate miniseries but with the same characters and they were a little meta. They were about me being a rebel who fights himself a lot since I see myself that way and how my friends would deal with me. I think I had a love interest by the end of the second story since I was really inspired by "East of Eden" after I saw the movie.

James Dean had me experience a lot through his performances like what it's like to be lonely, vulnerable, depressed, defiant, even how to love a woman but it wasn't through his performances, it was in my experiences and I applied what I learned from his characters along with what I learned from the documentaries.

It's hard these days for me to be vulnerable because I have depression but I do try to put a few hints in my wardrobe like I wear all black or I'll wear something black like a black wristband or if I'm feeling vulnerable and I'm wearing a jacket with a collar, both collars are down but if I'm feeling defiant, both of them are up. I'm always looking for ways to express how I'm feeling.

I look to a lot of my favorite actors to help me with my skills as an actor but I think James Dean is the only actor I look to with not only my acting but how I see myself as a person as well because I'm already a quiet guy but I never thought I'd find myself using my eyes to try and talk to people so I can express how I'm feeling, let alone seeing how vulnerable I am when it happens.

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James Dean Taught Me a Lot About Myself
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