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Calling Artists. Help! This thing about the AAP's/ Antipsychotics. Bipolar 2. I want to understand


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Edit: I quit the AAP with my doctor's consent 3 weeks ago. Sorry forgot to make that clear.

 

Hi,

 

Sorry admin for starting another post but I am in a really bad shape right now. I'm pissed off, freaked out and just losing my mind!!! 

 

I would appreciate those who would read this whole thing. I really need to be understood right now.

 

I'll try to make this as crystal clear as possible because I really want some helpful answers so bear with my explanations please. I even reviewed my prescriptions and posts to make sure I give you the right info.

 

If some of you have read my other post, I begged my doctor to take me off the AAP because I've tried some of them and I really can't have the side effects if I want to stay on the kind of job I'm in. I know I know.. can't really complain because I know compared to you, a lot of you guys tried almost everything. But this is my share of frustration. 

 

I'm Bipolar II, so I DON'T get full blown mania, hallucinations, etc. and me here - just really want to BELIEVE and work on the POSSIBILITY that I won't really need an AAP/AP. I'm mostly down and when hypo manic, doesn't really have big impact negatively, except perhaps for the crash. But I easily recover, maybe because Lamictal has my back. But based on my observations - my swings are mostly on the depressive side. So I would really like to believe that I can survive on the Lamictal alone since it's great for preventing depression.

 

I've had some irritable mixed states before, but that was because of terrible situations/ trigger that is gone now. Checked my CB profile - last post on Mixed State Feb '13. Pretty good huh. It's been a long while since I had a mixed state especially when I started on this job I really finally like. 

 

I thought maybe that's all I needed. I'm not friendless anymore, I like what I'm doing and I'm motivated. So I thought maybe that's all that was missing cause I hated my previous jobs and friends. And now I'm pretty good. No scary anger attacks, no throwing of glass items on the wall, no punching the wall, no threatening to kill my older brother. I get depressed but not too much. I feel like I'm finally in control of my life and people around me have noticed it too. They were HAPPY for me. And I really like that. BUT I also feel empty and frustrated because I can't really feel any deeper emotions.

 

Here's the thing - I feel NUMB on the AAP. I'm an actor and when asked to cry or show vulnerability and sadness, I couldn't connect with myself. I can't feel or remember pain. Being an actor is the one thing that makes me happy and has helped me get better and if the AAP is gonna prevent me from being a good actor, I can't have it. I can't connect deeply to anything or anybody. As an artist, it just feels like I have been artistically blind. And that has robbed me off purpose and real happiness too. So since I believe I'm genuinely happy and can't act or sing well on sad scenes, I decided I don't need the AAP.

 

So I went of the AAP.

 

It's been 3 weeks since I'm off AAP. I feel the difference good and bad. Bad is - I don't feel as happy calm like everything is just "happy fine". That's how it felt on AAP for me. Like nothing can get you down. Everything is just fine and normal. 

 

Good is - What I like is - I don't feel NUMB. I can actually feel pain and sadness which I've been unable to feel when I'm on AAP. I can feel real emotions but because I still have Lamictal, don't really get depressed.

 

Now.. you wanna hear this. The puzzling part. So I'm fine..

 

Until a week ago, when I started having these anxiety attacks. This is all jumbled up now because the anxiety might also be caused by the Ritalin but I never had anxiety before on or off Ritalin. So it could be a new symptom. Or it could also be because of this girl. I started having obsessive thoughts on negative things and also on someone I think I'm in love with - god I hate when that happens. It seems like liking someone just drives me insane so maybe I should just avoid it altogether. Anyway, back on topic. I really like this girl, she's my ex partner and we've been really GREAT friends. We broke up 10 years ago FCOL. She loves me as a friend and cares a lot about me. But lately my feelings for her have been more than that. Long story short, I impulsively told her how I felt on a Facebook message when I was drunk and having the worst anxiety attack of my life. That's when it started. The next morning, it freaked us both out but she knows about my condition and right now, she's just being kind and being a good friend. But I can't stop thinking about her and all the possible things that could go wrong and I am scared to death because if this doesn't stop.. I'm afraid of more horrible things I could do out of impulse, obsessive thoughts, and anxiety. I have a history on this. Before I was diagnosed, this is what I did to my recent ex when we broke up. This is my ex boyfriend. I kept sending texts, calling, stalking.. I couldn't control it even when I decided not to do it anymore. I even talked to his relatives and friends. But nothing to get me arrested, not like that. That's when I got diagnosed and had help. I was single for 2 and a half years - mostly because I can't feel anything. I can't be like that now because I really care about this girl and I don't want to scare her away. But I CAN'T control it. Yesterday, when she didn't go online after her work, I can't stop thinking where she is, what she's doing.. maybe she's avoiding me now and other freaky thoughts. I always jump to the worst conclusions. So I texted her. When she didn't reply.. that's when I started having this scary god-awful anxiety and obsessive thoughts. I sent her so many messages but I explained calmly that I just need a friend and I'm having a bad episode. I'm just thankful that she's kind enough to talk to me when she got home and that calmed me down finally. I took 2 Valiums and thankfully, I still have some Risperdal left so I took one too and got me to sleep. I don't know what I could've done if she didn't talk to me. I honestly felt like hurting myself. Now I don't know what she thinks about me and I can't put her through this. I don't know how long she will be understanding. 

 

EDIT - I also haven't been sleeping well so it could also be hypomania. I'm completely lost now.

 

So I really need to figure out what's causing this and how to stop it. Is it the lack of AAP? The Ritalin? A new symptom? Or is this just what happens when I get emotionally attached to someone?.. meaning I can't get involved with anyone ever??

 

Please help me. Here are the AAPs I tried and why it didn't work.

 

Just a summary. Abilify - akethesia and too expensive, Seroquel - too sleepy and feeling like the whole world just dropped in front of me in a big chaos the next morning, Risperidone - weight gain!!! Oh god.. my bag was stolen a year ago, I'm looking at prescriptions right now and I can't remember if there were others but those are the ones. Then when on bad mixed states which I'm not having now, I had Valpros. So when it went away, I stopped it.

 

Now I'm just on Lamictal and Valium to get me sleep. For ADHD - Ritalin.

 

I just want to hear your thoughts and especially those who had same experiences with the obsession, effects of AAP's... My doctor is in India and won't be back till end of the month. I've made an apptmnt, the earliest possible is Ocotber 8!!!

 

Some of you have told me about Latuda. I am in the Philippines and it's not available here yet. Please... I'm losing it. Thanks!!

Edited by Evenstar
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Hi!

 

I have been off aap's for 3 years and I hope I never have to go that route again. But we will see what happens.

 

I've never taken ritalin and my only 1 time with a stimulant was pure hell.

 

Sometimes obessing over a person someone you are interested in can be normal. If it goes off the edge is there someone you can talk to? I don't know if there is a med for that certain feeling. And as an actor you have to be able to access ALL feelings. I would suggest talking to a therapist.

 

db

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What would you like me to say? How about don't fuck around with your meds without your pdoc's input, and especially when you know he is going to be out of the country. I don't know how it works in the Philippines, but does your pdoc have a covering pdoc, someone who will handle emergencies? The reason you are freaking out is because you quit a med, what kind of advice am I supposed to provide? Other than hit the Valium.

 

AAPs are used for lots of people who don't get full blown manias or psychoses. Sometimes, it turns out that a med designed for one population, works on another. Witness: Lamictal. Do you have seizures? Not according to your list of DX. It is a seizure medication. And it is a first line treatment for BP II, nonetheless.

 

Did you quit cold turkey? I hope not.

 

Why is it puzzling you that 2 weeks after you stopped an AAP that you are anxious? And that 3 weeks out, all sorts of symptoms are returning? AAPS treat, among many other things, anxiety. You could be having rebound anxiety. You could be in a mixed state, you could be hypo. You could be depressed. AAPs are helpful for all of those things.

 

You pretend you don't know what kicked off the anxieties and obsessions and freaking out, but prefaced your post by saying you quit a med that was evidently helping you, but had side effects you didn't like.

 

What to do when that is the case? Next time you see your pdoc, if you really don't want to be on a med, *for a valid reason, not because of which class it is in," say the side effects are interfering with your life, and you need to try something else. He can't literally force something down you throat. If you absolutely refuse to try something, use your agency, and tell him you will. not. take. it. Then you can mutually decide on a next step. Now you need emergency intervention, and I am not sure how that is supposed to improve your acting.

 

I am gathering you are young, because this is so classic. Don't fuck around with your meds without supervision ever again. 7 months without a mixed state is not "pretty good."Now you see the med did more than just cause side effects, even though you don't get manias or psychoses. So don't assume that because one type of med in a class doesn't work, that non of them will.

 

Weren't you taking meds partially for those obsessions? It didn't occur to you that stopping your meds would make them worse?

 

P.S. What the hell is a "deeper emotion?" Or "real ones," for that matter?

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I went off the Risperidone with my doctor's consent - I said so at the start.. I said I begged him to take me out of it so we decided to try with just the Lamictal and Valium


There... sorry it wasn't clear. He agreed to it.

 

If some of you have read my other post, I begged my doctor to take me off the AAP because I've tried some of them and I really can't have the side effects if I want to stay on the kind of job I'm in. I know I know.. can't really complain because I know compared to you, a lot of you guys tried almost everything. But this is my share of frustration. 

 

 

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P.S. What the hell is a "deeper emotion?" Or "real ones," for that matter?

 

I don't know how I can explain this.. but like I said, I feel disconnected. I can't feel sad when I'm supposed to feel sad. I take it you're not on the performing arts.. that's why I am asking if there are artists around here and if they had any problems or experiences like this when on the meds.

 

Also, I don't pretend I don't know what kicked off the anxieties because as I said at the start - I NEVER HAD ANXIETIES BEFORE. So please don't bash me like I did something very careless. My doctor agreed to take me off the AAP because he said he trusts me, that I am responsible and I talk to him constantly when I feel that something is wrong. He also said that has a patient who only takes Lamictal and is good with it so he said.. I might be one of the few people who could do away with it.

 

I tried very hard to explain everything here in the hope that someone would "GET" what I'm saying, as the Title said Calling Artists. But that doesn't mean I'm not open to others' inputs. Obviously I just want to know if anyone is on the same boat.

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Here's the thing. I'm a struggling writer. When I go off meds I write with ease. The emotions flow and the words write themselves. I start my meds and it is like someone turned the faucet off. I can't write a word. So as you might imagine, I don't want to take my meds for a similar reason to you. The problem is that I am sick. I have mental illness. I don't have the luxury of running around off meds because it makes me into some literary superstar. When I do that I not only endanger myself, but I fuck up the lives of people around me. I suggest that you accept your illness, medicate appropriately, and learn how to tap into to your creativity under your medication. Otherwise, you'll never be successful anyway. You'll land in the hospital and gain a reputation for being a lunatic.

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Before you give up on AAP's, I think you should try Latuda.  I have no side effects on it, other than being sleepy at night.

 

I am a bit shocked that a mere 1 mg of Risperdal could have such dramatic effects.  

 

I am an artist and work fine on my meds.  Actually it is important that I'm clear headed and not depressed so I feel like getting into the studio.

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I'm not an artist, but I reckon most people (even non-artists) have feelings and some feel numb on too high doses of certain meds.

 

Did you go off your AAP cold turkey or did you taper it off slowly? I can tell you from my personal experience that going off AAPs quickly is a nightmare (I did it once because of insurance problem), at least for me, it send my brain into a frenzy, severe anxiety, suicidal ideations, insomnia, it was quite bad. If you want to change your meds because you do not like the side effects, do it slowly. When I went of my AAP I did it over 8 weeks or so. You can go of AAPs and see if it works for you but it will take a long time. It might work for you, it might not. 

 

I don't know though about the Ritalin, I have never taken any, and I don't have ADHD.

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Here's the thing. I'm a struggling writer. When I go off meds I write with ease. The emotions flow and the words write themselves. I start my meds and it is like someone turned the faucet off. I can't write a word. So as you might imagine, I don't want to take my meds for a similar reason to you. The problem is that I am sick. I have mental illness. I don't have the luxury of running around off meds because it makes me into some literary superstar. When I do that I not only endanger myself, but I fuck up the lives of people around me. I suggest that you accept your illness, medicate appropriately, and learn how to tap into to your creativity under your medication. Otherwise, you'll never be successful anyway. You'll land in the hospital and gain a reputation for being a lunatic.

  ^You said what I was thinking. I struggled a bit with accepting my illness and have tried going off some of my meds but the anxiety or depression or mania would inevitably return. It's not worth the risk for me.  I have learned to be creative despite being medicated. It can be harder but I don't want to deal with the ramifications that come with being untreated like ending up in the hospital or worse.

I hope you tapered, as others have mentioned.

Edited by Jaytea
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Being an actor or an artist doesn't make you special. Emotional blunting is a problem for anybody. Obsessive thoughts are, too. Both can affect anyone's livelihood, too. Sorry. I get tired of hearing how bipolar treatment is so much worse for the artiste.

 

There are other AAPs. I too found Seroquel sedating, Abilify akathisia causing, and Risperdal a little blunting. Try Latuda or another of the newer AAPs. Try a higher dose of Lamictal, or add Lithium. Lamictal - Lithium was a good combo for me. Or for that matter, try Trileptal, Tegretol or Depakote with your Lamictal - a good pdoc can manage the interaction. These might not deal with your anxiety as well as an AAP, tho. At any rate, you seem to need some antimanic action that you aren't getting from Lamictal if you want a relatively normal life. And try some therapy. You won't keep an acting job, or any job, if you are an emotional mess.

 

There are actors who act just fine on meds. Hone your craft and refine your meds instead of relying on abnormal emotion. Or perhaps that is, falsely remembering how much "better" your performance was when hypo. Euphoria to any degree distorts your perception of reality. And, really, when you admit that you had some of these problems before, it makes me think that your acting was not so great then; just that your memory is distorted. I could be wrong, tho. Perhaps you are someone famous who made millions on your acting skills. At any rate, work on your acting craft. One does not have to become the emotion. Technique goes a long way.

 

ETA: And talk to your pdoc about trying an extended release ADHD med like Adderal XR. My mood gets screwed on the short acting stuff. The quick up down does it. A change like this might help you with some symptoms, but not likely the obsessiveness.

Edited by AnneMarie
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Fwiw, I have had those creative, mentally unwell, 'well meaning' men in love with me behave how you do.

In the beginning I tried to help out of pity. After a while, I reported them, changed my number and saw it for what it is: STALKING.

If feeling this way is not enough to get you to find adequate medication, the fact you are stalking your ex should. Just because you feel it comes from a place of loneliness or love, doesn't justify bombarding her with texts. She isn't responsible for you, you are.

 

Totally

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Well, you aren't going to be able to write/ paint/ act if you're dead or locked up. That's how I choose to think of it. There are meds that I have hated- that really interferred with my writing, and then there are meds that I knew weren't working because the bipolar was still interferring with my writing. It's a double-edged sword. I think, if your find a med that helps to stablized you, you will see more clearly. 

 

You know the story, by the way, about Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Marathon Man", right? He stayed up all night because he had a scene where he had to act really exhausted the next day. When he got to set and was all burnt from having no sleep, Lawrence Olivier asked him, "why don't you just act tired?" 

 

Most people with bipolar have some sort of bend towards being artistic. I'm not saying that to burst your bubble. What I'm saying is that we get it. It's harder for me to write on aaps, but I'm a writer so I work at it. It's just going to be harder to act if you're on an aap, but you'll probably get more job offers if you're stable and able to leave your house, right? You always have the ability to act in you. It's just going to be harder, but that's because you're bipolar. Everything is harder. 

 

Not much of a pep talk, huh? Bare in mind, it's coming from someone who went off her aaps recently because they were interferring with her ability to feel shit. Went off those meds, and- whoa- did I ever feel some shit. It was awful. I couldn't write, and what's worse I couldn't be a mother to my kid. I hear what you're saying, but I think that you'll find a way to tap into your acting vibe on the right meds. Writing is harder for me on these meds, but I can still write.

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Well, you aren't going to be able to write/ paint/ act if you're dead or locked up. That's how I choose to think of it. There are meds that I have hated- that really interferred with my writing, and then there are meds that I knew weren't working because the bipolar was still interferring with my writing. It's a double-edged sword. I think, if your find a med that helps to stablized you, you will see more clearly. 

 

You know the story, by the way, about Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Marathon Man", right? He stayed up all night because he had a scene where he had to act really exhausted the next day. When he got to set and was all burnt from having no sleep, Lawrence Olivier asked him, "why don't you just act tired?" 

 

Most people with bipolar have some sort of bend towards being artistic. I'm not saying that to burst your bubble. What I'm saying is that we get it. It's harder for me to write on aaps, but I'm a writer so I work at it. It's just going to be harder to act if you're on an aap, but you'll probably get more job offers if you're stable and able to leave your house, right? You always have the ability to act in you. It's just going to be harder, but that's because you're bipolar. Everything is harder. 

 

Not much of a pep talk, huh? Bare in mind, it's coming from someone who went off her aaps recently because they were interferring with her ability to feel shit. Went off those meds, and- whoa- did I ever feel some shit. It was awful. I couldn't write, and what's worse I couldn't be a mother to my kid. I hear what you're saying, but I think that you'll find a way to tap into your acting vibe on the right meds. Writing is harder for me on these meds, but I can still write.

 

You said this so beautifully. And you're right- using the tortured artist excuse is bullshit. A good actor can act no matter what, and part of being bipolar is you can think that you are fantastic off meds when you are merely delusional. 

 

 

Oh, and by the way, take it from one who knows. being bipolar and not wanting to take certain meds because with them you can't 'feel' deeply enough doesn't give you the right to be a douche. Stop being a stalker.

Edited by Washington Park Commons
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Here's the thing. I'm a struggling writer. When I go off meds I write with ease. The emotions flow and the words write themselves. I start my meds and it is like someone turned the faucet off. I can't write a word. So as you might imagine, I don't want to take my meds for a similar reason to you. The problem is that I am sick. I have mental illness. I don't have the luxury of running around off meds because it makes me into some literary superstar. When I do that I not only endanger myself, but I fuck up the lives of people around me. I suggest that you accept your illness, medicate appropriately, and learn how to tap into to your creativity under your medication. Otherwise, you'll never be successful anyway. You'll land in the hospital and gain a reputation for being a lunatic.

 

Yes, thank you. I'm glad that somebody understands. I get what you're saying when it's like someone turned the faucet off. But like I said... it's just I'm wondering of the POSSIBILITY of not being on an AAP.

 

So I take it, you're all telling me it's not possible. 

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From going off risperidone (insurance reasons, long story) I found that I, from being able to code quite well in normal mood, became unable to code at all (and thoroughly miserable in general), and this has persisted long after going back on my meds. I am still kicking myself that I waited for my insurance to kick back in rather than just paying for my risperidone out of pocket, because this was not worth it at all.

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Fwiw, I have had those creative, mentally unwell, 'well meaning' men in love with me behave how you do.

In the beginning I tried to help out of pity. After a while, I reported them, changed my number and saw it for what it is: STALKING.

If feeling this way is not enough to get you to find adequate medication, the fact you are stalking your ex should. Just because you feel it comes from a place of loneliness or love, doesn't justify bombarding her with texts. She isn't responsible for you, you are.

 

Yes I know that. My question was - am I being obsessive because of the lack of a certain med OR... is THIS what happens when I like someone a lot. I know that it's wrong, I said so. And I'm NOT justifying my actions. That is why I am trying to understand. If I had been on meds and this happens, what would be the explanation then? That I really can't get involved with anyone because I just turn psycho? That's what I'm trying to understand.

 

 

 

Well, you aren't going to be able to write/ paint/ act if you're dead or locked up. That's how I choose to think of it. There are meds that I have hated- that really interferred with my writing, and then there are meds that I knew weren't working because the bipolar was still interferring with my writing. It's a double-edged sword. I think, if your find a med that helps to stablized you, you will see more clearly. 

 

You know the story, by the way, about Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Marathon Man", right? He stayed up all night because he had a scene where he had to act really exhausted the next day. When he got to set and was all burnt from having no sleep, Lawrence Olivier asked him, "why don't you just act tired?" 

 

Most people with bipolar have some sort of bend towards being artistic. I'm not saying that to burst your bubble. What I'm saying is that we get it. It's harder for me to write on aaps, but I'm a writer so I work at it. It's just going to be harder to act if you're on an aap, but you'll probably get more job offers if you're stable and able to leave your house, right? You always have the ability to act in you. It's just going to be harder, but that's because you're bipolar. Everything is harder. 

 

Not much of a pep talk, huh? Bare in mind, it's coming from someone who went off her aaps recently because they were interferring with her ability to feel shit. Went off those meds, and- whoa- did I ever feel some shit. It was awful. I couldn't write, and what's worse I couldn't be a mother to my kid. I hear what you're saying, but I think that you'll find a way to tap into your acting vibe on the right meds. Writing is harder for me on these meds, but I can still write.

 

You said this so beautifully. And you're right- using the tortured artist excuse is bullshit. A good actor can act no matter what, and part of being bipolar is you can think that you are fantastic off meds when you are merely delusional. 

 

 

Oh, and by the way, take it from one who knows. being bipolar and not wanting to take certain meds because with them you can't 'feel' deeply enough doesn't give you the right to be a douche. Stop being a stalker.

 

 

Well obviously, you haven't been talking to a lot of other actors. For those of us, doing the job that way - the way you said Dustin Hoffman did is the right thing. It may not be the technique for all actors but it is for some especially those who really want to get into the character's head. That's how we do it. 

 

Try to attend acting workshops, listen to interviews in Inside the Actors Studio, we all have different ways of getting into the character's head. And it is always... ALWAYS important that you BE the CHARACTER and not just ACT it. That's how it is. This is not anymore in relation to my question, I'm just trying to make you understand why Dustin Hoffman did that. Because he is dedicated and passionate in what he's doing.

 

But thank you guys for telling me that I do need another med if not precisely the AAP. 

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Here's the thing. I'm a struggling writer. When I go off meds I write with ease. The emotions flow and the words write themselves. I start my meds and it is like someone turned the faucet off. I can't write a word. So as you might imagine, I don't want to take my meds for a similar reason to you. The problem is that I am sick. I have mental illness. I don't have the luxury of running around off meds because it makes me into some literary superstar. When I do that I not only endanger myself, but I fuck up the lives of people around me. I suggest that you accept your illness, medicate appropriately, and learn how to tap into to your creativity under your medication. Otherwise, you'll never be successful anyway. You'll land in the hospital and gain a reputation for being a lunatic.

  ^You said what I was thinking. I struggled a bit with accepting my illness and have tried going off some of my meds but the anxiety or depression or mania would inevitably return. It's not worth the risk for me.  I have learned to be creative despite being medicated. It can be harder but I don't want to deal with the ramifications that come with being untreated like ending up in the hospital or worse.

I hope you tapered, as others have mentioned.

 

 

Thank you for acknowledging what I'm going through. This is actually what I need and thank you for reminding me that it could be worse. So yes, I will work with my pdoc and find something that works.

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girlwiththefarawayeyes said what needed to be said articulately & honestly, and your reply was you just don't understand? What you should understand Evenstar is that many of us here @ CB are also artists, both professionally & by hobby. So that tortured artist bullshit wont fly that well.

 

You are an actor you say, and you want to treat your illness around your career? Then I suppose you have 2 choices. First choice is to professionally act NOT obsessive, anxious, depressed, hypomanic and other crazy instability (when you actually are unstable). Or second, you can try to find a medication where you are actually stable which may not numb you down as far as Seroquel and act through the side affects.

 

PS the point of acting is to put yourself into shoes of somebody you are not. Just sayin'. So when you are supposed to act tired, you act tired. Not actually be sleep deprived. Because if you are actually sleep deprived, your work will suffer. And when being in any kind of production which spends money, not being able to be your 100% mentally or physically not only costs your production company money, you severely piss off your director. And do you know what that means? Less job opportunities. What you must understand in the real world of acting, is that it isn't kind. As well it is a real job. You have to be well & willing at any point or you lose job opportunities. At in the world of acting, there is not really a lot of opportunities.

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The actor who told Dustin Hoffman to just act was Sir Laurence Olivier. Maybe you've heard of him? Method is one approach to acting. One. I am only even posting this because the fact that you fatuously blew  off the expertise of one of the greatest actors of all time sums you up so tidily.

 

And as previously indicated, Talking Heads would recognize you immediately.

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