NXTUP Nominee - Best Performance - Actor-Short Form
Blake Weaver

Blake Weaver

Acting / MFA

I’ve always been blessed to have a strong foundation pointing me toward an
educated future, but I haven’t always been so driven. The moment I knew I would spend my life as an actor was after another failed semester spent studying Biochemistry at CSU East Bay. I drove 5 hours for my Cellular Microbiology final just to show up to an empty lecture hall. I missed it, I missed my final for my undergraduate degree. It was then that I knew I needed a change in my perspective, and to point myself in a direction I wanted to go in, not just taking the career I thought I should have. I again went to performing arts to seek guidance.

In that giant concrete concert hall I discovered a music in myself I always knew
was there, but never had the ability to tap into. It feels like I'm on board a train when I jump into a scene. I don’t control the train when I’m on board, but I live through the
journey of the character as the pistons carry on. I first found that beauty in plucking an orange off an imaginary tree in Cabaret, the serenity that comes from working in a state of relaxation, and a peace to the tormenting grief I’ve had for my late family and friends. I failed pursuing a degree I was neither interested in nor good at, so I thought I would focus my career toward something I knew I loved and was good at. After all, why try to become something I don’t want to be? A decade later and I’m finishing my MFA in Acting at The Academy of Art, and in a space of refining. I couldn’t feel more like a puzzle piece that’s found its place.

It’s been challenging finding the genuine energy that comes out of a really great
scene with another actor since San Francisco closed in March. The adjustment time over Zoom was strange, however comforting every step closer to “normal” we took. Now, being fully vaccinated I’ve been able to shoot two scenes in person in the last month! I’m glad it wasn’t forever, but I’m building skills that hopefully will last that long.

NXTUPfest Winner: Best Performance - Actor-Short Form: Human Nature

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