And I learned early on that there is a world of difference between them.
Protests are useless venting. The trouble and injustice has already happened by the time protestors go marching on the street.
Here I am at a protest march in the early 1990s.
I went to many of them. In my hometown in Hamilton, I marched up and down politician's offices every single day for days on end.
I marched multiple times in front of the US Consulate in Toronto.
I marched multiple times in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
And it was during one of these protests that I had a revelation: this isn't working.
And I wasn't going to be like that woman in the photo protesting even after she knows that protesting is sanctioned insanity.
It is a form of slacktivism. You are venting, nothing more.
And when reality hit me, I sat in my car to the shock of many protestors who asked me why.
Because this method of making change isn't changing anything.
You want to feel as if you are doing something, and the numbers give you some false sense that if enough people do it, something will be done, and it won't.
I hadn't given up on my goal. I just gave up on the ineffectual methods I was using.
Writing to media outlets was equally useless because you present facts, and journalists and editors were presenting excuses, and not bothering to listen to something that went against their lies.
So, I had a good long think of the problem at hand.
And I came up with a solution.
When you are marching on the outside, people on the inside can stare at each other and ignore you, and build a fortress keeping you out and preventing them from being seen for who they really are.
They can tell likely stories about how brave and moral they are, and as no one is near them, who can disagree?
Okay, if that was the façade, there is a very easy way to test that lofty theory.
And the inside becomes a laboratory.
And the outsider becomes an experimenter.
But I could not just go and ask to observe this group of people spewing press releases, getting information fed by PR, and embellishing things to make sensationalism out of nothing.
Method Acting was the way thespians immersed in their roles by becoming the character they are portraying.
That was one half of the equation.
The other half with being the psychologist-researcher conducting experiments.
Method Research was the way I was going to go right into the eye of the storm and see what was happening.
I was going to become a journalist (the Method) and see how this industry comports itself (the Research).
I was being an actor, but not in the theatric sense, but as someone who is active, and acts towards a goal, in this case, studying the flaws of the profession.
And I wanted to make real change. I don't care if billionaires are meddlesome control freaks who are rich only because they keep rigging boards, they not gods, but mortals.
Greedy people can be held accountable and penalized for cheating and rigging.
So I transmuted from activist to actrivist.
The goal was to reinvent journalism so that liars can't use their cheats to manipulate and exploit through news coverage.
It was a novel approach, and I learned a lot from it: how to work in such a way that you are always aware of yourself and your surroundings in order to be always improving on them.
The world was a stage and a laboratory, and I was an actor for change through experimentation, not by standing on the outside, but marching purposefully right inside that fortress where there were people who thought no one could break or codes or see how dysfunctional they truly were.
In other words, working as an Actrivist...