Monday, September 29, 2008
At a cast party for On Golden Pond tonight we entered into a conversation about acting. I tend to wander away from these types of conversations. I tire easily of the cerebral exercise of trying to compartmentalize something that is essentially inexplicable. But, tonight there was a young high school student there who was trying to make sense of all she had been hearing about acting technique. The actress who plays Ethel had the courage to say, "It all comes down to one thing - Listening. Listening, REALLY listening and being in the moment and then responding to what the other actor has said. Just listen and be in the moment. And, I'm not sure anything other than that really matters - backstories, motivations, blah blah blah - LISTEN!" I thought how true this is of any creative endeavor. Just listen and respond in the moment. Don't bring expectations, don't impose something on it. So often we want the security blanket of the intellectual work behind what we do. It takes courage to be in the moment, listen and respond. But, there's nothing quite as exhilarating or satisfying.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wow! It's been a long time since I've been here. The ebbs and flows of my creative life tend to be drastic. The fallow periods are so long and inactive that I often fear my creative life has left me for good. Although I posted some this summer and was in rehearsal for On Golden Pond I still can't say it was a particularly productive time for me. I've tried to come to peace with the empty spaces. I think they are inextricably linked with a low grade depression so it's hard to feel positive about them. I'm always desperately relieved when the fog has cleared (like the Claritin commercial) and I feel alive again. Thomas Moore wrote a beautiful book, Care of the Soul that has helped me immensely with my perspective on depression. I am slowly coming to see it as a gift. Just when I have my life neatly wrapped up, depression comes along and pokes a hole in it, blowing it all to smithereens. It leaves me empty, which, when the dust clears, leaves - POSSIBILITY. Still, I grudgingly accept the gift, wishing that I could just be happy and full of energy all the damn time even as the leaves fall from the trees and animals get ready to hibernate. In order to have what you want you cannot push against what you don't want. Is it all about "loving what is"(the phrase and book that has made Byron Katie famous)? I do know that as I stand here ready to tackle Kiss Me Kate with all of its particular challenges for me there is a deep solidity to my center that wasn't there just 3 months ago. The emptiness, questioning and soul searching of the past several months has led me to a place where I am ready to learn ALL the lessons from this experience. I think I started out as a singer/actress for the same reason many do - I loved it and I needed it and it was all I knew. Now, I think I'm pulled here because this is where my life lessons are.
My own little place to explore my creativity and imagination