Monday, March 12, 2012

Practical Application

I've been finding the work of the company creaping into my daily life. Thoughts of training follow me into the subway. I'm aware of the atmosphere in the station and how people move and adjust to one another. I hear the quiet conversations on the train, both physical and verbal. I'm pouring wine at my serving job with a sense of beauty and ease. I teach my classes with an open heart, and I'm slowly letting go of many reservations I have about acting.

I've taken many classes and workshops trying to become a better actor, thinking that the answers would appear in a three hour class with twenty participants. Over these past months, I've learned that diligence and committment to the work is where real progress lives. I find it fascintating that in a Michael Chekhov exercise called Staccato/Legato, we first fully committ to one direction, sending all of our energy out to that direction, first, and then collect energy back. We let go of energy to make room for something new to come in. I've done this exercise for years, but recently I have found myself doing the exercise before auditions or before my day job or at night before I go to sleep. Because being an actor means being present, in your work, in your space, and in your life.

Today, in the audition room I chose material I had spoken this past week in training. Words I knew well and felt passionate about. Words that didn't need performance or tricks. And I don't think I've ever felt more comfortable in a space or in myself.

Sometimes you have to fully committ to one direction and let all your energy go in that direction, and then be open to whatever energy you collect back.

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