Play + breaking the rules + wearing a red nose. Who is not going to love that?!
I guess there might be lots of people out there who would hate it actually but I absolutely loved it.
Hmm, where to begin.
Today was great for so many reasons:
1. It was the start of something new.
2. I had little control over what was planned.
3. The majority of people in the group spoke something other than English.
4. The people in the group came from all sorts of different countries, ages, performance levels and backgrounds.
5. The instructors were kinda hot.
6. I sweat like an athlete.
At lunch break one of the gals in the group asked me: ‘Why are you taking this course? I mean I would assume that as a professional actress you’d know everything about it all’.
I explicitly want to thank God for that girl and her question. I pray that I never become ‘so knowledgable’ about something that I get to believe I’m in no need to learn anymore. Hurrah for forever learning!
True, I had already played lots of the games we played today and I knew some of the exercises, but there is something awesome about going back into the classroom to put yourself at risk, share your vulnerability, explore and play. I personally need that. I find that in the real world out there, the acting profession can sometimes be reduced to marketing, head shots, boobs, networking and business. Life can become all about ‘that’ and none about ‘this’.
Less enjoyable than Day 1. Mainly due to my own personal issues, specifically one called VANITY. Man, it’s a killer!
You know that chairs game? You know, the one where there’s music and people dance around the chairs and when the music stops everyone tries to find a chair to sit on? Then the person who’s left standing is out of the game and that’s the end of the story?
Well, today we played that game. However, losing wasn’t as easy as just stepping down. Oh no, here the person who was left standing had to entertain people for 30 secs to be allowed back into the game. You could do a monologue, a song, a crazy act, whatever (said the teacher)…as long as it’s entertaining. So obviously ‘whatever’ didn’t quite apply. I would have happily just sat there and fart (hmm, maybe next time).
Of course I was left standing at one point and after 10 secs of doing what I thought was my more passionate performance (it wasn’t), most people in the room were asleep. One woman was so bored she even fell on the floor. I tried to use that woman to turn the act into something more interesting but I think half of my body was frozen in panic and I was gently asked to leave the game…
It’s hilarious actually, but a few hours have passed since it happened so I can see the humour in it now. However, I hated losing, I hated panicking, I hated boring people, I hated me. When I left the game, I let fear overtake me; my mind got overly active with thoughts like this:
“I’m are not very good at this”
“Maybe I should just go to drama school and learn how to act properly”
“Clearly the teacher doesn’t like me”
“Everyone in the room is jealous of me and enjoyed seeing me fail”
“I should have done this…or that…oh, that monologue I know would have been hilarious”
“Maybe I shouldn’t be an actor”
I was hurt, my ego was hurt and I had a hard time letting go. I wanted to though, I really wanted to enjoy the rest of the session; I wanted NOT TO CARE. Who gives a damn anyway?! Nobody but me. I was doing this to myself and I wanted to stop it. It’s as if there was a demon inside me squashing me down to the ground making me feel like poo.
Screw you devil!
What did I learn?
I can be rigid. I crave for spontaneity and feel free when I pursue it, but a lot of the time my life follows plans, timetables and objectives and if things don’t go according to my plan I struggle adjusting. I take obstacles on board but try to modify them so that things work out MY WAY in the end.
I’m used to winning, I’m used to succeeding and success only happens one way: working hard.
But does it?
Today I learnt that I may have got it all wrong. Success is not about working hard; it is about being in the moment, living the present, being OPEN to what life presents to you and taking the risk to change the things that you’ve planned. It is about embracing rejection rather than ignoring it. “You woman on the floor, you think I’m boring? You’re right, my story is shit”. It’s about recognising, and ever better (and harder) living in peace with the fact that I AM NOT PERFECT.
I’m sure it’ll feel wonderful. Yes, it WILL feel wonderful because that’s the kind of person I want to be, imperfect and in love with my imperfections. Scratch that. Not in love but in harmony with my imperfections.
Today was good.
Lesson of the day: some days are good, some are crap.
Today was good. Tomorrow might not. It could have been a terrible day today but I think that what happened yesterday allowed me to see things slightly different and approach my day in a more liberating way. I volunteered twice to have a go with my clown and worked less hard in the ‘grounding’ session which simply gave room to complicate things less and enjoy more…then beautiful things happened. I felt overly much more relaxed.
I can’t move.
My body was seriously not liking the idea of going back to crazy moving. But I did go, and somehow I managed to find energy, and somehow I managed to go wild with my clown (so wild it’s a little painful to think about it), and somehow I managed to vibrate so from within me that I burst into tears and I cried, and I cried, and I cried so passionately that I was emptied and freed.
Today I feel grateful. I give thanks to God for intensity, for meaning, for language, for images, for letting go, for finding life.
In one of the exercises we did today, someone would be in the middle of a circle and the people creating the circle would shout out words to which the person in the middle had to respond to.
At one point when I was in the middle someone shouted out ‘second chance’.
The word sank in and I was born again. Suddenly, I appreciated the floor, my feet, my hands, the air coming through my lungs. ‘Second chance’. I looked up, down, ahead. I cried. I screamed, I was alive. ‘Second chance’, life’s given me more time.
Another cathartic day.
For homework we had to write our life in one page. In pairs we then had to read our lives to each other and our partner would choose some phrases/words from what we read to them. I also had to choose some words from my partner’s life which struck me.
After that, we were asked to go into the middle of the room. I read the words to my partner and she had to embody them somehow. It was beautiful to watch. I connected so deeply with her words (with her life) that I didn’t think I would be strong enough to have a go at the words coming from my own life, but the teacher asked me to use that energy inside me to do it. I did and it was an incredible experience.
Still, the most striking thing for me was having been touched at that level by my partner’s life. It taught me that we are all connected even when we might be drastically ‘different’. It made me believe that in terms of characters and casting there are no boundaries; deep down human beings share the same essence. This was a lesson not only for acting but for life; we are all brothers and sisters, we just need to give each other a chance to be, connect and love.
Today was also the last day we did of clowning. Fab time!
I went to heaven for a bit.