Home for the moment. Quiet time. Just finished another wonderful intensive acting workshop in Paris. Great group. Always inspirational. Always challenging. Challenging in the best ways. I love helping people become better at helping themselves. Helping them become more independent, more self-sufficient. Love helping them become more conscious of what they’re truly capable of. Love discovering what I’m truly capable of in the process.
Back to Paris in a couple of weeks for another one. As well as to put the finishing touches on a new one woman play I’m writing and directing which will be presented in a shortened version at La Fabrique in Normandy. Will also squeeze in a weekend workshop in Berlin! Be great to get back there again.
When I was a kid growing up with stars in my eyes I dreamed about a certain, very specific type of success. But as I grew older I realized that personal growth is far more important than professional success. Nothing wrong with fame and fortune…but if it’s at the expense of humanity…well…
When I work with actors I find that I spend the majority of my time focusing their attention on humanity. On life. On human beings. Human beings other than themselves. Help them recognize the need to think, truly think, and imagine, being all the myriad others that exist in our world. How it potentially changes everything. Beginning with perception. Because what truly differentiates us from each other is our unique, our very individual perception of things. As a populace we spend almost no time imagining ourselves as others. Particularly the others we feel the greatest need to judge, to condemn. Why? What are we afraid of? That we might actually develop a degree of understanding? Learn something? Perceive something differently? Question? My God, we might actually become more tolerant, more compassionate, more humane. But that’s dangerous. Because then we’d become more vulnerable, more susceptible. Not to mention we might find ourselves punished. Guilty by association. None of us fancies burning. Here or in the hereafter.
An actor’s job affords an extraordinary opportunity. The opportunity to place oneself, not just in the shoes but, in the very life of another. And more oftentimes than not, another who is an entirely different type of person. It’s an opportunity to see the world from entirely different angles, perspectives. And whether you agree with the given other or not, it is possible to become clearer, more understanding as to how they came, and continue, to think, feel, believe, and deal the way they do. Makes it more difficult to judge. Which an actor should never do. Because you can’t create a fully realized human being, and truly live as that person, honestly, if you’re judging the person while you do it.
What is demanded of the actor is that he care. Care about people he might otherwise not care about. Care about things he might otherwise not care about. To create care where there is none.
And is that such a bad thing? How different would this world be if everyone’s job demanded that they care?