Just read Shiny New Thing and it really spoke about the complacency that humans get into at times. I have seen it between actors as well as between crew and I believe the saying is “familiarity breeds contempt.”
It is so unfortunate that we assume that we know the person that we are working with and can end up doing “lazy boy” acting. Not that I mind those kind of chairs but once you are in them, it can be damn impossible to stand up.
To counter this unfortunate tired type of acting I think takes a bit of teamwork, with the main part of the team being yourself. This is where the dichotomy of being in a show presents itself. You have to trust the person that you are on stage with while at the same time be a stranger to them.
Like the lines in the script, which have been rehearsed to death, your outlook to each scene has to be that of a thoughtful amnesiac, forgetting everything that has ever happened to you and being there in the moment.
Gee… how obvious is that! Be there in the moment! No kidding!
Still there are so many times where the ego flexes and it is too easy to just let it ride and slip into bland.
Might I suggest asking one simple question for each day, moment, or time? This question has to be said with as much excitement and enthusiasm and held like a capped geyser! Here it is: “What exciting thing am I going to discover?”
If you expect the same old you will get the same old. If you challenge your own discovery, then others will respond to that challenge and come at things in a fresh way.
Thanks for your musings. They generate more musings and perhaps wonderful change!
Guy, I love it. Thank you for this. Just wonderful. I love the phrase “thoughtful amnesiac.” That’s just delicious. And being present is so vitally important — not just in craft but in all our encounters — so much so that the phrase “anxiety is the opposite of being present” is one we use around here for keeping that in check.
I do love the idea of discovery at the foundation of this all. I remember hearing the question, “What are you here to teach me?” probably 20 years ago (and probably on Oprah) and thinking that was a wonderful question to ask any encounter that felt stressful or painful.
But it’s also a great question to ask of any moment, of any encounter. Every time we take the stage, every time we hit our mark, every time we deliver our well-rehearsed pitch… there’s an opportunity for discovery. We can learn about the character, about the people with whom we share this lovely journey, and about ourselves. Every time.
How wonderful! Thank you, Guy, for this great reminder.
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001779.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.