Blocking for the stage (and life)

Onstage, backstage, stage left, stage right, upstage, downstage…I live and breath acting. I feel particularly grateful that life has accommodated my desire to concentrate exclusively on having a creative life. I finally find myself in a place where if I’m not acting, I’m teaching acting. If I’m not teaching acting I’m directing acting. If I’m not directing acting, I’m modeling like an actor, and if I’m not modeling, well then I’m simply daydreaming about acting.

Last night I finished a one-month run of a two-person play that posed many challenges. I had to leave the security of my type casting and stretch like saran wrap to become an entirely new character. One that’s not as naively jubilant or optimistic as myself. At first, I was resistant but am now convinced that this process of metamorphosis is the springboard for interesting acting. I talk regularly to my students about creating unique “behavior” for characters. About taking leaps of courage and trying on roles that are completely the opposite of their own personality or “type”.

Life is about creation. No matter what path you’re on. I believe that when one is not creating whether it be a play, writing in a journal, planting flowers or even having an thought provoking conversation, the mind and spirit can turn in on itself. We become self-preoccupied, depressed, and stagnant. Energy must be exchanged and spent to truly feel alive. And as an actor, this sense of life is what’s so exhilarating to watch on stage.

Summer’s here! Although I still have to work, there’s a certain dreamy laziness about these three months. I’ll give myself space to relax, go to the beach, read a book, and just be. I’ll let my mind wander and imagine all of sorts of possibilities. I’ll reinvent myself into the person I want to be.

We’re only in a box if we put ourselves in one. Why not cut out a few holes and look out at what surrounds you. Let wonder and curiosity be your breadcrumbs leading you to your next adventure. And don’t forget to put your toes in the water this summer. The temperature might be just right for some well needed change and creation in your life.

 

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