Friday, September 22, 2017

contrast and contradiction.


It is worth remembering that everything we do in our profession as story tellers is a contrast and or contradiction. What we are doing is not real. It is not actually a real event we are only dramatising life… a reality, yet what we are doing is a really happening. The whole process of making art is or rather could be debated as being unreal and yet real – hence my proposition it is a contrast and or contradiction. My reason for brining this up is because as an artist within this world of ‘make believe’ we are always in pursuit of trying to make sense within this contrast and contradiction. I need this unreal world to feel real to me.
My instinct is that this unreal reality must be; on some level, a neurological related experience; to feel deeply connected to my body and mind physiologically for it to make sense in order for me to have logical reactions and responses. I need to give over to the illusion of the imagined world I am generating. To achieve this successfully I need this world to be fully realised.

The other form of contrast and contradiction that exists for us as actors to grapple with is in human behaviour – we are all in some form or another contradictory in our behaviour – saying one thing but doing another. Maybe my point is being ok with this contrast and contradiction is a good thing. Being self-aware of it helps us with us in our profession. Especially when I hear actors say: my character wouldn’t do that!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

art of listening...

To truly listen one must be in a true state of emptiness to be filled with the information be presented. Regardless of whether this information is visual, physical or aural. When listening we are not just absorbing words or intent but meaning, framework and context from which the intended information is coming from. To achieve this, we must act from a place of empathy and harmony with others. To place ourselves in a headspace that allows us to be present for the person or persons providing the information we are to take on board. By listening affectively, and placing ourselves in the situation of others we stand a stronger chance of navigating a way forward when placed in a situation of change , agitation, discomfort or conflict.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

problem solving & multi-tasking


I remember dropping a glass on stage during a production. I remember feeling the condensation on the outside of the glass slowly undermine my grip of the glass. As it was slipping from my finger; externally I was presence delivering lines and listening for ques, internally however I was developing a process to navigate the glass which was about to break at my feet and the feet of fellow cast members. I was contemplating a strategy for how to clean up the glass which included going off stage and getting a dust pan between my lines. I was even deciding on how to incorporate the obviously broken glass on the floor into the scene should I have to or need to. These thoughts were ordered and calm.
I am not suggesting that time slowed down in fact some research I discovered theorised that it is only our memory of an event that tricks us into thinking that time slowed down. The reference to time slowing down is usually when people in a state of danger. While on stage performing a task, I am not in danger, although a stage fight could replicate a sense of danger, thus tricking the brain. What I am inferring here is that I was making some informed decisions under pressure. I had enough experiential training through years of being on stage to be calm under pressure and respond accordingly.
I relish developing training methodologies that allow for a system that builds a mind and body approach and response to problem solving and multi-tasking should an accident arise. Like any form of conditioning training it would behove an actor to maintain a mindset that advocates for the understanding that an accident will eventually happen. That way when it does they are not thrown. This mental preparation in the training process is paramount in the development of a healthy approach to a physical disciplined response. The key to making this an affective system lies in the development of sensitivity and listening skills on a macro and micro level. On a level that involves a mental, aural, visual and tactile sensitivity to one’s immediate surroundings.
The main principle of my approach is prioritising how to deal with; and respond accordingly to an issue or accident that arises. A way into this approach is to start looking for a range of variables within a spectrum of scenarios that an actor may find themselves in. By seeking the order in this spectrum of perceived chaos, one can start to reduce stress levels because a series of responses can be programmed in the conditioning training level.

To be continued…