Saturday, October 17, 2015

What is in YOUR way?

What is in my way? Polar opposites

When an actor works on a part, they usually ask these 4 questions to play their character: Who am I? What do I want? Where am I? and When is this? 

«The final question an actor has to ask after that is, What is in my way?

Beyond the obstacles found in the given circumstances, one can always find something deeply personal holding an actor back from his fullest creative potential. It could be simple stage fright, a special resonance to the story, perhaps a fear of success, or a Disowned Self that is inhibiting progress. It could be a fear of judgment and the anticipation that important people will be in the audience such as casting directors, peers, reviewers, or even mom and dad. Sometimes it is an inner child that has been traumatized, or a fear of failure, or maybe expectations from others, expectations from the actor himself, a feeling of insecurity or many, many other hidden fears.
Being an actor is about putting yourself on the line. The actor is the instrument, not the violin, nor the canvas or the brush, not even primarily the physical body as in the case of an athlete or a dancer, but the entire self, the emotional, physical, mental, energetic and spiritual self. Acting is the act of transforming oneself into a work of art, and in that process the entire bioenergetic system of the person will undoubtedly be affected. As the delicate interconnected nervous, emotional, physical and energetic system embodies someone else, imagining different surrounding circumstances, suddenly, its blueprint changes and gets challenged. Sir Anthony Hopkins appropriately says it in his interview with Oprah, the body doesn’t know that it is fiction. With this transformation comes an immense amount of normal anxiety and stress. Whether it is acknowledged or not, the entire nervous and energetic systems are put under tremendous pressure, and the subconscious usually reacts by trying to protect you and pull you back. This often results in a huge block preventing you from performing the role freely. This block appears in a myriad of questions, smoke screens and hidden fears that the subconscious launches to stop you from going further in the transformation. Questions like: What is the director going to think? Am I good enough? Am I trying the right thing? Am I guessing what the director wants? What will my parents think? And my teachers? My partners? The reviewers? Can I still love myself
if I play this villain? Do I look good? Is my voice okay? Can my wife still love me if I play this loser? Is my pain painful enough and readable for an audience? And for the director? Do I have enough energy? Can I come back to be myself again after this role? What if I couldn’t get back? Why didn’t I get the lead role? And so on,»
                                                (Excerpt from A BALANCING ACT, page 151-152)

Read more on how to clear these blocks. There are many different tools that can help you.  The book A BALANCING ACT outlines the different methods.

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