The primary mode of interacting with anything on the internet is to read it as quickly as possible while performing a second task, and then explain why the content consumed is wrong or could have been better. It is the simplest way to interact with anything or anyone, and it reads as immature, because it is. It is the Level 1 way of dismissing anything. You can tell it’s level 1 because it’s easy. Because when you’re doing it yourself you can feel how little effort it is to sum up someone’s viewpoint that causes a reaction in you with an “I guess you should’ve paid more attention in 8th grade English class”. I cut my output on the internet by 97% by deciding that I wouldn’t put any no-effort responses out just to be talking. I am not an influencer or a brand, so I don’t need to be
I try not to get too mystical in my approach to acting. I find a lot of that sort of vocabulary to be really off-putting. In our need to ennoble the craft we try to elevate it beyond what it usually is to make ourselves feel like more ourselves. But there are “mystical” things about the craft that you can’t dodge in the same way that carpenters can’t really avoid the fact the wood has a personality. Using the words we do makes it seem a little cartoonish, but it’s true so… there we go.With acting I trying not to use spell casting metaphors but we don’t have great vocabulary for exerting power to create tangible emotional change in another on another with simply words. There are hoary tropes about all crafts and professions. Those ink-stained wretches who wrote our newspapers and novels. Our paint spattered visual artists. A potter
“I wondered about the experience of being in relationship to a new body in a new country—like an American lesbian married to a man in Berlin.” Most of our writing about love tries to do it in primary colors, in bold strokes. We write about and perform the operatic beginnings of love and the elegiac ends. We write about the first dates, and first kids and that first time walking the neighborhood without your partner of 50 years. We don’t spend a lot of time talking about the grind, the hard work of learning how to be a person while taking every step alongside another person figuring out thing at the exact same time. We shorthand this sort of thing as “marriage is hard”. But it’s really the bulk of what marriage is. Jeanette Winterson talks about relationships this way some in her writing. It always ends of feeling more
Ushuwaia Blue has become a touchstone in my head for the sorts of projects I want to make acting students attempt in order to build a different kind of acting practice. Beginning acting is chock full of affection for blazing intensity. In love with wielding every emotion at a 35 out of 10 we see scenes full of rage and not a lot else. It’s the First Church of Going There. It’s adherents fall into the McDonagh hole, in the 90’s they were the Mamet and Labute folks. And it is fun as hell to wield those emotions full bore. To not worry about tactics and just let 8-bit emotion flow. It’s when you get stuck in that being your only tool that it becomes a hindrance. You have to find the finer edged tools in your toolbox to create more finely wrought work. This wasn’t particularly emphasized in my
We get trained to do what we do in very specific ways. It is VERY difficult to change the ways we do it when the future arrives, or even conceive of how it needs to be done. I grew up and was trained in proscenium theatre spaces. As I got older, my usual haunts were all black box thrusts and shared spaces. But they were still formal storytelling spaces if less opulent and less formal than the sorts of traditional theatre spaces I considered Real Theatre. I am more than capable of sliding up and down that continuum pretty fluidly. I like to think that the tools I’ve developed work well in lots of forms and forums. But all of them are in formally designated settings. Even if there aren’t velveteen folding seats and a grand drape, it is understood that we are in a sit silently and watch situation
It’s difficult to have an honest conversation about religion unless you are in substantial agreement about it with your fellow discoursers. The emotional muscles needed to talk about it without becoming either defensive of your beliefs or evangelical are pretty substantial. We mostly do everything we can to avoid it. As in all things this means that the loudest are those left to represent the entire topic, to our great loss. I think that humans want to believe in something greater than themselves. The easiest to believe in is a grand creator. Something, someone, beyond the patched and broken people around us. When we become disillusioned and lose faith, early or late, there becomes an absence that wants to be filled. With art, or a mission, or a career, or other people. But it’s not ever an exact fit.Hearing anyone talk about it with the sense of loss, of grief,
Dr. Jen Phillips shared an anecdote on Twitter about her Mom. Dr. Phillips is struggling with the surprisingly common idea that a life like her Mom’s doesn’t have enough value to merit receiving the vaccine.
A downside of having a functional brain is understanding how little you know. This is compounded by being able to see clearly every time you learn something new how much less you know than you thought. Where that leaves you, if you’re being intellectually honest, is never having solid enough footing to be able to ever shout anything into the void. If the only way to be heard in 2021 is to shout into the din with all the arrogance you can muster, right or wrong, it’s difficult to see value in that. There is value in speaking a little more slowly, a little more softly and letting it exist off to the side of the firehose for people if they need it. It’s not the way to fame, but it’s pretty late for that for me anyway. I can only speak to the things I know, and I try