I work with memories. New ones, old ones, false ones and forced ones.
As an actor I have come to understand the power of believing a thought.
if something “isn’t working” during rehearsal…it is usually traced back to a belief system that the actor has. Their belief is then tweaked until the actor gives the director the reaction they are looking for. ( pleaser)
I was recently in rehearsal for a HOT and CURRENT and RElATIVE play. I also believed it was a funny play and that I would enjoy the work. I went in with both feet.
As we began rehearsal via zoom and a I started working in the role…researching the role..I came to see that the funny part was for the audience…the role was much darker. I proceeded with caution.
I began brush shoulders with my character, but didn’t want to fully commit to her thought process. I know myself. I get stuck in character easily. I knew that as soon as I sat down with her belief system, my own personal belief system would be adjusted. We I had two months till the play even officially opened. I was cautious because in that that time I would be traveling with my family and I didn’t want this role one my family vacation and not me. THis has happened to me in the past and it wasn’t something i wanted to experience again.
After the director kept saying
“i see the role and then I don’t …you go in and out…”
I informed him of my decision to move slowly and take my time becomign the role. I told him my process, my weakness and why I needed to go in and out during the three hour rehearsals.
For him to speak to me as Susie when we were doing notes in between runs and not as the ROLE.
I said..”when we are in real rehearsal, a week prior to opening, she will be here.”
I felt we were in a good place and I trusted him and hoped he woudl trust me.
But, then he started doing the classic and very effective AS IF techniques..
this is where a director asks you to relate to the story from a aspect of your own story. As if STEVE your husband was the one dying…etc etc. It happens innocently but it is so effective tha tis hard for anyone to resist. Memory is easily manipulated when you believe you are in a trusting space.
I HAVE OFTEN SPOKEN TO MY STUDENT OF THIS.
Do not let someone destroy your healed stories.
Walk into a smokey bar you will get second hand smoke…it is hard to avoid if it is happening..
Do not allow directors to use family dynamics to activate your perspective of pain in order to relate to the character and then project that to the audience. Your pain in limited at best and vengeful and not conscious enough to artfully navigate. Image and be inspired by another’s pain..in order to empathise and create colors and depth…You are not the deepest well of emotions. Your imagination is. Trust it.”
That would be picking at a wound that has healed and has a scar..it is demonstrative to your core sense of self/family and hurtful to you as an artist.
Actors do not need to feed off their own personal pain in order to act
Rehearsal then became in person and eventually was in MY SPACE. That is where the very talented director began to associate my life and my characters. All of a sudden the scabs that were healing begin to be picked at. My healed family relationship I worked years on re-remembering for a kinder brighter present began to quickly unravel and to warp.
Memory is a game and it is easy to remember pain..pain is the easiest emotion to access. Especially of a person one you devoted much time in pertetruatin. It is essentially a HABIT
It was a huge lesson for me to experience…playing the most antithesis person I could. get my head around her story and then having the amazing experience of being in a room with a classic director that uses emotional recall.
I also felt it is almost impossible for a director to trust an actor will get there if they have never worked with them before and this was also part of it.
I tried to express the concept of trust but TRUST in elf is really the important part of this. I watched myself resist his technique. I knew so well but due to my familiarity with it…part of me secumbered. I wanted to please him after all and soon enough my anger for my past perpetuated family stories opened up
I have since had to let go of this role…in order to preserve both my perspective of my family and my respect for my own process of creating character. How an actor builds their story is i-personal. How they get needs to be visceral chosen and understood my the actor in order for them to get THEMSELVES out.
It is like a consciousness hypnosis we do to ourselves. we get in then we can get out…
If you are being told how to remember something…you can early loose your hold on your own version of the story.
This technique and all the issues it has is proved in the work of memory recall and even in police intvetigate. Being in a room long enough with someone who wants you believe something will force you to believe it. Especially if you feel you are safe, that they believe you…that they are not forcing their will on you.
However..most of us are always manipulating people. We are doing it to each other all the time. We believe that if you believe what I believe they we are seen and heard…connected..we exist…
( think first dates)
Memory is able to be manipulated.
So if you want a JOYFUL life…re-remember your past…recreate a loving perspective of your childhood. Search and find the LIGHT..WHY?
I don’t think we can ever truly be content with our present …unless we are content with the past.
This is NOT about finding the pain and perpetuating it…vilifying people….holding them accountable..
It is more about challenging yourself to see the light, changing your perspective on your present state in order to SURF in joy, and then grab that RAY of sunshine and view your past through it.
SO- I believe we are free to change who we are by changing what we have been told, sold and belief about our past. This works both ways, often flipping back and forth from pain to peace…Eventually one must win..
Lets choose peace
Therapist need us to remain in pain in order to sustain their business..
I am challenging you to rewrite a past story…
1)own your own ability to perpetrate other people..even and especially by your negative thoughts.
2) Choose joy
3) Release those that have perpetrated you from your negative hold by asking them to forgive you for holding them in a negative role for all these years…limiting their ability to heal.
- Ho’oponopono Prayer
- X ( name of the person you are holding as villian)
- Please forgive me
- I am sorry
- I love you
- Thank you
We are who we are because of the way we have formulated the story.
Science and research has proven that our memory is scattered at best.
Pain, real or imagined, is held in the body
Manipulate yourself to be joyful..release the pain for your own well being.
WHY THE FUCK NOT.
THrough my SURF process we learn to trust and channel a foreign version of pain , one that will not hit up right against our recently healed stories and then UNHEAL them.