Saturday, November 16, 2013

Heroes Are Reluctant

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.

- Umberto Eco

Much like it can be better to portray being cold by trying to get warm, and crying by trying not to cry. Working for the opposite sometimes reveals the thing we are working to show.


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What Success Is

Success means change. All success involves change.

It not the thing. It's never the thing.
It's who you became to get it.

(from He Was Running Down a Dream). And while it is tempting to focus on the object of our desired success (money, opportunities, clout, etc.) the true gain, the true change is us.

The precursor of our success is what we have made ourselves into to get there. Not materially made ourselves into, though things like weight loss or gain for a role may be part of it, it is the ethereal, non-concrete parts of who we are and can be that transform. We become who we need to be for success of (fill in the blank) type and the outward appearance of success is the footprint of that deeper, less material change.

Part of the beauty is we get to define what success is ourselves. Maybe it is buying a house, maybe it is playing that specific role that scares us, maybe it is as simple as not taking another drink, ever.

Whatever your success is, it can be yours. It truly can, and usually all that is needed is the not-always-easy-or-comfortable task of changing yourself, on the inside in the private, scary, terrifying, beautiful parts of ourselves that hold all of our potential.

Many characters we play never change, just choose a Chekhov character at random and you may have a good example. Many characters change in the story we are telling, which is part of why we are telling it. Could be Hamlet at the end finally taking charge and taking action, even if he may have needed to know he was effectively dead before he could do that (and thus his tragedy). Could be the rom-com role that musters the courage to act and speak their love and therefore ends up happily with their one true joy.

Whatever the role, and in our own lives, internal and deep change often takes time, and happens in small pieces. The outward results may come all at once in a rush of flux, but change is available each moment. Change is always happening. Even moving from one apparently stagnant moment to another is undeniable change, and smaller, but in the end more compelling, changes beyond the mere passage of time are also at work.

So what will your character take on that they never have before in their lives? And more to the point for us as people: what will you change in your life? Starting right at this moment, what will you change right now?

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