Thursday, November 30, 2017

Keep Working

The Muse tests you and me 24/7. She flies over and peers down on us. What she wants to see is that we are dedicated to the journey, to the process, that we are in it for the long haul and in it for keeps.
What she doesn’t want to see is that we are attached to the real-world outcome of one specific project.
The goddess hates that because it shows that we have misapprehended the nature of her alliance with us and of our apprenticeship in her service.
Keep working

(from Keep Working by Steven Pressfield).

To imagine we don't invoke the Muse in our work as actors is to both miss a crux of our task, and expose us to working habits that may not serve us. Why neglect the role of that which lies outside of us and helps infuse our work with its luster? It makes no sense. Our inspiration does not come through pure force of will. But our discipline in doing our part of our work can. I can write at length on the Source of inspiration, though won't here right now.

Just found out you didn't book the role? Do some work. Just wrapped your latest project? Get working. Feeling down? Work. Maybe it is as simple as picking up some text and starting to read it aloud. Maybe it is as sophisticated as breaking down the story for the script you're writing to give yourself material to play, and moving that script to shareable form. Maybe it is somewhere in between, like learning a new speech and getting it ready to perform as a monologue. Whatever ails you, do the work of acting. We are actors: we act.

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this posted by David August at 2:14 AM - 0 comments -  

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


Performing under pressure is not easy, it's a big topic and I'm only going to glancingly touch on it here and in this video. Pressure placed on us from the outside is hard enough. Like a someone on your team saying (well intentioned though it may be), Let's book this one... (as if you were aiming to do something else), but pressure you put on yourself is a unique challenge.

Pressuring ourself, riddling your own thinking with expectations and external goals, is not always fun. The pressure, well, the call comes from inside the house so to speak. How to react, how to respond, how to do our work even when we ourselves are pressuring us to accomplish a result not within our control? The answer may be in the question: the outcome is not in our power to define, even if our work may influence it. So our focus is best used on that which we do control, on doing the work.

Let that which is outside of you be outside of you. Let that which is beyond our power to rigidly decide and control take care of itself. Wishing people and things outside ourselves would bend to our wishes may do many things, but the wish alone doesn't actually bend them. Our task, even when the stakes are high and we really really really want the gig/review/role/accolade/date is not transformed by all the distracting things our own desired outcomes manufacture. Say the words, pursue the objectives, try to make the other characters do what yours wants them to do. Simple doesn't mean easy, but focus, patience and the calm of knowing you will (n a fundamental sense) be ok no matter what happens, may help. Don't forget to breathe, and have some fun while you're at it too.

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this posted by David August at 10:00 AM - 2 comments -