Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just Me.

Acting is a dangerous game. Performing in general is a dangerous game. It is easy to see why so many performers have break-downs/are incredibly egotistical and self-important.
Especially when we're learning, as I am now. Every day, from morning to night, all I am thinking about is myself - am I working hard enough? Am I doing this right? Should I sing this for mock audition? Is this challenging me enough? Am I improving?
Is it incredibly difficult to not be self-focused, because in every class we are being encouraged to let our thoughts revolve around ourselves because, really let's face it, it's the only way to improve. If you don't pay attention to yourself and your abilities how will you know where you are and what you need?
On one hand, I understand that this is a brilliant and necessary thing because it makes performers so self-assured. Some of the teachers we have are just so incredibly sure. They seem to know themselves back-to-front and exude such an amazing energy of being totally at ease. And you need that as a performer because you have to face endless rejection. You have to be aware of where you are to the point that if someone says they don't want you, you can still have faith in what you have to offer. Anyone who hasn't spent enough time in their own head will soon collapse under the pressure of rejection.
On the other hand, it can make many people selfish with too much self-importance then is good for them. It's a dangerous game. Unavoidable of course. I suppose it's all in how you let the game play you. If you let yourself become too entangled with yourself you'll have no hope. If you can be impartial about yourself, if you can understand yourself and improve yourself without losing sight of others then you're on a good path.
The people around us probably suffer a fair amount. I love my family so much, but often times when I am at home I just want to be by myself because the effort of social interaction seems to make me even more aware of me. And if I'm on my own it feels more as if I'm not so present. I can tune out, watch a movie, listen to music, read, and not need that constant focus.
At the moment, I just want to get out of my own head. As a serial over-analyser I feel as if I'm really having constant arguments with myself, because I can see both sides, agree with both sides, understand both sides but can't for the life of me pick a side to be on.
Do I sound a tad crazy right about now?
But what is this blog for if not to vent. Hopefully other performing-students can understand what I'm getting at.
But as much as I am struggling with the self-regulation of performance, I am feeling an odd thing for people who aren't experiencing it. I guess you could call it pity. Because I can't imagine a life in which you don't try to understand your own thoughts (and yes, you do need to practice understanding them because really, how complicated are we? How hard are we to decipher even in ourselves?). A life in which you don't try to be better, don't try to learn more and become more at peace. It creates beautiful people, it really does. Yes, as I've said, people can become very egocentric, but the flip side of that is the community of generous, loving, open, funny and just incredibly unique people that pursue performance. They are a special breed of people, they really are.

So, if this blog post doesn't prove my state of mind I don't know what will. I hate it, I love it, I admire it, I don't understand it. Whatever it is. I love what I'm doing, and hopefully what I will do, but it doesn't come easy, that's for sure.
But it's worth the struggle.

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