If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I work in the theatre. So when I started thinking about the idea of “doing,” I remembered one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite theatre practitioners, a guy named Sanford Meisner.
Meisner was trying to explain his acting techniques to his students and this is what he said: “Acting is the reality of doing.” (What he actually said is “The foundation of acting is the reality of doing” but my way is catchier, Meisner.) Anyway, Meisner really wanted actors to stop trying to act and just start BEING on stage, being honest, being in the emotion, and responding however you do as you live and move and breathe in the world. It’s kind of the toughest acting assignment ever. Just be. Don’t act. Don’t show. Just exist in the space. I love the idea of it.
So when I ask myself, ‘what do I do?’, I can think of a hundred things that I do in a day. Study, write, grade, teach, check the mail, answer the phone, blog, watch television, open the refrigerator, close the refrigerator, walk the dog, update my Facebook, make lists, drink coffee, answer emails, worry about money, worry about time, worry, worry, worry, plan, plan, plan, do, do, do.
Sometimes I really wish I could bring more of that sense of BEING, not DOING, to my day, to my real, off-stage, honest-to-goodness life with all of its stresses and fears and discomfort and weariness. I would like to do more being. I would like to exist more. In this moment. Some moments are more built for than others. And maybe part of existing isn’t forcing myself not to worry or plan or stress. Maybe, in the end, all the doing is part of the being. If “acting is the reality of doing,” maybe doing is the reality of being.
Here’s to more being, less doing.
love you guys,