I just finished an “embodied acting” class.
My friend David Wood (who you might know from the
Authentic Sexual Power “Stroking” program…) invited me
to take it with him, and I’m so glad I took him up on the offer.
I’d taken improv classes before, but never a straight-up acting class – and at times, it was INTENSE. Acting can be a very powerful tool for self-awareness—it’s like “emotional weightlifting”, building your capacity to authentically feel emotions.
It was interesting to explore how “pretending” to be someone else could feel so emotionally authentic — I found myself so plugged in to the characters I was playing, that I could cry their tears, or feel their anger… it was amazing!
Also, discovering which roles were more challenging for me to play made me more aware of places that are vulnerable or edgy in myself.
For me, being actively cruel or unfeeling was particularly challenging for me – because I think there is actually a “mean” part of me inside, that I’m still only beginning to discover and “own”…
DEBATE BETWEEN TWO EPIC MONOLOGUES…
One assignment we had was to choose a monologue from a play or movie to work with for several weeks. At first, I was set on Satan’s (played by Al Pacino) rant on God, in “Devil’s Advocate”:
But as entertaining and dramatic as that scene is, in the end I chose a scene
from “American Beauty”.
I love that movie. It explores some of the darkest aspects of humanity…
And yet, we’re invited to see the inherent beauty and perfection in the mundane moments, as well as the tragic…
Case in point, the protagonist (played by Kevin Spacey) is murdered, shot in the
head at the end of the movie…and his final, post-mortem monologue is the
one I memorized and performed.
Along the lines of this theme of mortality, and making the most of your life,
I’m sharing it with you:
Me and my acting teacher were debating whether the intention of this last monologue was to just simply SHARE about his experience of what it’s like to die, or whether he’s somehow REASSURING the viewer, from a place of Compassion, that it’s OKAY… What do you think?
If you’ve ever been curious about acting, I encourage you to explore some of the local or community college classes in acting, and check it out!
BTW, final note on the mortality piece — if you haven’t completed the “Cold Shower” Quiz, do so now, I’ll be taking it down soon — check it out here.