And for that matter, so is feeling.
By Geoffrey Kidwell (actor)
I'm not sure what I think about that?
If only I knew how to feel?
I think I need to change my life.
I feel like I don't think enough.
Ever been there?
If you're an actor living in New York City or if you're a person living, like...anywhere, then you've probably expressed a similar sentiment at some point in your life. Maybe even today.
I spend a lot of time thinking and feeling. It's kind of my job. If I'm
given a side to learn for an audition I am charged with the task of
attempting to get into the character's head - to figure out how he
ticks. In other words, I need to discover what he is thinking and
That's all really great if you're an actor, if your job is to be thoughtful and emotional.
But you know when it's not all that great? It's not all that great when you're a person.
Being controlled by one's own mind is an incredibly toxic way to live because it can prevent a person from truly doing what he wants to do.
Think about it. (Ha!)
In that situation, my thoughts were controlling my instinct. I wanted to do something that I knew would make me happy and yet, I struggled with doing it because my mind told me the other boys would tease me.
As we get older and become more and more connected to (read: controlled
by) our thoughts and feelings, we lose touch with our instincts - our
I won't pretend that I'm some sort of enlightened spiritual teacher. Yoga makes my body hurt and meditation makes me want to scream or eat ice cream. What I do know is that our job as actors, singers, dancers, etc is not to "think" or "feel," but to do. When Aurelie Dupont - the most fabulous dancer in the game today, as far as I'm concerned - sets up for a pirouette I doubt there's any thinking going on. Rather, she is in a pure state of action, of movement. It's primal. There's no time nor space for thought or feeling. All that can come after she's executed the task at hand.
(Let me know when you find the thinking in this clip of Miss Dupont.)
The same is true when acting in a scene. What's better, listening to
your scene partner, thinking about what you're going to say and then
saying it or listening to your scene partner and then reacting?
And let's face it, as human beings, regardless of whether or not we consider ourselves artists or not, we could all benefit from a bit less thinking and a bit more consciousness.
Then again, I have spent the last few nights in bed unable to sleep with thoughts and feelings flying around my head. I could be wrong about all of this.
Who knows? It was just a thought.
AND NOW...THE WEEK IN WHITNEY HOUSTON!!!!
Here's Miss Houston singing Master Blaster (Jammin') by Stevie Wonder. My two favorite musicians on the planet merged into one super soulful song. It's like Captain Planet but cooler and with less spandex. Enjoy!