I've just finished the first week of the four week Meisner Certification Training Program I'm taking through the
True Acting Institute and I am taking a much needed "rest and rehearse" day.
Our instructor Larry Silverberg said something this week that just opened up my world. I’ve been struggling with the idea of how to begin this blog and this quote gave me both a starting topic and the courage to jump in and begin.
“We can only create when we are in the unknown.”
Just typing that makes me well up. It’s so beautiful. And so simple. And, okay, pretty obvious once you think about it. I think that all powerful quotes touch you because they're reminding you of a truth you already know. The beauty is in the simplicity. That’s what I love about the Meisner work (and why I feel that the Meisner Approach and voice practice complement each other so perfectly), it’s so simple. Not easy. Not remotely. But simple.
In my experience it is often the simple things that are hard to do. To be focussed and present requires something of us that we’re just not used to accessing in our culture. We’ve become too good at multitasking. I feel lost if I’m not juggling a few things at once. I feel so vulnerable.
As a way of negotiating this, If I have simple, powerful task to perform I find that I have to work backwards. If I approach the thing directly it just disappears and I become exasperated. If I create a convoluted version of the problem or task, something my mind can worry at and unravel then I can pare it down to its essence and finally experience the power of the simple thing. It is often how I approach teaching voice, especially to newcomers. The simplicity can be overwhelming. Working backwards from what we know is sometimes the best approach.
My challenge to myself at the moment, especially while I'm doing the Meisner work is to relax into the simple, the pure and the powerful. To get out of my own way and just let things be.
Danielle Benzon coaches entrepreneurs and performing artists in voice, acting and audition technique. She is also certified to teach the Meisner Approach through the True Acting Institute. Danielle is based in Vancouver, Canada.