Everything You Need Is Right Inside You
Why are we obsessed with doing things perfectly or “right?”
Why do we believe there’s some magic formula to creating or acting or life itself?
As maverick filmmaker, John Cassavates said, “It is all surprise and discovery and deep feeling. It is all vulnerability and creativity and mutability. It is all heart and hammering and purpose. It is a constant forge.”
Amen. That’s not perfection, that’s figuring it all outwhile doing it.
Maybe we’ve grown up with the need to have perfect answers for everything. We’ve been taught that if we can wrestle something to the ground and apply left-brain logic to the most perplexing of questions, we’ll feel safe or be in control. Even if the answers ultimately don’t provide long-term proof to that which we seek, or even maybe go deep enough, it’s as if, when we reduce things to their most basic, we feel satisfied.
And maybe that’s also our species’ propensity to not dig deeper. If someone says the world is flat, it must be so.
I don’t know about you, but oftentimes (pretty much everyday) when I think I “understand” life, I’m thrown a curveball that makes everything I thought I believed put into question.
And maybe that’s good. Maybe without those riddles and enigmas, mysteries and contradictions, life and its philosophies would become dogmatic. And that’s dangerous—to adhere to principles so rigidly that we have no flexibility for other interpretations, leads to a non-evolving life.
The thing about acting is that it follows these same vicissitudes of life because…well…acting islife.
So we have to allow it to live and breathe in these margins where the answers you’re looking for can’t be satisfied by pat, rote, one-plus-one-equals-two explanations.
I know this can be maddening because human beings like the answers for things now. We don’t understand process—or rather, we’d rather avoid process and just cut straight to the finish line and get the victory prize. We forget that the real victory is the process!