There is a question that comes up time and time again.
“Why do we talk and explore so much about suffering in the work?”
It is a great question and one that deserves an explanation that makes sense and can actually be applied to our process.
To not answer this question does the actor, the artist, the human being a great disservice.
And in my opinion, not addressing this question misleads the actor or any artist as to what he or she needs to do and viscerally understand in order to bring a profound level of truth to the work…
And actually, understand what the journey is all about.
To go a step further, it is a useful question for any human being to explore if there is a willingness.
This kind of questioning is not for the faint of heart as it asks us to look at people, places and experiences that cause discomfort.
This kind of questioning awakens us from our potential sleepwalking and allows us to have an awareness/higher consciousness of the human experience.
You see, we can want share and reveal peace and love through our work…
But you must understand that that objective is a result of the work.
That is an admirable and beautiful way of approaching any kind of art form.
But the truth of the matter is the real work is about understanding human beings striving and overcoming countless obstacles (at every moment actually) in order to experience peace and love.
In my 41 years of being on this Earth, I have yet to meet a single human being that has not experienced suffering in one way or another.
And I have yet to come into contact with any human being that is not trying to improve his or her present situation or reality in one way or another.
It is one thing that we all have in common, besides biologically what we are made of, that cannot be contested.
And it sure as hell is the one thing that drives every single story that has ever been written.
Humans GO THROUGH A LOT…
And to deny that is to deny the truth of the human condition.
Even monks who meditate and are at “peace” are at “peace” because they work on it through meditation constantly with the attempt for the peace to not be disturbed so they can maintain their peace.
From the moment we are born we are brought into a series of sufferings and wants.
Think about it…
We go from the comfort of our mom’s womb where everything is done for us and we travel out of a birth canal into the complete uncertainty and unknown of Life.
Now, I do not remember for sure, but I can assume that that journey is not like a fun little slide at the kiddie park.
The closest thing I can imagine it being like is white water rafting down some pretty active body of water.
We come out of that safe space with our peace disturbed and now wanting…
Wanting to shield from this new thing called brightness…
And at that moment I can imagine we probably want to go back to where we just came from.
But here we are…
And we cry as an action to somehow someway get some help…
To make things better.
Why do I use this as an example in class all the time?
Because it is a straightforward example that we are born into trials and tribulations and it will be part of our human journey until we go onto the next unknown.
(and we can only hope that that next journey will be at the very least, a bit easier)
We innately know from birth that we need to do some kind of action to achieve and experience some kind of improvement.
As you read this now, I am sure something comes to mind.
And if something does not, consider where that something may be resting or even hiding in your consciousness as the actual action to improve your present circumstances.
Some may make choices or take actions that are “healthy” to improve their circumstances.
And some may end up choosing other options that are considered “unhealthy” in an attempt to improve their circumstances.
But in both cases, any given human’s main objective to is somehow someway “make things better” through what they have and what they know up to that point in his or her life.
To improve their reality.
Some have had slight moments of hardship.
And then there are others that have experienced profound and often unmentionable trials and tribulations.
But we all do our best to overcome.
We all have our fight song that we discover through our experiences that take us moment to moment to try to transform our reality so we can indeed experience peace and love.
Even if it is just a little bit at a time.
So take the time to understand a character’s fight song that gets them through their journey.
And take the time, if you have yet to do so, to discover or become aware of your own fight song that gets you through your own difficult times.
What motivates you to keep going?
What encourages you to keep going?
What brings you solace so you can keep going?
What is your slogan to remind you to keep going?
What helps you when nothing else seems to, to keep going?
If you understand this in your Life, you will understand this in the work and it will not seem like some equation that puts you in your head.
It will drop you into your gut and free you beyond belief in the work.
Because it connects you to your own and to other’s humanity