The Good Life
I’ve only been back at a college for a short amount of time now, but it has been almost universally positive and very productive. This is reassuring, especially after previous semesters have been far from the ideal. This summer has been good for me. I have simultaneously recuperated and grown as an individual in the theatrical and social arenas of life. I feel confident, which is a wonderful thing to hear myself saying considering I have Aspergers Syndrome and have suffered from depression and severe anxiety. It feels a bit like “the good life,” a silver lining to what has been a stressful college career thus far.
And I know it will continue to be stressful, but perhaps what has changed is that I am alright with that. Instead of constantly fighting against that inevitable stress, I am slowly starting to accept it as a force of life, especially in a profession such as acting. Much like practitioners of martial arts, primarily Judo and Aikido I believe (unless I am sorely mistaken), the “artist” uses the incoming momentum of the opposing force against itself. By channeling that force, by redistributing that negative energy, the “artist” can avert it, stunt it, throw it off balance, or send it flying in another direction. Like the Suzuki Method of Actor Training, that strong level of focus can become so intense that it diminishes seemingly insurmountable opposition. Balance, I am discovering more and more, is the key to that serenity that seems to be so fleeting this world. I am slowly working towards finding that serenity in life, and carrying it forward onto the stage.
I think, also, faith has a lot to do with my much more optimistic overview of life right now. I am a religious person, in some ways. But like everyone, I hold beliefs that do not require religious preference. I believe that all humans contain some level of faith, some prospect that “there is more to life than this.” It may not always manifest itself in a subject as broad as heaven, but it is a highly important prospect to that individual. For some, seeing food on the table the next day requires a certain level of faith. For others, it can be less desperate. I have faith, for instance, that one day I shall find a person with whom I can share my love. No matter what the subject, we each have something that we are holding out for, even if we would never admit it.
I suppose one of the most beautiful things on the stage for me to watch, is a character that has that powerful, undeniable faith, even though we already know the outcome of the story. In many cases, we know his faith will amount to nothing. But if the actor portraying that character reveals his faith strongly enough, I think for a moment we just might forget.