#lifeCRAFT DAY 3 - MIND your own business

Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.
— Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Two days ago I shared that I hired my MIND as my acting coach to help me navigate through my ‘real’ life the way I would navigate working on a play or film character. In other words, someone to help me be an actor in my own life, not just on stage or on set. Yesterday, my ‘coach’ and I already had our first disagreement. I asked Mind what to do regarding something that was bothering me. His reply disturbed me. “Do whatever you want.” The conversation derailed from there…

 

Sebastian
This is why I hired you? So you can tell me to do whatever I want?
MIND
Precisely. I enable you to do whatever you want. And even when I try to protect you from discomfort or harm, I’m still here to ultimately enable you to do whatever YOU want.
Sebastian
But you’re my coach! I count on you to advise me, to… to tell me when I’m wrong, when I’m making the wrong choices, when I’m about to do something stupid!
MIND
(laughing)
And when, exactly, was the last time you listened to me, may I ask? When I told you not to eat the French fries last night cause you’ll regret it the day you get your new headshots… did you listen? When I yelled in your ear this morning: GET UP! WORK OUT!... did you listen to … my precious advice. You. Did. Not! So let me repeat it for you just one more time. My job is to do whatever YOU want me to do.


… long beat. I understood. I didn’t want to, but I did. The whole relationship had turned on its head and the dependent party was slapped, walloped, pummeled in the face with the responsibility of choice, of decision, and of accountability. 


You see, on stage (or on set) the actor has nowhere to hide. He steps onto that battlefield and wages war on behalf of his character’s objectives and there are only two possible outcomes: win or lose, … the job, his lover, the inheritance, or his life. There are no ‘I’ll start tomorrow,’ ‘I can always get this another time, or from somewhere else,’ ‘I guess I don’t really need this that badly,’… The actor COMMITS on behalf of the character and doesn’t quit until he comes back either a winner or a loser. Why then, in the scenes of our own lives, do we so often fall prey to rationalizing, to deflecting, to lying to ourselves? Where is the bravery we show on set, on stage, in rehearsal? ALL the world’s a stage, ...remember?


And if you’re not an actor, make it your New Year’s resolution to take an acting class in 2016. If you get a good teacher, like I was fortunate to get, you will amaze yourself at your inner strength. It lies deep beneath decades of social conditioning that have taught you to be a character that society needs you to play. That’s the fake.  And this is what many don’t understand about acting. Acting is about the truth that we all too often need to or are forced to hide.


Both actors and non-actors have one very powerful tool they can use to start the search for truth. Hope you come back to hear about it… cheers & love