Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Art imitates life imitates...

I had an absolutely wonderful time at an anime voice-over workshop this weekend, taught by a truly inspiring teacher and wonderful friend.

I did wonderfully. I didn't do it correctly.I loved every minute of it. I learned a lot. I learned ... a LOT.

The instructor likes to use this shorthand: We all have two actors. Actor One is all technique. He hits the marks perfectly. He gets the lines perfect. But he's not interesting. Actor Two has no technique. He misses marks. He blows lines. But he's all honesty. He acts, and reacts, with complete and unfiltered honesty. Actor Two's contribution is what makes a performance meaningful.

Actor One is paramount in my performances. Everything I do is swaddled in control. If something doesn't work, I try to control it differently. Comes from my work in music, I think... In performance, I've been (way too many times) in a position where I had to take control and save the show—sometimes taking control of the orchestra and conductor, use-the-Force-Luke style, if the conductor was losing control of the music. It's always worked beautifully.

In acting, control is not always the right answer. But that's the answer I always reach for, because it has always (up to now) worked.

I'm not really sure how to invite Actor Two to the party. Most of the time, Actor Two is hiding. He's afraid—not of losing control, he has none—but, I think, he's afraid of being wrong, and thus being yelled at. Certainly, in my world of music performance, being "wrong" isn't an option. As a result, I'm out of touch with my core. Head is fine, heart is fine, but my core, my innermost being, where Actor Two lives and where he gets all his power... isn't being engaged, in my acting.

And I'm beginning to think... so it is with my MS. My head is doing just fine, relating to the changes I'm going through, my heart goes up and down but I think it reaches out to people better than it ever has, but my core, my innermost core... that's not connecting to the MS experience. It's hiding. It's in denial, because I think that maybe... it's afraid. Not of being yelled at, but of no longer not dealing with the truth of my condition.

Fear can be faced with the help of protection, a condition of safety that's stronger than the condition that the fear fears. I know how to protect the mind from fear (explaining things the right way). Protecting the heart, that's not as easy... perhaps the key to protect the heart is with compassion, with sympathy, with love, so that the heart feels like it's not alone, like it's ...completely and totally loved, no matter what.

But the core... what protection will enable my innermost self to risk emerging and risk engaging, especially engaging with everything that is my current physical/emotional/mental/spiritual condition?

That... is the question. That is a gift that MS wants me to receive.

And frankly, I don't know how to open my hands to receive it.

And more frankly... I'm afraid to open my hands to receive it.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons I have MS. Why I needed to have MS.


Now what?

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