One of the things I think is very important as people, and especially as artists, is to become aware of our coping mechanisms. When things become rough--whether that's a rocky patch in a personal relationship, a work event, or, you knowww, a global pandemic--it is helpful to become curious about your reaction.
Are you reacting out of fear?
Are you reacting out of feelings of not being "enough?" (This is a huge one--I might have a whole post on just feelings of not-enoughness)
How do you feel about vulnerability?
What do you turn to when you feel emotionally triggered?--Do you become angry, quiet, sad, defensive?
Becoming curious about your reaction by asking WHY can reveal whole depths and layers of motivation that you didn't even know were there.
Whenever I'm feeling something, I ask myself WHY at least three times.
Here's an example where I needed 5 whys to get to the root:
Okay, I'm feeling anxious.
WHY?--This student hasn't replied to my email about their missing homework assignments.
WHY is that making me anxious?--It makes me feel like they must not respect my class or me as a teacher.
WHY is that upsetting? Why can't I just say, well, some people might not jam with me or my class?--Because I have to be liked by everyone.
WHY do I have to be liked by everyone?--Because if I'm not liked, then I must have done something wrong.
WHY can't you make mistakes?--Because I have to be perfect. If I'm not perfect, then I'm not enough.
I mean, COME ON!
Do you see how one student not replying to my email--which could be for ANY number of reasons that have nothing to do with me--has triggered a deep emotional wound of not being enough?
Do you see how I have crafted--and we ALL do this--some crazy (and it is crazy) story about being a bad person because of an EMAIL?
Yall. This is crazy. Yet, we all do it.
And asking WHY helps you get to the root cause. Your reaction, whether that's anxiety, anger, sadness, fear, etc, is only a symptom of the cause.
Heal the cause, heal the symptom.
I bet you that this pandemic is bringing up a lot of triggers. Are you acting out of fear? Are you acting out of faith? Are you acting out of growth?
Tomorrow, I'm going to do a post on how all of this relates to your levels of productivity and procrastination. Until then...
The ACTIVE ACTOR
You are probably wondering this blog is about. Well, it's about anything that everything that I find inspiring, helpful, and curiosity building.
Curiosity is my favorite state of being, and I've become a treasure hunter and a trash hoarder, collecting all sorts of articles, artwork, and accessories that fuel my inspiration and creativity.
This will also be a place for me to document my life as an actor and coach in Los Angeles. If performing is your passion, I hope that this blog becomes a place for you to learn from my mistakes, grow from my accomplishments, laugh at my witless choices, and share in this crazy, unpredictable, beautiful, life in the arts.