Chronic Yesmanism

Saying Yes – an occupational hazard ?

Actor training is uncompromising:  be open to your impulses, be open to your fellow player.  Objectives are not to be written in stone; our very existence is fluid.

As a way to live, this is beyond treacherous.  It has lead me to countless beautiful moments of human interaction; it has lead to more than enough recurrent, bothersome trouble…

Convinced that life is a rehearsal – our primary tactic becomes patience.  If the desired opening does fail to present itself, the tomorrow presents a new crack at it.  All shall not be solved during one run-through, one patiently takes notes, and expects a chance to replay the circumstances.  Yesterday’s solution may have been uncannily elegant, but in the spirit of the play it can never be mechanically repeated.  Life being an improvisation, nothing need be nailed down.

Rather, the opposite is preferable…  One accepts everything — provisionally.  It is best be dithery.  To gain negotiating time, to avoid premature conclusions, the actor/playwright cultivates the Baroque.  Getting to the point becomes dramaturgical suicide; ploughing forth unto ones super-objective flattens the playing field and reduces all other players to mere extras.  Instead, it is more enlightening that contrary, discordant and even absurd points of view are to be explored.  The words one utters are to be aired, but they needn’t be ones considered opinions.  Better, in fact, that they be presented as mere raw materials of idea; snippets of disjointed thought left littered across the stage for the audience to assemble into their own private coherent whole.

When the rest of the world operates on decisions, clarity, analysis conclusions:  we the Baroque can have a bumpy ride.  When the rest of the world doesn’t consider our method to be scientific, we remain feeling more than moderately misunderstood…




About bembodavies

Theatre worker who long ago abandoned theatres, I remain adept at fabricating projects out of thin air. All proposals welcome.
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