One month of Theatre Equals Life
I opened this blog one month ago. Writing daily has been a problem. The problem was not the lacking of arguments. Life, at times, likes to take its predominance on theatre since the common knowledge gives to it the precedence on theatre. For one reason or another, I have not been able to keep my word, “one post per day”. It is just as it is. Aside, one month after, how much theatre is in every part of life still amazes me. The chaos accompanying a walk outside is as much theatrical as tragic. Heat is devouring people, making them act as crazy. Bodies make a show of themselves in a competition for who is the most beautiful, shouting is increasing of number, and, unfortunately, street accidents and fires make the ambulance and police’s sirens echo constantly. During the night then, the fresh air colliding with the skin gives a sparkle of novelty that is energizing. Notwithstanding the fact that it is also the time in which people leave for their vacations, still someone cannot but run, feeling always in delay. Life, in these last years is ever faster, never waiting for anyone. Trains leave for the success highway any minute, but only a few people ever make to it. In addition, when we are alone it still seems someone is still running behind us. Deadlines kill for real. Which deadlines?
It is my greatest pleasure that even in this chaos I found some time to dedicate to the reading of the book Acting: Walking on the Tightrope of Illusion, by Michael Beckett, an esteemed professor at HB Studio (120 Bank St). I took one of his classes in the first spring term of my college experience, believing I was as good as an actor to be already under his vigilance. I failed miserably, but I am glad I had the possibility to assist to a professor who is like a power of nature when sitting on his chair and looking at vary exercises. The wisdom he transmitted with the tone of his voice and the weight of his arguments was scarily attractive. It seems that I took the idea of calling my blog as I did after I read his book, but I did not. I am just beginning to read this extraordinary travel above nothing and about everything.
Michael Beckett wrote this book as the sensational teacher he is, taking inspiration from questions his students raised in his many classes. In fact, reading I felt like being in class with him again, only that the book is definitely a more condensed dose of wisdom. He is passionate about the eastern arts of patience and wisdom, and he applies these to his teachings. In the first pages of his books, he inspires an eternal calm in our lives. He bases his first thought on being able to hear the silence, a quality that requires understanding, patience and attention. Then he approached the fact that an actor shall not solve the scene. Instead, he should give up his ambition, and once full of humbleness, he should take his time to process. Nothing would be running behind him and, in fact, there would be no place to get at, but just the moment one is living. The second paragraph is centered on an idea that I was grown with, as an Italian, and that, however, I was sad not finding it in New York. The idea of never taking one’s own self too seriously. The idea of joking on one’s own ideas and behavior. It is a way of living lightly, of seeing what is happening, from another point of view. There is no sadness in this laughing, just a connection to another level of comprehension. The fun of freedom. The fun of being just who we are in this moment. No reason to fake it, just to understand it.
I am happy I began this reading. It taught me already something: as there is no one running behind me, or nothing coming as a direct opponent, but just a lot of patience to have, there is no reason I shall ever feel behind my own idea, in life. As in theatre, there would just be a reason more to being happier with one’s own self. Present in the moment and forward with one’s own thinking.