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As with many that blog (at least for me), it’s been a hit and miss thing. Mostly because I have my mind on so many other responsibilities that it’s hard to keep track. I do my best (as does everyone I imagine), but a lot of times, it feels like my brain is swimming.

brain-character-swimming

As I get older and more mature, I try to expand my brain functions to keep up with all the new toys, bells and whistles that we all have available at our finger tips.

fingers typing

For the next while, it may get a bit bumpy with adding new content. I have grown so much the past four years, and I have so much more to say to the world. My goal is to post once a week or more. I will mostly be posting on acting, but I will also add content from some of my other endeavors, like Bitcoin and Steemit.

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lovesteem

 

 

Okay, then. Here we go this round!

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As someone that is in the communication business on a few fronts (as an actor, an acting teacher and as a Performer’s Mastery Workshop facilitator), more effective communication is something that I work on constantly, both with myself and others. You can ask my wife about how much I sometimes put her through trying to be clear and concise in terms of what is being conveyed and what is being received. That topic will be broached at another time, as something more pressing arose today as I was on my way home from an audition.

Some of my best thinking and insight moments are when I’m in the car, in no particular hurry to be anywhere and just rolling along in my vehicle. On my way back from a reasonably successful read for a part, I came up with this notion: “If I don’t own what I’m trying to say, no one else will either.” And I realized, while driving and pondering the above, that if an actor or a communicator doesn’t own what they say, they won’t be believed and they’ll be doubted. They’ll be given polite acknowledgement for what they said, but no one will get behind what was said if the person communicating didn’t do so first.

As an actor (and having taken many, many classes to hone my craft), one of the most important elements to have in place is a commitment to: a) the scene, b) the words in the scene, and c) the communication to the other person in the scene. And as an acting teacher, that is something I try to encourage and empower the actors I work with to do: commit. I’m at a point where I can tell when the actor I’m working with isn’t totally committed to what they are communicating.

I think I understand why it is so important for us as viewing audience to see, when one person is talking to another, that they are behind what they are saying. It gives us something to anchor on to, to be compelled and inspired by, to be fascinated with. That when this critical component is missing, the conversation between the two people is boring, mundane and purposeless, leaving us, the viewers, feeling flat and uninterested.

Ultimately our jobs as actors is to tell the story as truthfully and authentically as possible, with as much passion and conviction as is necessary for the material. That said, I would rather be critiqued by someone’s like or dislike for what and how I communicated, not for how much or little investment I put into the work.

As I was trolling through my Facebook news feed, I came across the TED talk video by Rob Reid, and it occurred to me the whole PIPA/SOPA in the States, and the complicated on line spying and content control laws being debated here in Canada is just a political pre-emptive manuevre to try to control the next channel of distribution: the internet.

As we all are now well aware of, there are lots of fingers in the world wide web pie, and as with the economic/financial crisis, a small group is trying to put laws in place to keep the control in their hands. I mean, what easier way to control the message that can be broadcast world wide than by blacklisting and outlawing anyone that has a differing opinion or viewpoint?

The same has been going on within the music industry, and is now (by “now” I mean within the last few years) catching up in the film industry. The product/song/film only makes a profit if it goes into mass distribution. With the film industry, distribution had always been controlled by the studios. After the Blair Witch Project made its hay getting eyeballs on its project through word of mouth via the internet (truly the first film to go viral, before that term was even coined for YouTube), at first it seemed the studios didn’t take much notice. It was a blip on the radar, a one-off.

And since 2007 with the inception of Facebook, social media has the studios sitting up and taking notice. Distribution right now is truly in the hands of the public, and can no longer be tightly reined by the money holders. So, their latest ploy was to concoct some reason to try and manipulate the common consumer and create outrage to side with the artists and creators of the product, without really telling us, Mr/Ms general public, their outrage is that the copyright holders, NOT the artists, are the ones losing profits. If they have their way, they will control and divert our attention to the areas and entertainments they want us to consume, and “look at these ads while you’re at it”.

There is currently a big pushback to get these laws-in-waiting rescinded, because it violates the rights and freedoms of the average working person to profit a small select group. Just like most corporate interests and businesses based in making a yearly profit for shareholders, eventually the end of the chain is reached. Once you’ve drained the pool of water, it won’t refill itself, it requires a source to feed it and maintain it at a certain level. So the cycle of media driven manipulation gets perpetuated again.

The biggest problem these corporate interests have now is the growing public awareness of the men behind the curtains that, like a computer virus, have been operating in the background deleting, manipulating and co-opting information as served them to continue their dominion over all business transactions.

We now stand at a crossroads. The very core of humanity knows innately that we are at a place of choice. Fortunately, for humanity in general I think we have grown savvy enough to know which direction is best: the one that serves the global community as defined by the global community, instead of the one that is attempting to spoonfeed us by force like unruly children.

I started this thread a year and a half ago, and am now just picking it up again. Eventually much that I write on this topic will eventually become a book.

As someone that has been acting for a while I have discovered that it is more than “being someone else”, it’s bringing what’s in you to what’s being presented through the material. All the studying and teaching that I’ve done for the past 9 years has led me to this conclusion.

I’ve worked and studied with some very high profile acting teachers, leaders, guides and instructors. I’ve explored voice and movement and emotional connection. And all the work leads to the same experience, at least the ones I see on film, television or stage, that the most authentic and truthful actors are the most compelling and inspiring. It is when they connect to themselves through the material that I as audience can connect to them and the story much clearer and more powerfully.

I’ve witnessed too many times actors on stage or in film and TV connected to themselves emotionally, but aren’t connected to the story being told. For me it’s watching a very selfish and indulgent emotional vomiting in the name of “acting”. Fortunately, I think more casting decision makers have caught on, and are hiring better quality performers and I’m seeing it less and less.

At the end of the day it’s really about telling the story, the one in the script, and not try to ram the actor’s personal experience into it.

I just started reading “The Master Key System” by Charles Haanel, and I haven’t even gotten past the introduction when I had an insight: He states, “Humanity ardently seeks “The Truth” and explores every avenue to it.” I was thinking to myself then, “If humanity ardently seeks the truth, then why is there so much pain and suffering in the world, both locally and globally?”

My insight is this: people seek the truth all right, but only insofar as it makes right what they already believe. What does that mean? It means that people will look “out there” for things that validate what they already perceive to be true to make themselves right.

Why is this inherently bad? (Well, nothing is bad or good per se, but that is for another post to discuss.) It keeps in place what isn’t working for those that are still in pain and suffering. They do so by perpetuating the same types of events to produce the same or similar results both in physical reality and/or emotionally.

And here’s another insight I have around that: even this is a part of the growth and learning, only if one is willing to see and glean the lesson from the current circumstances. That is, one has to be willing to look at both the outer situation and compare it to the inner situation and figure out why and how the two are connected.

I think Charles Haanel really suggests that a conscious search for truth is what humanity is ultimately up to. And I believe it is when we achieve higher levels of consciousness and self awareness (not just knowledge and intelligence) that we can begin to effect positive personal and social change. The “out there” is always a reflection of the “in here”.

Well, it was just a matter of time before I opened up my own blog site. I’ve known about them for years, and have heard stories (mostly good) about blogging and what has come to pass from being a blogger. Well, now I’m in the fold and I’m at the beginning of my exploration. I plan to make this a forum for my random thoughts on personal growth and empowerment through the things I am involved in, such as the Performer’s Mastery and acting classes at my house. Most of it will relate to the process of acting, since my contention is “acting is life”.

More on that in future blog postings. But for now, this is my first foray into the mist. Welcome to my first official blog posting, my first of many more to come over the years.