Hello friends and family of Acting Manitou! As the weather in New York City approaches summer-like temperatures I feel perfectly situated to write a little note to you all. I’ve recently been faced with many decisions in my life, both small and large. This is nothing new, as we all face a multitude of decisions every day. But as I no longer have the more predictable schedule of school (weekdays vs. weekends, school year vs. summer, etc.), I have found myself paralyzed by the constant thoughts of “how will this decision change me” or “how will I feel about this decision in a month or a year?” and the ever-dangerous “what decision am I supposed to make?”
As I got caught up in these attempts to see the future I was reminded of a piece of acting advice constantly repeated by one of my theater teachers at Connecticut College:
“Just live truthfully through the events of the play.”
This teacher, David Jaffe, eloquently applies this idea to life in a Ted Talk he gave. I wanted to paraphrase it slightly and share my thoughts with you all.
We learn that acting is a two-fold process: listening and responding, in the moment. When you listen to someone, you respect and acknowledge them. When you respond you take action, be it to soothe, to question, to cajole, to fight. My hope for each of you is to feel confident in the choices and decisions that you make. No one can tell you what is right and only you can know what living truthfully means to you.
Find what feeds you and follow it!
The link to David’s Ted Talk is below and I highly recommend it: