Friday, October 24, 2008

ON ACTING: The Specificity of Feeling

I was driving a car one from my home to the studio and I was paused at a red light. I thought of my long dead father. As often happens in my daily life, the acting teacher came alive in me. (I am always looking for acting/life insights. Life is my textbook cum lab. It’s cheap and always at hand.) Why, I thought, at that moment, did I think of my father? Why not an hour before, or a day before? In fact, why at all; and even most specifically, why now?
My father’s birth date was six month’s previously, my son or daughter had not recently called me, it was not Father’s Day, yet on that day, at that moment, I had this sudden, very vivid image of my father--followed quickly by a profusion of father-son feelings. Why?
I started to shrug the event off, thinking it was just some general feeling (‘nothing specific’ I thought to myself); when suddenly I remembered: the moment before I had stolen a quick glance to my left, at the car and driver stopped next to me. I looked there again; and there it was…the specific answer as to why I was thinking about my father. The driver in the other car looked exactly like my father, including skin pigment, hair style and hair color. His ethnicity was my father’s…and mine. Obviously the specific facial image of the driver had triggered the specific, albeit unconscious, emotion and subsequent thought of my father. My father feelings were engendered specifically by my sense of the matter how unaware I may have been of the actual inner process.


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