Tuesday, April 03, 2012

ON ACTING: How to Avoid Doing Nothing

There an old bugaboo called the "3 P's": Perfection, Procrastination and Paralysis...we want our creative effort (acting or any other art) to be perfect so we procrastinate (working on it) until we become paralyzed (do nothing).

One corrective is an attitude shift: accept that nothing is ever perfect. Even the universe is not in its final form.

Consider everything you are working on (including you) to be a preliminary draft, a work-in-progress...even if certain drafts have to be turned in and given hypothetical final forms...like a published book or a written movie script or a stage performance. But even then, notice: books are revised, scripts are re-written (even their movies have re-makes) and there is always tomorrow night's performance; or another 'take' if we are doing film. Yesterday's work was just a prelude to today, today's work is just a prelude to tomorrow; and tomorrow's work a prelude to the day after that.

Wake up every day and work a little more on your continuing imperfect work of art; make it better  knowing it will never be "best."

Think of perfection as death, the end of growing. The joy of life--and art--is in the process, not the final result (especially if, once again, we think as the final result is death: "His life is perfect now...he's in the grave.")

I suggest: "I'm happy again...back at work! Will my work ever be perfect? Of course not. But I'm perfectly happy just being back at work."


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