December 31, 2021
- By Kyle Secor
An Unaware Actor. Not a term most actors would want applied to them. However...
This is another way of saying there is no me
If there’s an actor, or a me, there will be an apparent sense of awareness. Of here-ness.
Awareness is just another word for me, actor or self, along with the seeking for more or less awareness.
Acting is wholeness appearing as acting. Theres not wholeness and then acting. It's one and the same.
So the concept of awareness, or mindfulness, is irrelevant. Another dream.
A friend wrote to me that actors, as the pro-ranked mask wearers of society, metaphorically stand in as symbols for the Self that seemingly appears and disappears.
One could say actors represent this idea of a glimpse, the apparent loss of the self, and the apparent return of the self.
We are glimpses in drag. Or, in a twist on the old saying, “All dressed up with nowhere to go.”
Nothing is needed for that. No prerequisites required. Maybe just being some sort of actor, with an apparent audience who may have similar needs as the actor - to have an experience of some kind, which in the dream is to escape the suffering brought on by the self.
All of this, when believed, can seem like it’s important, or an enormous task, this acting stuff.
So some actors, imagining the challenges facing them, talk about keeping their instruments tuned up. Or resting their instruments. They imagine a deepening or maturing that may occur over time, or maybe even a running out of juice. Or which projects they want to do with which writer, director or actor they would like to work with next.
Opinions and preferences. Which is also wholeness appearing as opinions and preferences, or sorting shit out.
Every actor I know has an opinion about where they are in their acting, their career or, their place in the industry.
But all there is, ever, is 'just what’s happening.' There’s no better or worse, no place that anyone is at, as there is no one making any choices - only apparent choices.
Whatever happens is for nobody. Not the actor or the audience.
The actor isn’t even there for the actual performance, that’s just another story. The actor never will be there, or aware of it…only apparently, and even then, it will only be a closed loop of ‘knowing,' or self-awareness. Which is all good. It’s just not what’s being suggested by the Unaware Actor.
What’s being suggested is that all there is is energy, which is also known as unconditional love.
This unconditional love which has a “vitality, a quickening that is translated through you into action…” as Martha Graham points out, is none of our business.
Yet, it’s what many performers want to be present for: to experience the heights and depths, so to speak. To be there, or be aware of the love, the wholeness, and the symbolism of their art.
But awareness is me or, I Am. It’s the desire to know something — there’s a subject and an object. Which, here we go again: is duality. And duality, apparently, is an illusion. All there is, is energy or wholeness.
As Ms. Graham alluded to, this energy is not ours, so to speak, as there is no actual performer. It is wholeness appearing as everything and nothing.
It is unconditional love and absolute freedom; just not for any individual.
Happy New Year to all the actors, dancers, singers and many other performers (!) out there (!!).
A young actor asked me about something they read online which encourages actors to cultivate awareness so they can sense when they are falling into old habits...
“When he talked about my part, I never understood a word he said. To this day…I suspect he was deliberately vague; he did it by keeping you off-balance…so you couldn’t protect yourself, so you couldn’t use the techniques you were used to using.” - Peter Falk on John Cassavetes
“This is no joke. This is the last instant of your life!! Hit the stage NAKED right now!!” That was the surreal internal direction I apparently remember having had each night before being pushed onstage, bare-assed, for apparently 30+ performances of Shawshank Redemption in Edinburgh and Dublin in 2013. No turning back. Drop your pants and step into the lights. But, what I didn’t realize is; the pants had dropped long ago...