I've been boring and a bit tedious for a while here. Big news, you never noticed, right? Sarcasm is so unattractive. I've been working out some issues of import to myself, and I think I've arrived at a detente of sorts with myself. If I'm not fooled by my own hyperbole, I'll be back to more mundane observations, rants at our amoral and incompetent leadership(?) in dc and maybe even some humor.
I've been thinking about my experience last night and how it provided affirmation for me in a tangible and experiential manner. It became fused with another line of thought I've been exploring the last few days. In different blogs and relationships many people I know are in states of flux or major self-evaluation. Some people moving on to new things, others coming back or expanding. Constant change. Change is not an unusual state and it seems to be especially large for people I'm connected to right now.
Several people are finding their passion is not enough for them. I understand that. All too well. I have had many passions in my life, but they weren't enough to hold me long term. Computer science is one. The industry (Microsoft in particular) glass ceiling for programmers over thirty as well as their and University of Washington's Computer Science Department discrimination against veterans were not insurmountable, not even close. Rather they were pesky obstacles which were more of a pain in the ass than the goal was worth to me.
The Navy's intense effort during flight training to erase the joy of flying, worked temporarily. Then I was assigned to an aircraft which was fun, but not enthralling. I wanted aircraft carrier ops, high g-force nap of the earth high speed low level and dogfight type flying. The intelligence collection was fun, but not wonderful. I'm thinking of getting my private license after ETI, so my joy of flying wasn't killed, it just wasn't available.
These technical passions were finite, and didn't lead anywhere special. Sure you could become a big name in the field like Niklaus Wirth. Would anybody but geeks would know of him? Would it enrich your soul to be like him? No, and I don't know, I can't see it. I thought so at one time, but nothing ever came close in technology. I perceive a pervasive dehumanizing aspect to high tech which gets in my way.
When an artist like Rachel says theatre just isn't enough, I understand. Sometimes your heart or your art needs to be carried to another field, cross pollinating one or both. This isn't something I can say right now. My passion is still alive -- hungry and growing -- hesitance or being conservative would be a denial and limiting for me at this time. So while this is a large change for me in level of commitment, it is perseverance along an already established path.
Last night was personally meaningful because once again I was reminded of the deep joy and fulfillment for me in this work, something I have needed of late. The old confidence doldrums. And I'm not the only one to have made a jump. The people I know in ETI seem advanced far beyond what they would have picked up during Meisner and the time since. I was aware of the beauty of it in those other people, before I had a hint of it in myself.
As they say, I get a little 'heady' in this journal. That is, a lot of times I am analyzing and applying my more logical thought processes. It is helpful and often clarifies issues for me, but it is only a small part of the journey. It is a common thought that ultimately the journey is more important than the goal. Well, a little triumph like I experienced last night is one of those small changes I see in myself which I talked of a couple days ago. They renew my heart, which guides my journey. It is important to stop for refills along the way. Especially, if the journey is the thing. Otherwise you'd lose heart along the way no matter how hard you tried.
Another two threads come together here for me. One is keeping my heart during a journey, because I have lost it a number of times in the past, the Navy and Computer Science only being the two in which I invested the most time and energy. This time I don't want to lose heart, which is the second thread. I want this. I need it. I have worked hard and risked for it. In some way the desire and the commitment in taking this step has changed me itself. I am a better actor, a deeper artist, for taking this step, albeit a small beginning step. Why? Simply because I took the step. That is the second thread, interwoven with the first thread of keeping heart, like fibers twisting together to form twine whose strength is greater than the sum of the fibers.
I decided before I applied for the program it was my first priority. More important than my day job, my savings or anything else, though they still have importance. I will be driven and exhausted much of the year. I knew it then as well as know. As well as all the other issues I wrestled with for the last six months. Once I made the decision it was uncomplicated and unconditional. A big freaking leap of faith for someone with a comfortable middle class lifestyle. Acting is all about making big leaps of faith, trusting. It surely feels that taking the ETI plunge transferred a bit to being able to make leaps on the boards.
I'm not deluded. I'll feel frustrated, untalented, lackluster, and utterly fatigued before this is done, probably many times. I'm as certain as I can be I'll keep my heart, because I know why I want to. This is an epiphany for me. If you don't want to lose heart, first you have to desire heart.
It sounds circular but it is not, that is the way the words fall out, which makes it hard to understand. How about If you don't want to give up, first you have to want the goal more than a respite.
That is perhaps more literal, but doesn't convey the weight or spirit as well for me.
This probably doesn't make a damn bit of sense. Too bad. I'm in new territory, and it is exciting and terrifying me. Neato.