THE BLOG

Acting After Illness #7 Imperfection

31/01/2017 16:31 | Updated 06 February 2017

It's been 2 years, almost to the day, since I had Stereotactic Radiosurgery on the AVM in my brain.

As planned, I had an MRI scan at St Georges Hospital this week and now I have to wait for the results to see where we go from here.

To mark this milestone in my journey of recovery I went to the cinema.

I saw La La Land.

Like many, I am not the Musical type.

And yet. And yet. And yet.

To my surprise, I thought it was delightful.

I hear the Critics and Cynics are saying the singing is better on X-Factor and the dancing is better on Strictly (Come Dancing).

Maybe, that's true.

What do they know?

But for me, that's where the charm of La La Land lies. In the imperfections.

The Japanese have a tradition called Wabi Sabi.

Wabi Sabi is all about finding beauty in the humble, the imperfect and in the easily over looked places.

Nothing lasts. Nothing is finished. Nothing is perfect.

By looking carefully and contemplating on everyday objects, in every day places and on the people we meet, we can find and experience the subtle flaws of imperfection.

It is in these flaws, in these imperfections and in these cracks, if you like, where we can find beauty, interest and charm.

And by looking, really looking, we also remind ourselves too of our own delicacy and our own imperfections.

I have been reminded of this through my illness and in my journey of recovery.

I have learnt too that my imperfections actually define me far more than my perfections.

My imperfections make me more memorable, more interesting and, dare I say it, more attractive.

When I learn lines I like to contemplate on them too. Even if it's only for a moment.

I think about how the words have been strung together in the sentence.

I consider what each word actually means, search for the feelings and emotions in the words and where the words are leading me.

Into danger? Into love? Out of danger? Out of love?

I look for the breaths the character is taking too by noting where the full stops, the commas and the other punctuations fall.

Each notation marks a breath and maybe a mood.

Are the breaths short and fast? Is the character excited or angry?

Are the breaths long and slow? Is the character relaxed? Has the character accepted their fate?

The aim of this momentary contemplation is to absorb the lines, the characters thoughts, into my being. Reminding me, that I am human and the character I am playing is human too.

We are both imperfect.

Actor Jack Plotnick talks about this too is his writing New Thoughts for Actors.

He says, absorbing lines, the words, the ideas, moves you away from trying to get the lines right - perfection - to a place of real understanding of what the words and the lines mean from the human perspective - imperfection.

We are too quick to be critical and cynical, and too quick to label somebody or something imperfect.

And yet, by doing so, we overlook the very things that will bring us interest, meaning, acceptance, generosity, connection and opportunity.

And so, by embracing imperfection, we might even be "Singing In The Rain" again too.

David can be reached via his agent Sam Brown at Brown and Mills. London.

Comments

CONVERSATIONS