Thursday, June 24, 2010

the paradox

It's hard not to get a kick out yourself as you imitate, transform, or entertain others, or make them laugh! How great it is to be able to do these things.

But it's the watching-yourself-do-these-things-while-you-do-them that is, unfortunately, the essence of self-consciousness. It's this awareness that has to be marginalized if not banished altogether from your mind to achieve maximal absorption in what you are doing.

Unfortunately, it's this desire to see one's self doing these things, to watch one's self in the act of imitating, transforming,entertaining or inducing laughter that brings most of us to want to act in the first place.

If you want to be great, you don't get to watch yourself be entertaining. That you have to give up. You can be appreciated by others all you want afterwards. But while you are acting? Don't look into the light!

Or, as the famous nineteenth century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said: when Abraham consents to make the sacrifice of his son Isaac, he regains the world!

1 comment:

Odhran Massage said...

well said. Self-consciousness is an enemy to all art and arts, not just performance. Even my craft, which, essentially is allowing connection between me and others in order to facilitate a healing, is best served when I'm not watching the process from without, but experiencing it from within.

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