REPOST: Working Backwards
8 hours ago
This is the former location of the blog of the Mother of Invention Acting School in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The blog is now located at http://utteracting.com/blog. This old location has been left in place as an archive.
In the last decade, dream work, as it is known, has spread into actors studios and classrooms across the country, taking its place among the ever expanding techniques of actor training and in the long-running debate over what leads to the most authentic performances.
John Clare and Ali Zarbafi are psychotherapists and authors who believe it is vital that we remember and talk about our dreams in order to "discover the thoughts to which we usually have no access" – the "unthought known", as Christopher Bollas puts it — and find a new way of thinking, new ideas. Maybe social dreaming – a concept dreamed up by Dr Gordon Lawrence – is how to find this; Clare and Zarbafi certainly believe it is.
Can it really be true that, in 1930s Germany, Charlotte Beradt catalogued hundreds of dreams and, on looking at them collectively years later, found early premonitions of concentration camps and other terrors which were to come? Clare – and the book he jointly authored with Zarbafi – say it is.
He then gave another example. In the 1930s, the Senoi tribe in Malaysia were found by an anthropologist to have had no war or violent crime for 300 years. He discovered that they were committed to dream interpretation and dream expression – they took their dreams seriously and believed in talking about them, with each family spending breakfast listening to one another's dreams, and the head of the household then taking them to a council meeting to report and discuss them.