I’m back from Italy – it was glorious.
The day I got back I came across a quote that reminded me of my training with Shuji Terayama…
“The way you train reflects the way you fight. People say I’m not going to train too hard, but when it’s time to fight I’m going to step it up. There is no step up. You’re just going to do what you did every day.”
— Georges St. Pierre, Middleweight Champion, Mixed Martial Arts.
After graduating from a 4-year university acting program I had learned an acting technique that was very logical.
I set out on a painful journey of auditioning.
I discovered that my training didn’t help me create from ME. In fact, it helped me hide from me. It certainly didn’t help me be spontaneous.
Basically, it provided me with something secure to hold on to. But that “security” never led to a job.
I knew I had to go on a journey to find a way of working that would get me out of my always planning, fear-based mind.
I set out training with every director, teacher I could find. I soon realized that a lot of the training outside the US was more physically based and geared toward spontaneity, whereas a lot of the training within the US was more psychological and analytically based.
I’ll tell you about one teacher/director I came across on my path and an amazing exercise he taught me.
The man was Shuji Terayama, the artistic director of The Avante Garde Theatre of Tokyo. RIP.
I talk in more detail about the experience in the CI Online Program, but here I will describe an exercise we did.
“8 people stand on one side of the room. 8 people stand on the opposite side of the room. When I smash these two pieces of wood together move across the room as one BEING. When you get to the opposite wall, instantly turn around and become another BEING. Do this 5 times creating 5 radically different beings – as different as possible from one another.”
First, the members of Terayama’s company did the exercise. It was astonishing to see them transform into one creature/person/being after another. Hard to believe one person could become all these different beings.
Then the people, like myself, that had come to train with the company stood on opposite sides of the room. Bam. The wood smashed and off we went.
To make a longer story short – I’ll just say that on our first few goes at the exercise, we maybe created two different ways of moving across the floor – and then we started repeating the essence of what we had already done.
Over the weeks that I trained with his company our range increased, and we were able to start to create BEINGS, and quite different ones at that. This exercise had a profound impact on me as I could literally start to feel my creative range expanding with each attempt.
HERE IS WHY I’M TELLING YOU THIS.
I trust if you are reading this it’s partially because you’re interested in expanding your creative range as well. We have to know that we tend to get caught in safety patterns of creating that maybe worked for us once. But now that way of creating is limiting and does not access our full potential.
We must continue to train to honor and match the growth that is naturally occurring within ourselves.
And, back to that quote…
We must train to create – so that when we are in the “ring” we can bring our A game.
And, let this is your invitation to jump into and train full out in one of our upcoming Committed Impulse courses.
For now, catch when you are repeating a way of creating that no longer serves – and see how you can walk in a new way.
Warning: aliveness, playfulness, fun, and creative success may result.
Go Get It!