Saturday, November 15, 2008

Passivity

I’ve been sorting through a lot of old stuff lately, including old scripts, photos and promotional materials.

From time to time I used to do solo pieces of straight drama … monologues. One piece was called ‘Passivity’. It was performed to an empty chair … based on a psychological technique where you address the issue concerned as though it were a person sitting opposite you.

A much more accomplished actor friend of mine - Maurice Adams – co-wrote the script and directed me. (It was important for me to remember and acknowledge that).

Reading the script again, it seems some of the issues remain … here are a couple of extracts:

PASSIVITY, you have kept me in so many shadows, telling me I must wait for an invitation to step onto the light. Here I stand, my heart stretched out inside me, begging to be invited to live and participate. I feel I have something to offer, but you convince me that I must wait to be discovered; that I must be drawn out – by invitation only.

PASSIVITY, perhaps you are not just timid hesitation. Perhaps you are a dark fear that your contribution is inadequate. Perhaps you are pride protecting yourself from hurtful exposure. Perhaps you are lethargy waiting for someone else’s zeal to spark you into life.

PASSIVITY, I see situations where I could help and maybe make a difference – but you tell me to wait for a sign to intervene. I see where a talent of mine could complement what others are doing – but you convince me that my contribution might not fit into the scheme of things.

So I lapse back into a pregnant nothingness and more days are lost.

It’s easy – in any kind of work, I guess – to hope for ‘the break’ … to be discovered … for everything to suddenly fall into place as if by magic. But that can so easily lead to passivity … and, in my case, it often has.

But lately, I’m learning by doing. I’m making dozens of pieces of art. I’m working each day. Some of them are taking a long time because they are growing and developing as though they have a life of their own. I’m getting more and more of my art – and myself – “out there” by not thinking too much about how to do it, but by just doing something. I’m following paths and signs that are coming clear as I go, rather than trying to work out how to get there from here, before ever setting foot outside the door.

I am, by nature, an ideas person and an initiator. But passivity remains my biggest enemy. Go figure.

Maybe I need to give it a good talking to.

Comments:
Yep.

There's a great book called The War of Art that calls "passivity" "Resistance" - same idea though.
 
Cool, Angela, I'll find it ... sounds appropriate!
 
I AM YOUR BIGGEST FAN. I love love love my 6x4 - it's my new favourite! x
 
Woo hoo Jo! Glad you like it!
 
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