I had my first meeting today with my six future classmates and Judylee Vivier, the head of the MFA Acting department at Brooklyn College. Professor Vivier shared with us a beautiful passage that really spoke to the journey of an actor, and I had to share it!
Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium: and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly--to keep the channel open. You do no even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
This passage really resonated with me. Particularly the bit about it being "not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions." Can you imagine a world in which actors did not compare themselves and their performances to other actors- a world in which we allow ourselves to be free enough to follow our impulses, regardless of what they look and sound like? It's something I strive for constantly and this piece reminded me how important it is to do so.
Are you regularly able to "keep the channel open"? If not, what challenges prevent you from doing so?