Monday, October 3, 2011

25. Motivation Is Better Than Discipline

“Don’t let the “shoulds” of false responsibilities and expectations of others derail you from being fully present, awake and engaged in what you know you need … for yourself.” – Lena Stevens, The Power Path 

Big endeavors require a lot of discipline to see through to the end.  Applying to grad school is a many stepped process, that mere fact tends to weed-out folks that are not really willing to put in the work that it takes to apply. Those that stick with it, seeing it through to audition day, tend to be people that are able to demonstrate the discipline it takes to prepare and make things happen for themselves. I applaud them, each and every one!

However, I do not like “discipline.” I don’t like the word and I don’t really like to think of myself as a disciplined person… Though to the outside world, I may resemble one.

I prefer MOTIVATION. I am a motivated person. I do what I do because I am motivated to do so… by love… not by discipline.

Discipline = The heartless shell of motivation.

Soooo, in the interest of feeding my insatiable appetite for motivation…

I spent the weekend completely immersed in the worlds of Yale and NYU theatre. Saturday I took the MetroNorth to New Haven and attended “Three Sisters” at Yale Rep and took the subway on Sunday to see “Clybourne Park” and “Measure For Measure,” on 2nd Ave, NYC, with NYU’s 3rd Year Grad Actors.

I am very fortunate to live close to both schools, so I am taking full advantage of my proximity.

Here’s what I found to motivate me in continuing toward my goal of acceptance to the grad acting programs at NYU and Yale...

1.       Do I love Chekhov plays?... No. Three hours of fear-filled people complaining, longing, wallowing-in-misery and never actually GOING to Moscow? Not my bag. However, it did make me feel very strong feelings of anger and frustration at those characters' choices. (Not to mention, Les Waters is one of my favorite theatre directors of all time.) And theatre that makes you really FEEL something, well, that’s good theatre. And good theatre is something I’d like to be a part of.

2.       Brian Wiles and Josiah Bania were the two Yale MFA students in the cast of otherwise all AEA  professionals. Though they were cast as very minor characters, the energy and specificity with which they both embodied the lives of these young soldiers made them stand-outs. They raised the temperature of the room when they entered the stage, in a good way. Bravo you MFA students!!! You show those Equity actors how it’s DONE! I want to raise the temperature of the room too!

3.       Just being there, in New Haven, on campus, at the theatre, surrounded by academia… is motivating enough. I love how quiet it is and the beautiful stone buildings and the trees and cute little shops/restaurants and the students milling about discussing their drunk-tweeting binge from the night before.  Yale appeals to my suburban roots.  Drunk tweeting aside, it feels great to be there.

1.       "Clybourne Park" is a GREAT play… Not just a good play. It is a GREAT play. It’s timely, smart, well-written, socially-aware, concise, with beautifully complex and fleshed-out characters that you CARE about. NYU can pick ‘em. It was a fantastic choice of material. I’d be GRATEFUL to be able to immerse myself in a piece like that. Seriously. Motivating.

2.       The performances of the 3rd Year Grad Actors in "Clybourne Park" and "Measure for Measure" were all super solid. Everyone demonstrated the quality of their training mixed with the unique inspiration that only they can bring… that thing that brings a character to LIFE. There were PEOPLE  up on that stage, and when they were at their best they were just BEING up there… LIVING… reacting… listening… It’s such a beautiful thing when you’re in the audience and you forget that it’s a PLAY. It makes me want to play too!

3.       Design… I have to say, the set/costume/lighting design on both productions were really fantastic. The attention to detail and effort that clearly went into every little thing… I mean, WOW! And there were only a hand-full of performances. No matter, they really went all out and it made the experience of watching the show that much more excellent. And excellence is very, very cool.

Soooo, I think I’ve got some nice motivation to keep me boppin’ out of bed at 5am to write this blog… and to work on my monologues and my personal statement and keep going to the gym and eating right and doing all those things that will help me be a solidly prepared candidate for the next class to be accepted at NYU, Yale… or Juilliard.

Discipline? :-p Who needs it? That sounds like torture.

I’ve got me some motivation… and that feels like JOY!


P.S. For goodness-sakes, if you want to go to Moscow, don't just sit around talking about it for years... GO TO MOSCOW. But remember, when you get there, you're going to have to take yourself with you... so I hope you enjoy your own company! :-)

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer