Monday, December 19, 2011

91. Prepare For Your Great Work

"When [actors] are talking, they are servants of the dramatist. It is what they can show the audience when they are not talking that reveals the fine actor." - Cedric Hardwicke

Have you guys seen Terrence Malick's Tree of Life? If not, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you do. It's a BEAUTIFUL film.

There is very little dialogue in the film. Most of the storytelling is told visually or with voiceover. Words really cannot describe the feelings that this film evokes. It's incredibly moving. But, like an impressionist painting, you see what you want to see in the film. It allows you to reflect on your own life and childhood...all the magic and promise and confusion and pain that we all experience as we grow up, observing our parents and begining to think for ourselves, ... trying to make sense of the world we've inherited, struggling with the things we cannot control and do not understand, both inside ourselves and external events.

Again, words fail....I am having some difficulty in articulating the incredible experience of watching this film.

Just see it. Then you'll know.

Juilliard graduate Jessica Chastain plays the mother in the film. Her performance is LUMINARY.

And after watching this film, it got me thinking... I am sooooo glad that she took the time to study and to prepare herself for this kind of great work. Because her performance is such a gift to the audience. Soooo many people will see this film and be reminded of the ethereal beauty of their own mothers, when they see her through the mind's eye of a small child.

Her on-camera state of BEING and vulnerable honesty is so incredibly POWERFUL to watch. She makes it look soooo simple and effortless...but it is only through the journey of incredible preparation that one attains that kind of mastery.

I came across this great interview where Jessica says this of her time at Juilliard:

"I had four years of very, very, hard, difficult,wonderful training in Shakespeare and Ibsen and Strindberg and Chekhov. It kind of set me up that no matter what I work on in the future it will never be as hard as the four years at Juilliard."


Isn't that AWESOME? I want to go through that kind of training and feel that prepared to tackle any project! Yes, please!!!!

This has been a truly amazing year for Ms. Chastain. Her performances in sooooo many great films recently, have made her a NAME now. But all her great success didn't happen overnight. She's been preparing for this great work her whole life. And now she's being recognized for doing the great work that she was put on this planet to do!

Yay, Jessica!!! Thanks for sticking with it!

For more on Jessica's awesome year CLICK HERE TO READ her interview with Backstage.

Preparation is soooooo important. It's the foundation that you build from. It's your creation palette.

What are you doing today to prepare for your great work of tomorrow?

You've got a gift. Prepare to GIVE it in the best way possible. Start now.


"It's like once you're prepared, truly prepared to carry on for as long as it takes, you'll quickly find, as all movers and shakers have before you, that it doesn't take long at all. Surrender to the path, and go." - Mike Dooley, Tut's Universe


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