Following on from yesterday’s post about repetition on stage and in the theatre making process, I’ve been thinking about that interesting life maxim of living for the moment. The golden rule for enjoying yourself, supposedly, and definitely something totally vital to the process of making theatre. Another quote from the Complicite Rehearsal Notes book:
I always remember the total commitment to the moment, to the day, the week, the months till the last day of the run…always a deep journey. An unforgettable journey.
It can be hard sometimes when you’re making theatre, as when living life, to let go of all the concerns you have about the future of the project and be totally present in the rehearsal room. It’s vital for the actor and it’s challenging for the director who must always be thinking ahead to what is happening next. There have been times when I’ve felt my mind wandering in rehearsals; thinking about how the poster’s coming along or how ticket sales or crowdfunding is going. This isn’t good, this loss of focus is a sign that you aren’t wholly committing to the process you’re going through and not being open and receptive to what is happening in that space now. This is why phones are bad in the rehearsal room, or any remnant of the outside world.
Enforcing such rules is hard, we aren’t used to focusing our minds and bodies on one thing at a time. Being in the moment, though, is extremely good for us as theatre practitioners and in everyday life. It probably isn’t a way to live your life all the time, this may make for a rather unstable person, but it’s definitely a skill to perfect.