Jul 20, 2012

Getting Up From a Fall

As a creative it is par for the course to occasionally face rejection; a bad review or getting overlooked for a role, position or funding opportunity. Projects can too easily evaporate, events be cancelled. Critique can at times be inconsiderate and misjudged which may feel like a personal attack. Creatives often see their careers as their raison d'être and there is a danger that these set-backs become all-consuming. Managing disappointment is a learned skill. Developing an approach to re-claim self-esteem and keeping a healthy perspective is invaluable. 

The Tiny Hurdler
Treat yourself like a child.

I don’t suggest pretending to have a lowered mental capacity but to recognize that your pride has been given a bit of a bash. Nurture rather than rationalise. Dip your feet in the tide water, eat soup and crusty bread, borrow a puppy, fly a kite. Love bomb yourself. A giant hug and someone to say: “You’re brilliant I believe in you” is good medicine. If a willing giant can’t be found prescribe your own equivalent!


The diversion tactic.

Distraction can be just the ticket as the true merit of artistic endeavours prove largely incalculable, particularly discerning why some projects are favoured over others at the selection stage. It is not a mathematical puzzle; and there is no point knitting your mind into a knot. I would recommend exercise, redecorating (yep!) and alternative creative pursuits as excellent diversionary tactics. If all else fails go stand by the ocean and remember that every stone in sight has been here for millions of years before your worries existed.

Praise Be.

Rediscover your enthusiasm –undertake endeavours that guarantee praise. Fish out the good reviews, awards and achievements. If your objective is to succeed in whatever way you understand this word, recovering quickly is imperative to moving forward. If in need of positive re-programing –jump to it. You are your own horse

Get back on the horse.

It is important to get back working immediately and reclaim your creative identity. It need not necessarily be the same project, as for some a little recovery time is needed to gain a brighter perspective. “Work is its own cure” as the poet Marge Piercy would say.

Build a bridge and get over it. 

Accept the situation as it is, or the decision that has been made –fair or unfair. Don’t replay the tape or needlessly beat yourself up. Holding on to negative feelings in relation to the reception of your work is not helpful. Don’t impinge yourself by carrying grudges. In the vast majority of cases everyone involved in the the decision making process are doing their jobs to the best of their ability. 

On very rare occasions we may encounter more challenging situations; people who are ill-advised and might not have our best interests at heart. In these cases it is best to disengage from these individuals immediately and look for advice and support from others. If you feel it is necessary contact your union.

On a final note -remember the old adage “To double your chances of success double your chances of failure”. 

Copyright ©2013 The ahr-tis-tik mind.
Material belonging to The ahr-tis-tik mind can be shared via appropriate links to this site.

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Be Not Obsessed

Jul 4, 2012

Be Not Obsessed

Here’s something not commonly mentioned – sometimes not having a daily routine or "grind" as it is often called, is not good for you. In fact if you don't detest your job or feel your life's purpose lies elsewhere, a nine to five is hard to beat. The autopilot button has its advantages. When a routine is in sync with society's traditional work and rest periods it can be, in theory, more easily compartmentalised and after the allocated hours more readily put aside. Being forced to socialise in some sense of the word, with other human beings on a daily basis is also considered beneficial for the well-being. (In theory).


The Routine.
What’s routine for an actor is not having a routine. The advantages: it is not necessary to turn on the alarm clock very often. The disadvantages: it is not necessary to turn on the alarm very often. (I should mention that it is sometimes necessary!) There are however, plenty of ways for an actor to stay busy without even picking up a script –keeping informed about up-coming productions, production companies, directors, agents, casting agents. Applying for roles. Sending CVs. Being involved on forums and acting sites. Attending plays, readings, symposiums, meetings. Doing readings and courses.  Managing profiles on acting sites, Twitter, Facebook. Compiling personal web sites, headshots, showreels, voice reels, business cards.                
The list continues.

As advice on remaining focused on an objective David Mamet says in 'True and False': "Those who have 'something to fall back on,' invariably fall back on it. They intended to all along. That's why they provided themselves with it. But those with no alternative see the world differently." 
Perhaps an actor ‘making work’ for themselves, as it were, and coming to the table every day to engage with something is the equivalent of fumbling around in the dark where the alternative is to leave the room.

Commitment is crucial and Mamet's advice on staying focused on a singular goal is wise. That said, I have never found poverty to be helpful in reaching my goals. I have never found unhappiness to be useful either. What I miss the most working in the arts is a sense of achievement, and the fulfilment that comes from that. This is harder to gauge in the arts. Money is a common determinant for gauging success in much of society, as is recognition for the work.  When neither are available a practitioner must lift themselves up by their own boot-strings. Before any such challenges are met however, an actor must act!

My hands itch to be creating and at times I am quite jealous of artists who can create independent of anyone else!

Push or Breath.
There are similarities between the shift which has occurred in my Yoga practice and my altering view of creative practices (Or pre-creative practices perhaps). I started out doing Iyengar, a type of Yoga which emphasises preciseness and focuses on poses or postures individually. These days I practice Yoga which emphasises the flow between the postures. Each pose is done as well as possible before moving to another. Leaving energy to return and redo poses, without strain.

From Iyengar Yoga I drew an innate understanding of precise alignment, from which I learnt determination. More recently my practice has deepened greatly from focusing on more flowing types of Yoga. I understand better that I am not pushing for ultimate perfection but rather the best I can achieve in that day, which allows for moods and the condition of my body and muscles. With this approach there is more of a sense of achievement and importantly more possibility for repetition which advances my practice.

Likewise in terms of creative goals I am beginning to understand that all elements of life have value, and crucially that they are interrelated. There is an element of wiggle-room in my plans; I allow myself to turn my attention to other matters and I have found the results to be surprising. 

Staying in the Room.
I wonder is this why Daniel Day Lewis is also a shoemaker, and why Jodie Foster is a director and why Kevin Costner’s has a company, Blue Water Solutions that helps to clean oil spills. Despite the fame, recognition and money, acting is not a regular job. 

Now, to go check that I'm still in the room..

English version following                                                                                                                        
Leadrán mar dhea.                                                                       
Ní minic a luaitear é ach is mó buntáiste atá leis an ngnáth lá oibre agus "leadrán" an naoi go dtí a cúig. Tá rud éigin deas faoin gcnaipe uathoibríoch ó am go chéile. Go deimhin mura bhfuil and ghráin dearg agat ar do chuid oibre, nó mura bhfuil do chroí isteach le rud éigin eile, is deacair barr a fháil air. Ar an gcomhchos leis an bpobail i gcoitinne i dtaobh tréimhsí oibre agus tréimhsí sosa de, is éasca ar fad (go teoiriciúil!) am a fhágáil ag gnéithe eile den tsaoil. Agus fiú mura ndéantar ach béadan faoi na comhghleacaithe oibre i ndiaidh an lá a chur uait -is ainmhí sóisialta an duine daonna (arís go teoiriciúil!) agus tá maitheas éigin dúinn a bheith ag bualadh le daoine daonna eile (uaireanta.)
An Gnáthamh.                                                                              
'Sé gnáthamh cleachtóirí na n-Ealaíon ná nach bhfuil a leithéid de ghnáthamh ann. Ar lámh amháin: ní ró-mhinic go gcaithfear an t-alarm a chur ar súil. Ar an lámh eile: ní ró-mhinic go gcaithfear an t-alarm a chur ar súil. (Caithfear é a chur ar súil uaireanta ba chóir a lua!)Taobh amuigh den aisteoireacht í féin afách, tá neart bealaí gur féidir le duine am a chur uathu gan fiú script a thógáil i lámh  -fiosrú léiriucháin, comhlachtaí léiriúchán, siúrthóirí, gníomhairí, stiúrthóirí páirteanna. Cuir isteach ar na rólanna. Seoladh CVanna. Bheith isteach ar na forums agus suíomhanna aisteoireachta. Freastail ar drámaí, léamha, symposiums, cainteanna. Déanamh na léamha agus ceardlanna. Reachtáil proifílí ar suímh aisteoireachta, Twitter agus Facebook. Cuir le chéile suíomh idirlíon pearsanta, grianghraif chinn, showreels, voice reels, cártaí gnó. Leanann leis an liosta.

Mar chomhairle ar aire a choimeád ar sprioc deir David Mamet sa leabhair True and False: "Those who have 'something to fall back on,' invariably fall back on it. They intended to all along. That's why they provided themselves with it. But those with no alternative see the world differently."                                                         
Tá cosúlachtaí b'fhéidir, idir an aisteoir ag lorg oibre agus duine ag braith thart i seomra dorcha. Agus a mhalairt ná an seomra a fhágáil.
Toradh na hOibre                                                                      
Caithfear bheith tiomanta agus tá ciall i gcomhairle David Mamet maidir le haird a choimeád ar an t-aon sprioc amháin. É sin ráite níor mhothaigh mé raibh gur aon chabhair é an bochtanas le sprioc a bhaint amach. Níor mhothaigh mé ach an oiread gur cabhair é an mhí-shonas. An rud is mó go n-airím uaim ag obair sna hEalaíon ná mothú dul chun cinn, agus an comhlíonadh a thagann uaidh sin. Is deacair na rudaí seo a mheas sna hEalaín. An bealach le toradh na hoibre a mheas sa domhain i gcoitinne ná ón airgead a saothraítear ón obair. Agus ina dteannta sin, aitheantas ar an obair. Nuair nach bhfuil ceachtar ar fáil tá ar cleachtóirí na n-Ealaíon iad féin a thógáil in airde lena n-iachaillí féin. Ach céim chun tosaigh ar an dúthshláin a thógáil tá ar aisteoir aisteoireacht a dhéanamh!
Bíonn an oiread de thochas ionam a bheith ag cruthú agus amanna bím go mór in éad le healaíontóirí gur féidir dul i mbun cruthú neamhspleách ar daoine eile!       
Brú nó Anáil.
Ní fheadar an bhfuil cosúlachtaí idir mo chleachtas Yoga agus mo chleachtas cruthaíochta le déanaí (Nó an réamh oibre cruthaíochta b'fhéidir) Thosaigh mé amach ag déanamh Iyengar, cinneál Yoga a dhíríonn ar na poses a bheith iomlán beacht agus a dhíríonn ar na poses nó seasaimh ceann ar cheann. Le déanaí táim ag cleachtadh Yoga a chuireann béim ar an sruth idir na seasaimh. Déantar gach pose chomh maith agus is féidir roimh athrú chuig pose eile. Fágann sin fuinneamh le filleadh agus an pose a dhéanamh don athuair. Gan an stró.

Dul Chun Cinn                                                                                   
Ón Iyengar thóg mé liom tuiscint doimhin ar ailiniú ceart, agus uaidh sin d'fhoghlaim mé diongbháilteacht. Tá neart suntasach tagtha ar mo chleachtas le déanaí 'théis díriú ar Yoga ina mbíonn béim ar sruth. Feictear dom nach bhfuilim ag dul i dtreo sprioc críochnúil a bhaint amach ach go bhfuilim ag iarraidh an méid is féidir liom a bhaint amach ar lá áirithe; fágann sin áit le haghaidh giúmair agus an ball ina bfhuil an coirp agus na meatán lá faoi leith. Le gach cleachtadh tá mothú dul chun cinn agus feabhas níos tapúla toisc gur féidir teacht ar ais gan drogall. 

Ó thaobh na spriocanna cruthaíocha de b'fhéidir go dtuigim níos fearr go bhfuil tábhacht le gach gnéith don tsaoil agus tioncar acu ar a chéile. Tá wiggle-room i gceist leis an plean; ligim dom féin casadh ar ábhar eile agus ní dóigh liom gur droch rud é, ach a mhalairt.

Sa Seomra                                                                                       
Meas tú an é sin an fáth gur gréasaí bróig é Daniel Day Lewis nuair nach mbíonn sé ag aisteoireacht, gur Stiúrthóir í Jodie Foster agus go bhfuil comhlacht ag Kevin Costner, Blue Planet Water Solutions a chabhraíonn le doirteadh ola a ghlanadh. Aineoin an cliú agus cáil agus an t-airgead, ní post rialta í an aisteoireacht.
Anois le feiceáil an bhfuilim fós sa seomra...
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Material belonging to The ahr-tis-tik mind can be shared via appropriate links to this site>