It's funny how sometimes I forget what that means.
My first two years there I remember feeling very connected to Stella's history, her legacy as an actress and what she believed it meant to be a theatre artist. I read the Art of Acting. I thought constantly of The Group Theatre and identified with Stella's notion that actors were noble beings, that we served a higher purpose in society and carried great responsibility with the art form that we had chose to study and carry out.
After I graduated, I found the voice of the industry creeping into my brain, sparking hallucinations of fame and fortune while feeding all my fear and insecurities about what the hell it is I am really supposed to be doing.
Luckily for me, I have a respite from all that and have still been spending a significant amount of time at the Stella Adler Studio because of the show I am assisting with and the showcase I am participating in.
Tonight I was reminded of one of Stella's great beliefs, and one of the main reasons I wanted to become and actor in the first place.
Stella said that art was the common currency of all civilization. She also expressed a concern that it was too easy to get completely overwhelmed and consumed by your own art form, thereby disregarding the rest of the world. I think what it really boils down to is that the more you know, the more you know. Deepening your understanding of pretty much anything will make you a better actor.
In an effort to support this idea, the Stella Adler Studio hosts free concerts, poetry readings, lectures, etc. to provide an opportunity to experience those wonderful things in life that might just make you see Chekhov in a different light, or empathize with a character in a way you had never thought of before. Or maybe it's just a good time. Who knows.
Anyway, tonight I had the privilege of hearing Stephen Framil play the Bach Cello Suites, one of my favorites. I play flute, piano and guitar, but I have always wanted to learn the cello. To me, no instrument sounds quite as beautiful. In timbre and in pitch, it is the instrument closest to the human voice.
What I felt tonight was not only a reconnection with the nobility of art (we may be poor, but we certainly aren't trash) but a renewed understanding of that thing that happens when you simultaneously feel that you understand something entirely while knowing nothing at all.
Something happens to my brain when I listen to music - I am everything and nothing at once. I feel my mind narrow in on the simplicity of one thing and one thing only (what many psychologists might qualify as a indication of autism) while at the same time I can feel my creative energy growing exponentially, taking me places I didn't even know existed.
That all sounds rather intangible, and hard to reconcile, I know, but I think that's the point. I'm not sure what any of it means, but that's why I'm an artist, right? I have chosen something to do that will keep me occupied for the rest of my life. If I had all the answers now, there would be no point.
Okay, still fluffy. Sigh. I can't help it. What am I trying to say?
Be inspired. Yeah. That's all. Whatever that means for you. Just indulge it. Get inspired. What else is life for?