Saturday, July 07, 2007

Empty Studio Part II

Another Saturday sitting in an empty studio. My cushions and my sandals parked by the door, a bag with a notebook and some other items potentially useful for teaching an acting class that incorporates the stillness of Zen meditation and the release of energy into creativity and action.

Sounds like a great idea. Many people tell me that. Sort of like Zen practice itself - people love to read about it or hear about it; yet starting a sitting group is a very lonely proposition. You have to show up, and show up, and keep showing up. Do the sitting even if no one is there. And in the acting studio, that's what I do: fold up my legs, hold my hands softly in position, breathe and listen. Sangha is a precious jewel indeed. Precious, and rare.

Perhaps the only one who is really interested in practicing this is me; and maybe my business right now is in the zendo doing my practice, and not improvising with performing arts and outer path improvisations. Who am I kidding? There is nothing to proclaim. I have offered something, maybe something that really is only interesting to me - anyway, there is no pressing need for it. Clear, clear.

Maybe the problem is, I don't want to say goodbye to acting. Even though acting has said goodbye to me. The empty studio is an echo of a door that shut years ago. Yes, that's possible.

If you want to figure out what's going wrong in a situation, start by following what you want. That's the trail that will lead you to the fuckup eventually.

At Casey's downtown, Chris buys me a pint and tells me I need to shut up and listen to him. Meanwhile I'm thinking maybe we both ought to shut up.

Goodness, I've wandered for away from home. Maybe time to rest my voice for a while and let my scalp feel the sunshine.


Ji Hyang said...

Only one koan matters:


Theriomorph said...

Nice Ikkyu.

It may also be that you are building something people do desire and need, and to which they will come, but slowly - and/or that it is still cooking, so to speak, in you, and that this is part of ye ol' process.

You'll know. Meanwhile, I believe that every act of this creative kind is worthwhile -

Anonymous said...

A - believe me, its not just Los Angeles, its not just New York, its everywhere. Here on the Central Coast, which is a small community, trying to get people to do anything different is the equivalent of pulling teeth. You are doing something different. It's not about getting an agent to get movies and television, or an acting class led by someone connected to an agency that will get them movies and television.

Therein lies the greater problem, one that has nothing to do with you. It's the fact that you are offereing something that does not have an immediate response or reaction. This is an on-demand world: "I want what I want and I want it NOW." It's the result of today's technology speeding us forward into eventual oblivion. We don't slow down to enjoy the sun for if we do we'll either be left behind or run down.

Know that what you are doing has merit. What you are doing is needed. It's just that no one realizes that they need it yet. If you are true to yourself, what you want comes to you. I learned that the hard way, and it has taken YEARS. But it's finally happening. Patience, A!