Acting is ridiculous. Grown people strutting about the stage in all sorts of fancy get-up and pretending to be other people. Not to mention all the playing at being trees and trying to enact the jealousy of the wind through interpretive arm flapping. Its puerile, its lamentably pathetic, its… its childish!
The idea of childishness amuses me greatly because we spend our formative years being told that dirty jokes are for adults and then, when we get to that age and start telling them, were told to grow up and not act like a kid. Well I don’t know about you but I say to those people go suck an egg you stinky breath doodoo head. That shows them.
Acting IS childish but not for the reasons you might think. Watch a child play (get permission first or you may end up on some sort of register). No matter what they are doing, they are doing it with all of their hearts. They are so sincere about what they’re doing that they believe it, they take it seriously and to pull them out of their world is greatly detrimental to their development. How else do children learn but through play; through getting lost in little internal moments and processing the vast amount of data that comes their way every second? Telling children to not be silly or to stop daydreaming misses the point of being a child entirely. Take note teachers.
So when we act, we behave like children. We play when we perform a play. To do it properly requires that you embrace the silliness but to do it sincerely with all your heart. This lies at the very centre of what I’m trying to give to people – the opportunity to take such freedom, such creativity, into all areas of their lives.
Alan Watts, the great philosopher, said that he was always sincere, never serious. I love this sentiment and when we consider the behaviour of children and the idea of play we don’t have to take it seriously except where we want to pretend to. In their heart of hearts, children know that the teddy bear isn’t real, but they will still commit to the belief and we can do that too. Treat that presentation, that colleague argument, that accidental car bump as the latest episode in your make-believe, and you will find that you too can be sincere about your silliness and indeed silly about your sincerity.