the ultimate expression?

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I watched Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre last night. We were lucky to be in the front row, where the lead actor sang solos right in front of us. His face maybe six feet from my face.

Pain, anger, terror all etched on a blood stained face. Every emotion every torment, every hope of his character leaking from his teary eyes. Every anguish, every struggle, every fear trembling in his voice. His sinewy body straining in desperation, twisted in unrequited love, taut with vulnerability.

It left me wondering “Are those who perform in musical theatre the most human of us all?”

an actor in our own story

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In a fractured age, when cynicism is God, here is a possible heresy: we live by stories, we also live in them.

One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, we are also living the stories we planted – knowingly or unknowingly – in ourselves. We live the stories that either give our lives meaning, or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives.

Ben Okri

actors on our own stage

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I was talking with a coach today as their supervisor. They were speaking about procrastination – about something they wanted to get done but recognised they were avoiding.

As they spoke about moving forward, their hand made a shoving motion from in front of their face to their right. I was curious. They then spoke about avoiding this thing because they didn’t like advertising themselves and their talents. With this explanation they made a ‘jazz hands’ gesture with hands framing their face.

I stopped them talking and asked them to notice what just happened. They smiled and reflected back these movements that accompanied their words. They had noticed that their own gestures said as much or more about their stuckness as the story does. Our conversation took a new direction.

Sometimes I wonder just how helpful to our condition of ‘being’ if might be, if we were able to watch ourselves as actors on our own stage?