Happy Monday! Last week, prior to the final video recap of October, I wrote two pieces: one called “seek different philosophies” on getting different perspectives for a well-rounded life and one called “practice makes perfect” on working hard once you’ve defined perfection for yourself. I’ve written before about remembering your roots and being value-driven, so today I want to write about how important it is to be flexible. Being flexible doesn’t mean changing who you are at your core or sacrificing your values; it’s about keeping an open mind to new suggestions.
It’s incredibly important to be flexible. I’ve written plenty of times before that you can only control yourself and that you can’t control other people or events. Since you are unable to predict anything that will happen in life, by remaining flexible, you are able to adapt to the changing circumstances around you while still maintaining control of yourself.
There’s only so much you can control on a set of any type. From an improv stage to a musical cabaret to a film set, there are so many moving parts at play that it’s important you do the work necessary for yourself so that you bring your best character to the table. When I was on the set of Quake Heroes, and often while I’m in an improv or sketch class at The Groundlings or UCB, you will receive active notes while you’re performing or pitching.
If you are able to remain flexible, you are better able to handle the things being thrown at you. When you’re playing a character and a director starts shouting different emotions at you, it’s important to stay flexible and loose because it enables you to move your body and react to the different suggestions. The minute you become rigid and flip the switch off in your mind, you lose the magic of pure reaction.
But, Johny, you said that it’s important to control your reactions! Yes, it’s important to react in the way you’re supposed to be reacting when a director is attempting to capture different emotional responses to a stimuli. Being aware of your emotions and your reactions once you’ve done the hard work to memorize lines and understand the framework of a scene only helps you develop your (and your character’s) emotional range.
By remaining flexible, you’re able to keep your mind open. And when your mind is open to suggestions and new ways of thinking, that’s when magic happens. I had an amazing teacher for my AP US History class in high school. He taught us that we should be like bamboo: strong enough to stand our ground, yet flexible enough to bend with the breeze.
Stay flexible. Stay open. And get ready for magic.
Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, feel free to subscribe in the box below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!