Collective visions

This first photo is the headshot of me that's posted in the lobby of the theater for our production of Clare Booth Luce's delicious 30's play, The Women, which opened last night to a full house and much acclaim.  (I have to say -- we were REALLY funny!)

Clearly some massive airbrushing has occurred, because the second photo is a far more accurate rendition of what my skin looked like to me in the mirror, just before I began removing my makeup.  Ugh -- no WONDER my husband hates seeing me in makeup!  And I can't imagine how my friends were able to sit across from me at the Pub after the show and chat normally -- what was I THINKING to go out in public looking like that!

And now I realize this must be a continuation of yesterday's post, about being seen for who we are.  From the way they talked with me -- so open and easy -- I'd have to guess my friends have no attachment to my external appearance: they were interacting with the person that lies beneath the makeup and the skin.  Which is lovely, and very endearing.

On a probably unrelated note (although perhaps it will become clearer as I write!) my reading in Trust the Process this morning has brought me to a chapter on Vision.  Which is, of course, all about what we see, or are capable of seeing...  And there were two passages I particularly wanted to share with you here:

"In my experience there has rarely been an absolute determination that "I should have done this rather than that" because whatever I have done shapes what I am at this particular point in time.  I might regret something I did in the past, but some form of life is inevitably born from it, something that would not otherwise exist.  This is the way of  creation."

and this..."God leads through the process of creation.  A force catches my attention, and I listen to what attracts me.  The vision is what calls, what touches us. It is an ongoing movement, a process.  It moves through us.  In order to receive the vision, we learn how to sit, watch, and receive.  It wants to be known...

The vision is a sense of what can be, and the visionary has a confidence that it will happen together with a willingness to commit everything to the idea.  Visions are a sense of possibility and never rigid scripts.  They grow from a person's longing and interactions with the world.  The person who serves the vision always lives for something other than the self.  Whenever personal gains are paramount, the vision withers."

I was trying to explain this to the young woman who partners me in my scene last night.  She was anxious, because there were some last minute changes preparing for the show (she got a new costume for the final scene, and someone had left the hot rollers on all night so they burned out, and  she had to create her hairstyle with a borrowed curling iron) and it threw her energy levels off.  I told her we were just channels for this entertainment that is being put on through us, and to just relax and let the scene happen through her.

Thinking about it now, maybe the play itself is a vision, a collective vision, born of Luce's writing, and Steven's directing, and Barbara's costumes, the theater's desire to entertain, and all of our delight in acting.  In such cases getting tangled in our personal desires for acclaim can only get in the way of the ultimate goal: we are a team, supporting one another, each willing to step in and cover for the other in the event of forgotten lines or missed cues.

Which is the heart of the joy I find when I do theater: it's that sense of community and support.  You don't get a lot of that working alone as an artist in a studio...

PS: A friend just sent me a marvelous quote that's so relevant to today's topic:

"When I speak about playing our role within a design, what I'm talking about is finding a way to walk in harmony with the events of the day, knowing that these occurrences--all of them, no matter what they are--are not meant to oppose you, but to compose you. That is, not to tear you apart, but to put you together.

-- from Neale Donald Walsch


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