Opinion Paper on Acting: Concentration

For an acting class assignment, we have to write an opinion paper for each chapter of the book, Acting: The First Six Lessons by Richard Boleslawski. These are my thoughts after reading the first chapter. I will update my assignment on my blog weekly for the remaining chapters.

The First Lesson: Concentration

“Theater is a great mystery… the dream of perfection and the dream of eternal.”

To dedicate one life to the art of theatre is to give one mind body and soul to their artistry. Creation seems from within once the actor masters his instrument. Only then, he can be one with the universe. That leaves an everlasting impression with the audience, for he has told the story of his soul through the portrayal of his role.

There are certain actors that I remember till today although I had watched them enact in plays from years ago. One is the phantom in the Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas (2011). When he crawled on stage towards the ending after losing the love of his life, something deep resonated with me.

The story of his life penetrated my pores and moved me into tears. Tears of pity, not for myself, but for the pain I had inflicted on others due to my callousness. When the sequel of the phantom was released, I bought the tickets to Love Never Dies immediately. The power of the actor made me do things that I would otherwise not have the courage to do in my life. He gave me the strength to believe in myself and mend my errors. . That’s the mystery of theatre. You never know how watching a play could move you to do unimaginable things.

Acting is not about exaggeration, or being dramatic to a something that is not actually there. In fact, it is the total opposite. It is about real life. The actors are enacting scripts we play out daily in our encounters with others. They give us answers and clues on what we should do next. They help our subconsciousness mend and repair itself. They help us to grow and become greater than who we are.

“Acting is the life of the human soul receiving it’s birth through art.”

I believe that performance art has this element of creation through the act of live performance. Unfortunately, the modern media and digital effects of movies and MTV’s had reduced real acting into a series of cuts and digital enhancements that the realism is lost. Now, the trend is towards a flaky pop culture that is temporary and fleeting like a one night stand with no sustainable long-term value and easily forgettable after a drunk night out.

To create something lasting, impactful and soulful requires hard work and dedication to the craft and as the acting bible says, “to possess talent is to possess an art.”

It requires one to not have an ego or do it for self-gratification but more so on giving one up to their craft with an intensity that requires full concentration on their “part.”

I don’t think theatre is for everyone neither it is play or fun. In fact, I believe it requires sacrifice and the surrender of one’s soul. It requires one to submit to their craft, at the expense of everything else that may come in the way of their artistry. It may mean long hours, sleepless nights and forsake Christmas or time with loved ones.

Acting requires ultimate surrender and that is what separates the greats from the good.

I am the creator

Over the years as a writer, I had wrote under different pen names. Some, I refuse to take credit for, some, that I had decided to take credit for. It is like having a bunch of children and choosing which kids you want to acknowledge, although you have full knowledge that it is your kid, but in a moment of passion, you did something foolish, and you hated yourself for it.

But eventually, those creations that I did not take credit for will eventually come to haunt me. They creep into my dreams at night, knocking and banging my doors down. They run and tear my clothes off. They want me tell them, I am their creator. I am their mother. Their originator. I am the monster that created these little monsterous beings that have taken a life of their own.

 
They want to be part of me, the originator.
They want to be accepted, belonged, cherished, loved.
They want to be me.
 
My creations cling to my skin like
parasites that feed off my flesh.
 
They scream my name,
as they rip the blue skies apart.
 
They shake the earth,
inducing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
 
Take me as your child, they chant together in a strange melody.
No more, no more. I declined.
They whimper and howl as they shred yet another rainbow.
 
One by one, I pushed my children into the abyss.
A blank canvas blanketed the universe in a submerged sphere.
 
The dark skies had no stars.
The plains had no animals.
 
I am drowning, yet breathing.
I am the creator.
No one can tell me otherwise.

 

The Vestal Virgins

During the Roman Times, a group of women were appointed the Vestal Virgins. From a tender young age of ten years old, these girls would spend the next ten years under the tutorluge of a Vestal, followed by ten years of service to protect the sacred flame in the temple, and finally, the remaining ten years of their to tutor their next protege. At any point of time, there were eighteen women in the service, and six of them attended to the flame in the temple.

They effectively gave their lives to the community to protect the flame in the temple, which was the symbol of the Roman state. The flame was not allowed to go out as it was the central place where the city drew their fire to light their houses. If the flame went out, the Vestal would be punished for her failure to conduct her duties.

The Vestals were bestowed with the honour of opening the Olympic games, ceremonies and buidlings. They had the ability to pardon prisioners and were influential in the community. They had to take a vow of chasity to be of service to the community. They were not allowed to marry till they reach forty years old and given a pension for life.

During times of political crisis, these Vestals were used as scape goats and buried alive.

….

In today’s society, we no longer have Vestal Virgins. The tradition of protecting the flame lives on with the Olympic flame torch bearer who opens the ceremony. The keystone of being a person who protects and stands for the community spirit is no other than the torch bearer.

I have found my vestal duties to the dance community by managing the dance social calender.

I have a vision that the world will dance together in peace and harmony.

This is the dedication of my life in service to the community.

My Non Physical Self

Last November, I did a three-day seminar (Advanced Mission Control) about legacy planning. It was an inquiry into what we will leave behind on earth beyond our non-physical self. We did an exercise whereby we had to visualise what would our non-physical self in 100 years time say to us.

I imagined I was floating in outer space. Earth has been destroyed due to a nuclear holocaust. It was a barren grey planet. I closed my eyes and regretted every action I did not take while I was alive to prevent this catastrophe.

I opened my eyes. A young boy appeared in front of me. We were both floating in outer space with the absence of gravity. He held my hand and said, “Look.” I turned to look at the planet Earth. The seas were blue and the land was green. It was magical.

“Your books had prevented a nuclear holocaust.” He said to me. “Thank you for writing The Scarlet Throne. The world is dancing together in harmony in freedom and peace.”

INTENTION -> ACTIONS -> RESULTS

I have reached a definite conclusion to focus on living in the now, then to think of a future that may or may not exist for we don’t know when we will die. But that does not discount planning towards a reality that could magnify outwards based on one small ripple action, daily actions, annual actions, that would amount to a great creation. The sacrifice is our self-gratification, but the greatest rewards are not experienced by ourselves but by the entire universe.
 
INTENTION -> ACTIONS -> RESULTS
 

Feature on Elon Musk

Elon Musk could have retired on $180 million with the sale of PayPal but he built a billion dollar company with SpaceX and Tesla with the intention to colonise Mars. He has married and divorced three times and five kids via IVF. He truly is unstoppable and my inspiration when times are bleak in my life.

To dream that one day my books will be made into movies based on the blueprint of my short film doesn’t seem far-fetched if humans could colonisé mars with relaunchable rockets.

I believe that colonizing outer space has the potential to bring unified peace and a central world government on earth to end hunger and wars. The discovery of an alien race could bring a new level of spiritual awareness. I am exploring on these themes in my new book series.

The true nature of entrepreneurship is to serve humanity by introducing efficient processes to achieve equilibrium in supply and demand. By reducing wastage of resources, improving technological processes, modes of distribution channels, resources could be allocated to where it is needed most.

The capitalist then decides how to best use profits to reallocate into foundations and non-profit organisations. Or, start another legacy level project. After all, it would be nearly impossible to spend ones billion dollar wealth in their lifetime.

Releases for 2018

I am delayed on my creative projects due to various commitments. I am working on new releases in this order:
1. Release of Purple Python Hardcover Book on Amazon
2. Filming of Scarlet Queen YouTube (52 episodes a year)
3. Release of The Scarlet Throne Short Story on Amazon
4. Photo Gallery page on my websites of my past and current photography work as a model and digital artist.
5. Editing of all three books in the HOURGLASS Series to be compiled and released as a trilogy on Amazon

Accomplishments to date:
– 3 published books on the HOURGLASS Series on Amazon
– 3.5 million views on YouTube for THE SCARLET QUEEN

In Progress:
2018 – Solo Short Film based on THE SCARLET QUEEN to be pitched as a feature-length movie.
2018 – 2024 – Trilogy based on THE SCARLET THRONE short story to be made into a fantasy series.

The Limitless Nature of Being Human

lkigai

The limitless nature of being human is that we can define “who we are” on a daily basis. We are not a fixed object, like a chair, but a continuously evolving being that moves fluidly from one place to the next. In fact, when we dance it is a movement from point A to point B. When we speak, it is the completion of the start of one word to formulate a sentence. However, when we do not complete our dance or sentences, we will be stuck in a stage called the “midpoint.” At the midpoint, it is a state of limbo where nothing happens and we are left waiting. But there is a start and end to every song and dance. When the dance has to stop halfway, we could say, “thank you, I need a break.” In relationships, sometimes when two people are not on the same paths, they will diverge, and maybe, meet again in the next intersection.
 
As it is with being human, there are no limitations except for the limitation we impose on ourselves based on pre-existing constructs. A friend asked what should he do for a living if he loses his job, he won’t be able to meet his basic needs. I said, well, it depends on what you eat. It is entirely possible to survive on bread and milk to tide through tough times. It is possible to sleep on a sofa. It is possible to find another job, do something else that may generate more revenue than the one he existing does. Most entrepreneurs are in debt, they don’t own what they have, they are highly leveraged on loans. In the movie, The Greatest Showman (2017), the entrepreneur loses his home as collateral the moment his theatre got burnt down. But it is the highest risks that pay off the highest rewards.
 
In the new book by Nicholas Taleb, Skin In The Game (2018), “What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing.” The state of being antifragile is the state of willing to lose it all to gain it all. And even at the state of losing everything, the person is still left pretty much untouched. The illusion of material needs and wants clouds the state of antifragile, which is related to as the zanshin or lkigai state.
 
At the stage of mastery over oneself, it is entirely possible to be limitless. As there is no existence of the emotion of fear, or loss, or any forces that could stop an individual from believing in an impossible dream for it could not be actually defined in the current context. We live day by day in a context of content, stability and comfort. But to step out of the paradigm and do something great or magnificent requires one to put skin in the game and redefine their reality. They may or may not emerge victoriously, but it is the act of trying that is the difference between extraordinary or ordinary. It is not the mundane excuses of life, “I have a toothache” that stops us from achieving our goals but it is sheer will, determination and grit that gets us to the end of the journey.
 
Greatness is for the few who choose to be limitless, where else, limitations are self-imposed by mediocracy. The state of lkigai is self-defined and from within. The need for external validation or approval is only a “mission” or “vocation”. The true limitless self-emerges the moment we transcend and go beyond the limits of being reasonable. At the centre of the universe, one can be an author and achieve mastery over their identity, language and reality.

 

Confessions of an Artist

I have to confess – I had been working to the point of exhaustion. I have been working till I could not move when I hit the bed, I am dead weight. When I hit my head on a car leather seat, I doze off immediately. I have pushed myself way too hard, in a short time. I forget to eat my meals, I have lost too much weight. Sometimes I don’t even remember my keys, or to order groceries. Sometimes I even forget my name, till someone calls my name. I have been spending ridiculous amounts of hours in front of the mirror to perfect my dance moves. Some days, I am zombified like a walking undead. Emotions don’t seem to penetrate me, they brush past me like the wind.

I am aiming to achieve total mastery over my mind body and soul, but that stage is transient and not permanent. Sometimes I am in the flow, sometimes I am off the grid. Sometimes my mood swings get the better of me. I am, after all, a woman. Sometimes the past attacks my mind, and it fills me with anxiety that my pores are producing cold sweat. Whenever I encounter fights in public, I am filled with dread and an urge to run as far away as possible for safety.

I am fallible. I am human. I make mistakes. I am not perfect. I am not everything, neither, can I be anything.

I am doing all these for an impossible dream, but to dream is better than to not dream. To live in hope is better to live in monotony.

I am way past overdue to go to New York for an extended period of time for the final marathon stretch of my short film production.

My fan funding milestone is not on target as I had been distracted.

I will be self-funding on a low budget for this dream to materialise.

I could almost taste my dreams now.

“It has been my dream from the start of filming The Scarlet Queen in 2012, to eventually make it into a movie to be broadcast to the world. I was limited by resources hence I uploaded a video on YouTube every week. In my dreams and visions, all I see is the grand design of the movie I want to make based on what I had created for The Scarlet Queen. Now, there are over two hundred videos with thousands of minions worldwide. I am dedicating my life in 2018 to turn The Scarlet Queen into a 20-minute short film by elevating my artistry through dancing 20 hours a week, and attending acting classes, working out and keeping to a strict diet. I had lost 7 kg in 2017 in preparation for this role. Your support for my artistry makes it possible for me to pursue my dreams.”

https://www.patreon.com/scarletqueen

A new year conversation with my step grandmother

“You may think that I am an elderly woman but when I was a young woman, I used to dance and go out late at night. Men would wait outside my office in big flashy cars to have meals with me. I received countless of marriage proposals. But I declined every single one of them. If I got married, I would have to give up my job and raise kids. Instead, I chose to remain single and ensure my siblings could finish university.

By choosing the option to remain single, I applied for my own flat and prepared to enter an old folks home. I knew no one will look after me in my old age but that was the choice I chose to support my family.

My found my happiness and fortune when I met your grandfather. I married your grandfather when I was 50 years old. Young love comes and goes like the changing songs on the radio. When you find someone you want to spend the remaining years of your life with, it’s a companionship love that grows with time.

Love is like a garden. When you plant a seed and water it daily, the tree grows and bears fruit. Children is a natural by product of blossoming love. When the tree of love no longer bears fruit, it stands through the changing seasons. When love from a relationship magnifies outwards, the world will enjoy its radiance.

My dear granddaughter, my hope is that you will find a companion in your life to experience love, happiness and fulfillment.”