Sunday, 5 July 2015

I practice acting and anti-acting as a whole-self improvising meditation - living completely inside the experience while simultaneously communicating it to others.

I trained as a classical theatre actor, learning to work on the role through analysis and fragmentation. I came to the school with a facile mimetic talent for creating instant characterisations; but the objective training based on duality of mind and body was unable to touch these abilities which came from an unknown place. When I finished acting school, I was none the wiser about who I was or how I did what I did, and so I threw out everything I had been taught, returned to my senses and embarked on a whole-self journey into the unknown .

I was fortunate to find a creative home with an innovative and internationally-renowned repertory theatre company where I had the freedom to be the artist of the self I felt I needed to be. I began using myself as a laboratory, attempting to create a seamless connection with the words on the page and the sense of living flexibility and spontaneity which I felt in life. My time with the company became a lengthy physio-philosophical process which included peeling away layers of inhibitions and conditioning in order to put my whole self onstage; showing everything without a safety net. I discovered that knowing myself was about learning to un-know the past in order to live in an embodied and sensory-based present awareness. My self-imposed apprenticeship with the company continued for something like twenty-five years until eventually I moved onto the next level of performance as a creative improviser. I moved to Egypt where I had lived for before for brief periods, and began delving deeply into a study of the holistic processes which had been part of my intuitive development in theatre - sensory awareness, meditation, yoga, superconscious states, self-entrancement, NLP, Tibetan traditions of mental development, Somatics and Sufism.

Every so often, I hope to be posting about the ongoing process; and since I consider the body to be the key to everything, it will be quite practical and hopefully useful to the reader.