PSYCH OUT: Different Strokes II
Psych Out is an ongoing series on the topic of fear & creativity. It was created in response to many of our readers expressing that fear often blocked their creative flow.
MATTHEW ALEXANDER is a stage and television actor who trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
Acting is a ridiculous profession. Roughly 90% of all actors in the UK are out of work at any one time.
So, when cold hard facts like this threaten to steer me towards a mental breakdown, there are some things I like to do:
1. CLEAR YOUR HEAD – whether that be going for a long run, calling someone you can ramble nonsensical frustration to or just sitting somewhere quiet and focusing on your breathing. It’s different for anyone but whatever it is, show that bad juju the door.
2. RETURN TO YOUR CRAFT – do something creative just for you. Not to get a job, not to impress anyone; just do it because you enjoy the way those words feel in your mouth when you speak them, the way they pour from your pen when you write them, bash out some blues, jazz, or prog-rock on whatever it is you play. Take yourself back to the first and core reason you do what you do: because YOU love it. Inspire yourself again.
3. MAKE A PLAN – In a freelance industry it’s important to have a plan. Who to write to for a potential acting gig, scheduled time to practice your craft, fitting in all your other jobs around the plan. Without a plan you’re just waiting for a career to welcome you in to its cosy log cabin and it ain’t gonna happen.
4. AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN EVERYONE IS A SNOW LEOPARD – Hunter S. Thompson.
I’ll leave you to make what you will of that one.
ANNA CARNESECCHI is a student in Human Rights and Ethics of International Cooperations.
When I find myself in times of trouble, alone, with fears, doubts, frustration and anger, I simply pray to God. The first time I had to face loneliness and troubles, my mother’s prayers came to my lips. I’ve never forgot that restorative feeling. What’s going to happen when you pray is not only about a change in your own perception, but also it’s like if an order is restored and things go in the right place again. Since then, praying became for me an everyday practice I try to not neglect, because everyday life makes the whole picture of life itself.
I possibly pray plunging my thoughts and my fears and raising my pleas in nature. Being in nature the prayer pours out in two kinds: it’s not only about pleas that purify your mind and your heart, it is also about hymns, praise for creation. When you are in touch with the Creator, walking or sitting in nature, you also direct your tired glance on tiny creatures and you observe how combative and keen they are in their struggle with life. You cannot ignore the buds and the green, on the grey of the hearth, too. You cannot ignore the signs of the nature and the messages of hope, like the wind that dries your cheeks and the sun that peers out the clouds in a stormy day and warms you.
What I am saying has nothing to do with any “new age” philosophy, or a new perception of life, it is about the interaction with the Almighty and His creatures.
Remedial sophistry: Esse est percipi, perhaps? For should our world be thought into being, how could it be anything other than what we think of it? In such totalising, liberating abstraction, self-doubt is self-immolation; every act inexorably one of creation. We are become painters, perception on our palette, and all can be golden.
Published: December 10th, 2013