I admit that I have a problem with the way this word is used. People use it mostly to mean “pretending”, and that’s not the same thing. True, there are people who say they’re acting when they’re actually pretending, so that explains it. To act means to carry out actions. In theater these actions can include shouting or laughing or falling to the floor with the appropriate intensity and intention so that they will be organic within the whole. When we’re not 100% committed to acting, that is, to carrying out the action surrendering to it, then, yes, we are pretending and the action is just an empty shell. Nature never pretends, it does what it does. So pretending is being out of tune with nature, and this in turn means being disconnected from our essence. When I do what I do, am I acting or am I pretending?
Research is an important part of creating a piece. It will give the artist knowledge of the associations and implications of different aspects of the piece and will inform their choices in the creation process. Research is about opening possibilities. Creation is about choosing from these possibilities. At some point there has to be a transition from one stage of the work to the another. What do we need to know to do what we want to do? How much is enough? When are we ready to go into action?
A cue is a sign to tells us that it’s the moment to carry out a specific action during the performance. The performer or technician what they have to do and they wait for the sign, for the right moment, so that it fits appropriately with the whole. At different moments in life, circumstances combine in different ways. It might be that at a certain moment in time, the circumstances are not favourable for something that we want to launch. Instead of pushing through, we could also hold on and wait for life to give us the cue.
In its most traditional sense, rehearsing means repeating something over and over until it’s performed in accordance to a certain intention. It implies acquiring an action pattern. When in life we repeat certain behaviours, it’s as if we had rehearsed them so that they happen automatically. It can be difficult to shake them off and do something new. However, new actions can also be rehearsed until they become second nature and are ready to be performed for real.
Performing means carrying out an action. I use the word performer to refer jointly to musicians, dancers, actors and all live artists. Their work is an action and not a physical piece and only if recorded will it leave a physical trace. The object can disappear, but the lived experience can’t. Possessions can increase and decrease throughout one’s life, but experiences only increase and increase and increase. Aiming our attention at this aspect of our life can be a secure investment in satisfaction.
We are making choices every instant. We may be aware of it and choose consciously or merely choose by default and not use our creativity. Just like a performance is shaped by every single member of the team, every single thing one does contributes to what happens in life. You can act by default or you can take responsibility in your role as co-creator, you choose.