In which I go on stage to be funny and instead I weep
Once, some time ago, we were discussing the Tao of Pooh.
It seems that each and every one of us can be categorized into one of the characters. Whether we be the glass half empty Eeyore, the wise all knowing Owl, the bossy Rabbit or, according to the Tao of Pooh, the uncarved block that is Winnie the Pooh.
So, once some time ago, we were discussing the Tao of Pooh and assigning each other to the various characters.
I, so I was told, was a Piglet masquerading as a Tigger.
This sounds ridiculous as I write it here but the past three weeks have done nothing if not confirm this fact. I am a small frightened person who tries to play big bouncy and brave. I think it was, has been, helpful to me in my life but here on stage it has not been and I know that in my heart a big reason I came here was because I was looking for a process to help eliminate this archaic means of survival. To learn how to be fragile, that I can be fragile, that it is okay for me not to be so strong all the time. That I try to be strong all the time and I don’t let people see me, the beautiful quite often not perfect me…
Today, we continued with the Emergency Clown exercise.
The exercise goes thusly, the disastrous clown walks on stage and begins to describe examples of when they were awful. Generally this leads to ridiculous and hilarious reenactments of said flops and the disastrous clown onstage feels for the first time the laughs coming their way.
So imagine this, I get up, nose on, ready big breath turn face them see them and say “I’m not funny” and then I think maybe I stuttered around some things for a minute maybe two and then this strange thing occurred where my eyes kind of burst and for the rest of my not very short time up there I wept. There were smiles yes and there were laughs but I wept. I think I’m supposed to feel good about this. That there had been a wall between me and the room before. That people loved me for the first time today. Not in real life but on the stage. Real life has nothing to do with what we do on the stage. If we play with feelings it will not work. If I shout angrily it will not work, everyone will feel the negative energy and pull away, instead it has to be for the fun of shouting angrily.
Dear Teacher is clear that this is not a space for personal problems that this is not the time for therapy nor is he qualified or interested in being a therapist but what happens in this room what happened to me today and others in the class seems to reach right into the soul past who we try to be right to the very heart of who we are. Like it or not, we are revealed and so I wept, real floods of tears running down my face. One drop even made it down to my elbow, I remember that. It was the only way, I could not speak with pleasure I could not have fun but I was not going to risk another conflict like before.
The more I try to relate what happened the longer and more confused I get. I think, maybe for now, I need to let it stew a bit longer. I do remember that the reception was nothing but positive and that even before it was over I could feel that something important had happened. I may not get it yet but it has happened.
I’ll leave you with the comments I got from Phillip that were written down by a friend and fellow flopper.
wanting it so much is horrible
better to stop with the shitty will
better to be totally lost than hide yourself behind something horrible
now in this lost state you will learn something
so cry cry cry all the days
it’s not so bad
not so bad when we lose something
your problem is you want to be good
you don’t want to discover it’s bad
so never you should try to push
destroy the good actor because nobody is good