You all have either heard it from Cay or have been the unfortunate if likely deserving recipient of the comment, “Guys, the least effective use of me is as a police woman,” meaning, you didn’t do the work, you know you didn’t do the work, and she’s calling you out. Blech.
But what about Cay at her most effective? After observing Tuesday’s day class, I don’t wonder what that looks like, and I don’t need a pithy quote to summarize or remember it by. And it also happens to make perfectly logical law-of-creativity sense: When even one person dares to really bring their fullest selves to the rehearsal–to dare to fail, to reveal themselves, to admit their truth and express it, they tacitly give others permission to do the same, and the chain reaction to that is a marvelous thing to behold. When a whole classroom does it? In Cay’s words, and I agree with her, they were on fire.
It’s so easy to take our smallness as a matter of course. To make it precious even–our personal struggles, the things we have to overcome in our work in order to deliver. But our big-ness? Our power? I am reminded of a quote by Marianne Williamson here: “We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” The best actors I think either instinctively get this or have consciously worked to internalize it. In class Cay referenced what a friend once observed about Meryl Streep on stage: “onstage, she eats the space.” She steps into her power, she owns it, she claims it. Because this isn’t just about liberating your fellow classmates to do their best work (although obviously in the studio’s context this is vital)–it applies to what we bring to the world when we work. You have no idea what kind of creative spark you may have just ignited in audience member number thirty-seven, film viewer number seventeen who just came more alive because you came more alive. And the world needs more people who come alive.
When we bring our A game, Cay is at her finest. When we do our bravest work, she does her best work, and we get the most out of her. It’s a symbiotic growth process and everybody wins. So as a PSA, please know that you, yes you, have what it takes to fire it up. Your light is a great service to the world.
So by all means, bring it.