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Thinking 'bout: thinking

“Act before you think - your instincts are more honest than your thoughts.” - Sanford Meisner

Hello. This blog is brought to you by years of thinking and just a dash o' doing.

Thinking is my favorite thing to do. In my brain, there's no such thing as overthinking. Whole love stories, lives, novels, plays, pirate battles, dance numbers, football games, cartoons, eventualities, DnD campaigns, years worth of resolutions, auditions, PowerPoint presentations, volumes of strongly worded criticism of Andrew Lloyd Weber and his body of work, schedules, emails, video games, apologies, eulogies, snow days, improv scenes, accusations, podcasts, trips, excuses, poems, acceptance speeches, cards, imaginary car rides, recipes for crowd pleasing appetizers, parodies, call backs, letters to the editor, sketches, skat songs, legal documents, college essays, light designs for community theater productions, holiday parties, musicals, routines, proposals, PROMposals, adventures, and even blogs have played out entirely in my head...and nowhere else.

Lately, I've been thinking about how many of the things listed above would exist in some form if I just did one thing. Just took one step. Just acted, just a little bit.

The common thread with all of those things is that I was worried about doing them "right." I see this a lot while coaching students with writing, and I see it a lot in beginning improvisers. People hesitate and don't move because they might be wrong. What they produce won't be entirely what it should be, or follow the rules.

We all have to go through this stage-- this panic that what we're doing will be called out for not following some textbook, or we might disappoint our mentors. It's learning. But some people are really good at getting out of this stage--fast. It's because they don't overthink it. They just do something.

The rules don't matter-- the first word does. Or any initiation to the scene at all. Or lacing up your shoes. Or looking up that yoga video. Or cornering someone and making them listen to you while you unload about how Andrew Lloyd Weber only writes musicals based on three repetitive melody strands and some source material from the Public Domain, such as the Bible, an opera, or poems about cats.

But heck. ALW wrote those musicals. And those same three repetitive melodies are stuck in our heads, not his.

So, I've been thinking 'bout thinking.

I think I'll think about it less.

#thinking #improv #acting