The other evening I watched Lost in Translation. It was the second time I had watched it. I knew that I had seen it previously because I felt that strange sense of deja vu you get when you’ve half-watched a movie once before in your childhood. When I was a kid, I was no doubt bored by the movie. I often wafted in and out of the living room when the family was watching a “slice of life” (our euphemism for slow movies that don’t have a typical/obvious story structure). It’s funny to think about how I love these “slow” movies now.
Why did those characters do what they did? I mean, did they actually accomplish anything by the world’s standards? Charlotte still hasn’t found her direction, right? What problems did Bob solve?
When family and relatives ask me about why I’m doing the Deep Dive and how it will directly impact my unstable performance career, I know they have my best interests at heart. They want to hear some evidence that there is solid ground somewhere beneath the quick sand that is my professional life. In the past I have furrowed my brows and tried to come up with some solid explanations. I mumbled something about my one-woman show, how I could bring it anywhere! Or how improvisation would be helpful in my acting career. Both true facts. But facts are like skeletons. Don’t you really want the meat and bones?
Really, why a one-woman show? Why improv? Why Interactive?
I have been reading a book about the psychology of highly sensitive people by Elaine Aron. She postulates that we are always in the process of finding wholeness— a process that never ends. Whenever I sense a gaping lack in myself, I always seek to balance it. If I sense that I’m being excessively fearful, I force myself to do whatever I’m scared to do. A shy person decides to do stand up comedy. An outgoing person seeks to understand themselves better through self-reflective journaling. We seek to be balanced, or whole.
If you’re lucky, you’ve reached a point in your life where you can hear your inner voice. For some of us it’s pretty faint. Years of formal education and social conditioning can make you doubt and suppress it. It’s the voice that knows what you’re supposed to do, whether you like it or not. When you follow it, it allows you to uncover your own path to wholeness. In Self Reliance, Emerson says it allows you to uncover your own genius.
Right now, moving to a new state, doing interactive work with the Deep Dive, doing improvisation, and doing a one-woman show are striking balance in my life. Being here makes me focused and strong. Doing this work pushes me in the direction I’m supposed to go.
What do you need to do to achieve balance in your life?
In Lost in Translation, Bob and Charlotte don’t sleep together, they don’t break up with their significant others. There is no obvious accomplishment or change. They are walking their path, finding their way to wholeness. Our converging and diverging paths don’t always make sense to the outside world, but as long as you are listening to that voice, keep on walking.