Saturday, July 12, 2008

Discovering a New Talent

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We did two mediation roleplays in my Conflict Resolution practicum today. When I played the mediator, in the first roleplay, I was driven to push the complainants toward a solution...which was not at all what we were supposed to do. It was impossible to let go. However, when it came time for me to play a complainant in the second roleplay, I was utterly realistic.

I *embodied* the 15-year-old daughter, who was skipping school, which was my role. She was playing my mother. During the summer I turned 12, I think I've written here before, I tried an acting class at the New Canaan Y. The night of the performance, I could not remember my lines. It was a scene from "How to Succeed at Business without Really Trying" and it was a disaster.

That summer, I promised myself I'd never act again. As a leadership development facilitator and as a learner in my Masters program, there are a fair number of role plays that are required and I find that I love them most of the time. I love them because usually, when I'm in a role that doesn't make me feel pressured, I really disappear into the character.

At the same time, I'm pulling my emotions out of my own memories that I'm reminded of by the role. This must be what it's like for actors. It's really draining and energizing at once...draining because it requires an ultimate intensity and present-ness, and energizing because new ideas spring out of our mouths in the moment.

The daughter role-play experience inspired me to think about what it would be like to write my own scripts to act, or to write plays for others to act. I want to remain receptive to creativity in any format.

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