This week I read, Art and Fear Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland, which reminds me of many of the ideas in the book, A Practical Handbook for the Actor by Melissa Bruder etc. Both books discuss the need to let go of the idea of being talented, something we can't control, and focus on what we can control as artists, doing work.
Last week I had a great conversation with a professor of philosophy. And in the conversation, as we talked about knowing and how we come to know things in this world, I shared with her about my work and the things I was passionate about, as well as the struggle to create. And she encouraged me with the simple idea to just do the work that I'm passionate about and allow that to inform me and help me know more about what it means to be an actor. It seems so simple and yet I struggle to do this very thing. To do the work, and work on the craft of acting and let the other pieces go.
And she's right. Just as the two books I mentioned are right. And the reminders of these themes over the last two weeks, have been encouraging reminders to refocus on what I can control.
Because the doing does inform my understanding of what it means to create. And when I can let go of the idea of my work being dependent on 'talent', I can begin to serve the work. Then it becomes about showing up and doing it and making the art and practicing it again and again and again. And in the process of making art there is freedom to focus on the process and not on the things I can't control - success, talent, etc.
All of which reminded me of this great quote from Ira Glass - a reminder to make art. And to keep at it even when you aren't making the art you want to be making. Because you will get there, in time. So here's to making art, on the good days and the bad and all the days in-between.