Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Feed Your Soul

In my undergrad days at UNLV, I had a brilliant and wonderful theatre teacher named Davey Marlin-Jones. 

He was our Yoda.  He even looked a little like Yoda, although much, much taller and he wasn’t green.  He was a playwright and magician and theatre was magic to him because all of life was magic to him.  Often, we’d be waiting for him in the dingy Paul Harris Theatre, this little 99 seat venue on campus, and he’d burst in through the doors, stride down to the front, take off his hat in a flourish as if he was going to make it disappear and then dazzle us with some theatrical insight. 

He was also great quips which we would later coin as “Davey-isms”.  Such as:

“What’s the difference between what your character expects and what they actually get?” – his note for when we were anticipating in the scene
“Drive it like a Maserati” – this was his note for energy and speed
“You could drive a semi through those pauses” –another note for picking up cues
“You were a little less late that time” – that note is obvious

What I loved about Davey, though, was the personal connections.  He was deeply invested in his students and their growth as artists.  Whenever I would meet with him in his office, he would as me, “what are you doing to feed your soul?”

It’s the best question ever.  One that I ask myself regularly.

What does it mean?

In an earlier post I talked about Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST WAY and the two basic tools: the morning pages and the artist date.

The artist date is her version of feeding your soul.  It’s the way that we take care of our inner child, our internal artist, that core inside of us that fills us with passion and inspiration and the need to create and share with others.  Our soul drives our creative spirit and must be fed.

It means going to see a play, going to old b&w film, going for a walk in the woods, feeding the ducks, going to a museum, listening to an opera, or any other endeavor that inspires you.  When I lived in NYC, my company card let me in to most of the major museums and MoMA was right down the street, so I would literally spend a lunch hour eating up the modern art.  Or I would browse a bookstore, pick up a poetry book and read it for thirty minutes. 

The artist date is more than just watching MAD MEN (although I do love to watch that show).  It is more than just reading Variety or the NY Times.  It doesn’t have to be work-related.  You don’t always have to watch dance shows if you’re a dancer.  Some of my plays have been inspired by paintings that have nothing to do with a play.  Whatever moves you feeds your soul.  You don’t have to always look for the quantifiable results. 

So go out and feed your soul.  Take care of your self.  

You deserve it.

1 comment:

Bradetta said...

I LOVE the Artist Date! Great idea and thanks for the reminder!