Friday, May 1, 2015

Now Is the Time by Scott Farthing (2015)

Now is the Time.

Hurry up. Multitask.
Rush. Complete. Accomplish. Email. Text. Instant. Instagram. Instant
Message. Alarms, Finish, Create, Start, Run, Faster, Express, Espresso, Coffee, Snap, Start
over. Collapse. Stress. Wake up and do it again. Obsess. Obsessive. Compulsive. Impulsive.

The 21st Century lifestyle.

"Owe no one anything except to love each other"

We find ourselves caught in the never ending cycle of a constant barrage of both information
and entertainment. A bouncy house of anxiety, excitement, speed, and rush. We have been
taught that our sense of worth is based on the amount that we can accomplish with as little
fuss as possible.

"You Shall not commit adultery. You Shall not murder" Rather you should love your
neighbor as yourself."

Who has time to love your neighbor? Who has time to love your self? I have to get to Irvine by
7:00, Long Beach at 8:00, Thousand Oaks by 10:30 PM, and then pick up the dogs at
midnight, before I start it all over again. Who has time for adultery or even murder?

Or Perhaps...

Who has time to love your neighbor? Who has time to love your self? I am too busy worrying
about my child/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/parent/job OR FINDING
husband/wife/girlfriend/job/career/major.

Or Perhaps...

I am too busy worry about that thing I should have saidor not said, or made the other decision,
I need to make up my mind, I need to move ahead, I need to have a plan, I made the wrong
plan, what am I doing??

Sanford Meisner was one of the premier acting teachers of the 20th century developing what
is called "The Meisner Technique" of acting. Before we can understand Mr. Meisner, we need
to know that his theories were reactions to a particular style of acting that was termed
"METHOD" acting....the Deniro/James Dean/Brando school of thought where you become the
other character, you thinking like they do, you have their ticks, their thoughts, their movement.
Method acting involves moving INWARD and leaves little time or space for another actor or
external situations. Whereas the Meisner technique is driven by The motivating force of
awareness, listening, to what the situation or the actor is REALLY saying, then (this is the
hard part) receiving and listening in a multisensory away, and then reacting. Sounds simple?
The ability to focus only on what one situation or person is telling you is one of the hardest
skills to develop as an actor. The art of listening.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Vocal Pedagogy, or rather the study of the art of teaching voice, started to evolve in the mid
20th century with a man named Cornelius Reed and then furthered by William Venard and
Esther Andreas (oddly enough one of Mary Maude's voice teachers) when they started to
introduce the idea that th true art of singing involves the acknowledgement that one has an
inability to hear your own voice and that every singer needs to develope a new way of
listening.

What you think your voice sounds like is completely different then what we on the outside of
your body hears. This explains why when you hear yourself on a recording EVERYONE
reacts Therefore every singer develops a relationship of trust with their voice teacher or voice coach
to to be honest and to tell them what they hear. The teacher/coach has to listen to every
nuance and color in a voice and then be able to figure out what is happening and tell the
singer how to fix it. This goes beyone the mechanics of the voice and starts into the
mechanics of the human being. The teacher has to be aware that moods, outside situations,
sickness, medications, fatigue all come into play and effects, drastically how each person can
sing.

A new way of listening.

Hurry up Multitask.Rush, Complete. Accomplish. Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.

Wake up (the scripture says)

How often do we have a conversation with someone where we don't actually hear what they
are saying, but rather focus on what our reaction is going to be?

How often do we ask how someone is doing? But don't bother to really listen to the answer or
as they say in acting "listen deeply" to the answer.

How often do we not hear ourselves as we talk? We communicate to each other with words
that we don't mean or with meanings we don't say. We pretend to talk or listen but really are
thinking about something else. How can we not do this? There are so many things to do! We
work on a 24 hour clock that has to be filled with accomplishment throughout all of those 24
hours! Time is short and our lists are tall.

Now is the Time. Wake Up

Love your neighbor as yourself.

We have been called as Christians to love. Not just our neighbor but ourselves. As one of my
favorite performers RuPaul says, "if you can't love your self, how are you gonna love
someone else?

In order to love, we have to wake up and listen We have to be able to understand and
empathise and sympathise. We learn to be active listeners and listening speakers. Hearing
ourselves in a new way. Listening to each other with new ears. Ears that are awake!

Now is the time.

Listening and loving are "now only" actions. Every chance and every interaction are important
because they never happen again. I am reminded by a poem by one of my favorite authors
Sara Teasdale from her work entitled "Child, Child"

Child, child, love while you canThe voice and the eyes and the soul of a man,Never fear though it break your heart Out of the wound new joy will start;Only love proudly and gladly and wellThough love be heaven or love be hell.Child, child, love while you may,For life is short as a happy day;Never fear the thing you feel Only by love is life made real;Love, for the deadly sins are seven,Only through love will you enter heaven.

Be present with those you love. Listen. Listen completely. Listen to them and listen to
yourself. Loving and listening are completely dependent on each other. If you love someone,
if you seek to live in the image of God, a God that listens deeply to each of us, then we are
called to listen, deeply, to others.

Which means slowing down. Letting our minds focus and be present and fully loving. 

Now

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