Tonight I held my first rehearsal for my final directing project. I am adapting Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale The Swineherd with some heavy Commedia Dell'arte influences. Or at least, that's the idea now. John told us in class today to hold on tightly and let go loosely. That really resonated with me because I think I might live by that principle outside of the theatre too, and I'm not sure if that is the secret to life or a source of major issues. It could apply to people, places, ideas, dreams...Whatever is present is real and we should dwell completely in that moment with energized commitment. If we get caught up in regrets about past moments or anxieties about future uncertainties, then we fail to focus any attention on the only time we can actually influence, the present. To live presently is to be fully engaged with the potential of every moment, to be intoxicated with the dynamics of reality. And in that place of presence, there is nothing else to do but hold on tightly, because everything that is is, and you are immersed in it. Tomorrow cannot be held; Yesterday is the vapor of memory.
And once we have grasped what it is to cling to the present, then we must be ready to unclench our fist and let it go again at any moment.
Freelance theatre critic with Santa Barbara Independent.
Critic Fellow of Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's National Critics Institute.
Founding member of Ratatat Theatre Group, sometime-dramaturge with Lit Moon Theatre Company, graduate of Westmont College with a degree in Dramatic Literature.