Written by Mark Ruhala

Establishing connections to something bigger than you from which to create...

Performances that come from “out there”, that are intuitively formed, unconsciously seeded and developed, driven by a larger force than the individual, connected to transcendent aspects of Life, are rich and alive performances. This process co-creates an honest and organic path toward the end performance. It requires setting one’s surface self, or ego personality, albeit as divine as that is, aside. It requires opening one’s self, the heart, mind, and body, to receiving information and impulses. It requires deep trust, like a Zen master. It requires allowing.

There are infinite ways of constructing or developing a performance. Each individual path can be as unique as the inherited fingerprint. Although rarely is there such diversity because most performers learn a technique or method while training and then follow that course. Even if the performer alters their path a little it still remains far from unique. This is natural. This makes sense. My point here is that infinite possibilities are available: there are no right and wrong ways to get to your performance.

That said, each method will emphasize certain characteristics and actions. While performers learn to perform, they can evaluate and shift their journeys in ways that better suit their talents and even their specific performance. Not all performances call for the same preparation or desired results.

American actor and teacher Sanford Meisner developed an organic technique that emphasizes relationship – to the point that your partner causes your behavior. His work still is relevant today because actors can feel the freedom and intuitive value of following his technique. Dancers and singers use his technique even though Meisner developed it for actors. But the dancers and singers are actors first anyway, that’s why they use it.

As I have developed my own method of coming to a performance and teaching others how to get to a rich, alive performance, I have always drawn on my enthusiasm for science and in particular the paranormal; the material most scientists set aside as anomalies. These are areas where materialistic science cannot explain certain natural phenomena.

Most performances one sees today, particularly in the commercial realm of pop culture, is ego driven work hidden in the guise of humility. The ego drives the performance but then the response to the audience is manufactured humility and/or religiously humble, acknowledging that God is good. Yet, the process was ego driven nonetheless. Ego is divine. I’m not putting it down. I do however, feel that it is a limiting path toward creating. The ego self is limited, most especially when it is using intellect and analysis to create. If the ego gets to real imagination, then it begins to lose itself and move toward a more transcendent path of creativity.

My instructions and guidance for my performers is the following: Open yourself and be available to be moved by the larger forces of creation. Find your inner stillness and from that ground zero begin to free associate. Free association is a terribly freeing way to discover ideas and create. Connect with the ether, the zero-point field, the quantum field and its all-knowing possibilities. Allow the field of infinite totality to breathe ideas, answers, questions, and behaviors into you. You are a speck of dust in this vast universe, you are traveling thousands of miles a second, while your trillions of cells are working powerfully to keep you healthy and in equilibrium. Each cell is an entity all by itself, you are a community more than a unit self. You are in constant co-creative cooperation within your biology and without in the interactions with your environment, which stretches to the end of our universe. Your individual power is vast and the possibilities infinite when you transcend your personal self and move to larger aspects of being from which to create. Trust yourself to do no thing. Do nothing. Until a real impulse moves you. Free associate and enjoy the ride no matter how it comes. Do not preconceive. Remain neutral and open. Feel the freedom!

Or not. Instead use your analytical mind and its limited scope of your knowledge and experience, without any transcendent information available to you. Or not. Maybe mix the two together in your own unique combination. As I said, there is no right or wrong way. The end goal is to get to a truthful, alive, vibrant performance that engages people’s imagination and captures their hearts.  However one gets there is their own business.