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Backstage Experts

Why Actors Need to Be Open to Discovery

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Why Actors Need to Be Open to Discovery

In June, as NPR reported, something extremely rare was discovered. A previously un-contacted Indian tribe in Brazil made contact with civilization. 

In this day and age of technology and instant-information-gratification occurring at lightening speed, it’s thrilling to realize that even though we can get data from around the world in two seconds flat, there are still so many things we don’t know. 

Thank God. 

There are mysteries to be explored. There are new stories yet to unfold. There are possibilities available to us that we often shut out because of our conditioning and seeing things from our set paradigms. There’s magic. And things we don’t even yet know about ourselves. 

The political pundits and talking heads on TV who constantly bombard us with information and sound bites and “facts” can often contribute to our hardened thinking arteries. Over time, we become cynical and jaded. We become “know-it-alls” but not the kind of knowing we want. 

We stop being open and instead recite information from repetition, not discovery. We close off to wonder and instead take things for granted. We drink from the waters of our habituated, conditioned minds, rather than seeking out new streams. 

One of our challenges is to try to stop coming at life from this place of thinking that we always know. 

Sure, there’s factual stuff we know: The earth is round; New York is three hours ahead of Los Angeles. 

Then there’s factual stuff we know that we don’t know. I know that I can’t really solve Pythagorean theorem. I also know that I don’t know Japanese. 

But possibility lies in another realm. There is a whole other segment to life in which we don’t know that we don’t know. 

An unheard-of tribe revealing itself is an example of this. We weren’t even aware that these people even existed. They weren’t a part of our consciousness.

There are wide open spaces out there that exist—in our minds and in our hearts—that are waiting to be experienced. But you have to stay open in order to experience them. This is hard. You have to stay open in the face of rejection and denial and people telling you “no.” You have to stay open when people break your heart and abandon you and betray your trust. You have to stay open when you continue to believe the things the industry or the media or the business or the “experts” pontificate. 

If you automatically start assuming from this place of “knowing”—which at one level is how the entire world works—you shut out being open. 

But it’s only by being open that possibilities find their way in.

This discovered tribe humbles us into realizing we don’t know as much as we think we know. 

And that’s a good thing to know.  

Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts! 

Anthony Meindl is a Los Angeles acting teacher and Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Meindl’s full bio!

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