DRAMA

A Way of Meeting Life

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 – LE THÉÂTRE – Une Façon de Rencontrer la Vie

6 min read

I feel like this story didn’t have a begining, as if it always has existed or began long before I was born.

Today’s article is dedicated to my passion, that which has always lived in me and which has never ceased to vibrate inside me, theatre.

Let me take you and embark with me in a fiction more than real.

At the end of the article, you’ll want to be part of the adventure.

BEFORE EVEN WALKING

I can’t remember this. When I hear my family speak about those stories, they make perfect sense and might even explain why this passion is a part of me. « Your grand father took you in his arms to bring you to worldly parties » « Before you even were one year old you’ve been hanging out behind the scenes of several theaters with your parents. »

I like those ideas so much that they take place as a memory in my head. A memory or maybe a dream that always has existed and that would repeat itself night after night.

DRAMA AS A THERAPY

In the schoolyard, I was often the one who was alone with his book or just skipping around without knowing who to talk to. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, but I always had a certain anxiety whenever I had to speak in public. And the public could also be other comrades.

As much as I wanted to play with them, for some reasons I didn’t go or if I did, I was so reserved and anxious to speak in front of them and to ask to play that I spoke at such a pace that they understood me only once out of two.

So I played with them once out of two.

One might think that to play in a drama play it is rather necessary to love one’s body totally, to trust one another and to be rather extroverted. What if it’s the other way around? What if, in order to do theatre, one had to go through those moments which are perhaps embarrassing from the point of view of a child but also necessary for learning?

Continue to read and you will understand what I mean.

MEETING MY FIRST DRAMA TEACHERS

I took theatre classes very early on. Because I knew it was my passion, very early on. But it wasn’t until I decided to dive into it that I really evolved. I decided to take theatre as an option for my high school degree and at that time I was also enrolled in the conservatory of my region.

At a hectic pace, I was following the classes I had in high school, I would run in a theatre class the next day to take a singing class after that and then the day after a dance class followed by a theatre class, then several other theatre classes and even more dance classes. All this was accompanied by rehearsals for projects that we had between students.

I had about 10 hours of theater, 10 hours of dance and 2 hours of singing a week, in addition to my high school classes. All these hours of hard work gave me the opportunity to stage plays, to direct a musical, to play on regional and national stages.

With so many classes, I also remember all my teachers, each of them and the things they taught me. I remember a show where I had to choke on an apple to help me articulate, another show where I had to – like my other classmates – wear garter belt, or shows played in the streets.

It is not necessarily easy to accept criticism from one of you own teachers. Or just not easy for a teenager to agree to be put in garter belts. And yet, this is where you learn to digest things and follow instructions, when you realize they’re being followed by others. And one even realizes that this single instruction, the one that was harder to accept, is actually the one that teaches one the most and makes one grow.

Show on garter belts

Just like in life, the most difficult hardships are the ones that teach us the most on ourselves or even on life itself.

During rehearsals in drama, I found myself crawling to the ground. I was a clown – properly speaking – and found my clown character that I still remember today. His name was Musy, one of his friends was Linobu. Oh how much lines of text I learned, how many competitions or theater exams I passed.

Because this is also the role of a theatre teacher, to push his student to go meet his flaws to exceed his limits and to exceed himself. Or as one of my former theatre teachers would say:

“Never should suffering and humiliation rise to a stage… What makes an artist a unique being are his modesty, his limits, his faults… Trust is necessary…  » To put oneself in danger » on a stage as they say, it is for me to know these « flaws »… and to accept them little by little, to love them as qualities, unique qualities, and to let them « to see », « to give », « to share »… never to cross them… Like jumping over a high hedge, you hit it, you get tired, you give up, in pleasure, in the game! Not in force, not in the challenge… We try, we try again, why not, in the game, because we want to… If we want to…”

Karine Vuillermoz

Of course, you can’t do everything in life, and even though I was in the process of finding my vocation at the time, I was still a teenager, and unfortunately this is not compatible with the preparation of a diploma. That’s why I had to retake my high school diploma the following year so I would pass it.

Some of my drama teachers are no longer in this world, with other things ended with a bang. But anyway, I’m grateful for all the teaching they’ve given me.

One teacher will never be the same with another and that is where all the magic lies, that is where one makes one’s own identity. You take what you need and you change to perfect yourself and move forward.

And then we go again. We train, we dress up, we fall, we learn, we repeat and stress comes back before going on stage.

BEING ON STAGE

I came through the artists’ entrance. Armed with my 2 suitcases and my backpack, all my belongings were ready, all I needed was to prepare myself quietly.

Quietly is a big word; behind the scenes of such a large stage can accommodate many artists and the basement of the theatre swarmed like an ant hill. I would repeat my lines and, as the stress went up, I would run to the bathroom and get carried away by the excitement at the same time. In those moments, I cannot help myself, I do not hold in place, I laugh for nothing and I annoy my colleagues who need calm before the show.

Here we are.

Everything is ready.

This time we are behind the scenes of the stage, we can see the public already enthralled by what is happening on stage.

It’s almost our turn.

We must give eveything we got. We start shaking a little but don’t have to think about it. We must let go and have fun.

It’s up to us. The moment is so busy that it passes in a few moments. There are some mistakes but nothing that the public can notice. After all, it doesn’t know the lines. So we continue to give everything. That’s it, the moment I feared has arrived. I made it to the last rehearsal.

And it’s already over.

The stress is down, we drop the character and go back on stage to receive the applause of the audience. In such a big stage, the applause almost generates gusts of wind as the audience is so numerous. I still have shivers.

We leave the stage and we still hear people clapping. In the business, that means we have to go back on stage, they want to see us again. And how much more do I want to see the faces of these strangers smile and applaud us. We did a good job. We also remember to make a sign to the governance, they also did a good job, we turn around and disappear behind the scenes.

We applaud each other, we hug each other, we laugh, we cry with joy. That’s it, the stress is gone. Some will go home because they are too tired and others will go for a drink to celebrate! We’re playing tomorrow, but it’s okay, it’s important to keep the group together!


Bring out one’s feminity

Drama is kind of like a drug. Once you tasted the stage, you want to go back. Again and again.

Theatre teaches you to talk, to listen, to ally with others, to surpass yourself, to feel things ; it helps you to apprehend yourself, increases your general culture, makes you creative and helps manage stress. I certainly forgot some of them, but these are all the benefits theatre has brought me.

When you’re in the heat of the moment and you do little shows that for some will get big and just bring you joy, you don’t realize the exploits and it is by writing these lines that I realize how lucky I have been to play in so many shows. And that’s what theatre is all about: creating opportunities, going out to meet the right people and facing the wrong, learning and recovering from mistakes.

MEETING PASSIONATED PEOPLE

It’s when I see the professionals playing that I want to play even more. To see them move on stage and live from their passion is so encouraging that it almost gives wings.

The last great theatre lady I met left us a few months ago. I played in a play with her, that’s how I knew her. She always wanted to do theatre, but she couldn’t do it until she retired at 60. From that age she did not stop, lived like an Edith Piaf to wear herself out on stage and came to rehearse no matter the physical pain, the stage was her remedy. She left at the age of 87, I knew her at the end of her life and she taught me a lot.

Seeing her give herself in this way to her art shows that age does not matter and that we must continue to believe in our dreams. The role she played had been thought of for her, who could no longer walk very long, she had what can be called an electric scooter for the elderly that she drove during the show. So, she couldn’t use her body to play and help her pass emotions. She didn’t need it, she was so in her game that her voice was enough to pass anyhting she wanted. Great art.

This lady reminded me that we must fight to the end to do what we love, that we must go forward and never give up. Always believe in it. Life takes care of the rest.

This is the kind of lesson we learn when we do theatre. Life lessons that mark us and makes us new people. People able to transmit and give life to a little love, joy and tears, the time of a representation.

Thanks to it, you will be able to collaborate with people who share your passion, create infinitely and integrate everything you want into your art, circus, dance, cinema, puppets, cooking or whatever…

MEETING ONESELF

It is thanks to my passion that I was able to meet great names of theatre and cinema, that I was able to practice playing in front of a camera, sneaking into film sets, go back in time in a 10th century castle, perform outside or even direct actors.

It is thanks to all these experiences that I was able to find myself and apprehend myself to better grow and make my place in this life and this world. Today, I know how to play my own role with sincerity and serenity.

drama will help you see life differently and no longer take yourself too seriously.

As I was explaining in my article, Yoga as a Pah to Transformation, drama is also like an allegory of life. We work there as a « community », or as we say, in « company ». It’s not a coincidence that we call that a theater company and that is the whole principle ; it is a playground for real life.

If I go to the theatre and suddenly realize that my body is no longer leaning against the seat and that I have my mouth open in front of the stage, then I am sure that the play I am watching is a great artistic piece.

I don’t know if you agree with me, but the magic of life is in these moments and it can be appearing to all of us.

Image by Libracesp Hey! 

And you, what is this passion that carries you away, that transforms you and revives a flame within you, that only it can revive?

Have I made you want to go on stage?

Don’t hesitate to comment!

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« Play well, or play badly, but play truly. »

Constantin Stanislavski

Want to keep reading?

One of the ways you can manage stage fright might be with meditation, read my article Is Meditation Really Helpful?

We can also learn a new language thanks to it. I explain more on my article Tips for Learning a Language

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Yoga as a Path to Transformation

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 : LE YOGA COMME VOIE DE TRANFORMATION

3 min read

As promised, let me now introduce you to yoga. I will share the history of yoga, how I went to it and how I find it really beneficial to anyone who wants to improve their life and wellbeing.

Yoga is both a physical and spiritual practice originated in ancient India. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) yujto yoke and samadhi – concentration. Therefore, the one who practice yoga wants to connects one body, mind and spirit and go toward liberation. You can find many different interpretations of what yoga is and we can speak about more than 20 different types of yoga, each with its own practice and goals.

As a matter of fact, yoga was originally created in order for one to be able to stay seated longer while meditating. The more you’re comfortable in your body, the more you’re able to stay still and listen to yourself. Originally, Indus practiced yoga in order to grow spiritually speaking. The yogis encourage union with the finite jiva (transitory self) and with the infinite Brahman (eternal self). Brahman is a term used by the Hindus to mean “God”. To say that in another way, yogis want to connect to the inner God everyone holds in their being in order to find peace. Yoga is ancient path to spiritual growth, a system created to rejuvenate the body and prolong life.

For a beginner, I would suggest starting with restorative yoga, which is a very relaxing and grounded type of yoga. Everybody can do it and everybody should do it, because you don’t even have to do the effort or have to use your muscles, you use the ground and the gravity to help you go deeper into the relaxation. Yes, you read well, I’m talking about relaxation, I’m not telling you to force yourself into building muscles. And it is really good for recovery, healing, anxiety, helps you stretch and even practice patience! If you want to build muscles, then there is another type of yoga that is available for you.

In addition, yoga is known to be therapeutic and really good for all sorts of health and mental issues. Studies have shown its effectiveness for back pain, anxiety, schizophrenia, self acceptation, to name a few.

On this subject, I would suggest you to watch the documentary I AM MARIS on Netflix or THE SCIENCE BEHIND YOGA on UpliftTV.

Actually, I think yoga is a very good way to come into contact with your being, with your body. I know there’s a lot of people showing off the postures they’re doing on social medias and I think that’s the opposite of what yoga should be about. Yoga is about working on your impatience and listening to what your body is trying to tell you. It’s a good thing to want to be good at what you do but it’s another thing to help yourself going there.

When you do yoga, you want to be in tune with your breath. As everyone knows, the breath is where life flows, so as long as you breath, you will be able to tune into your body and your dharma (purpose).

Even if your goal is to build strength, you always tune to your breath to be aware of your muscles. The more you do it, the more you’re able to recognise where your body can go and where you want to lead it.

The mind is a calm meditative flow. The more your mind is steady, the more your body will be as well. The mind is a meditative calm steady flow when you do yoga, the body is an expression of that inner state. So here we are, we use this exercise to always build more steadiness in our mind. That’s where yoga is a meditative practice.

The methods used in the yoga techniques cannot be separated from its philosophy. Because yoga is considered to be a practice of psychosomatic exercices. The more you practice the exercices, the more you are inclined to feel the benefits. In the repetition of the movement, the magic arises.

A yoga teacher once told me :

“We’re not here to suffer through the experience but really grow as a result of the experience. Not only growing physically but also growing mentally and emotionally. As you learn to relate to experiences of discomfort, this skill translates directly into your daily life, when you encounter challenging or uncomfortable situations you can remain relaxed there and interact in a much more functional way with the different experiences of your life.”

And that’s what I actually find magical about yoga. Where one comes into the mat, one is dedicated to doing good to oneself. By deciding to show up and just be here with yourself, you come into contact with your own being, discovering what keeps you away from fulfilling your deepest desires.

It’s like an analogy of life, you come into the mat as you would come into your life. Some days you’re lazy and you just want to relax and some days you want to be as good as you can be and build strength. Of course, the more you practice, the more you will find yoga intense, and that’s when you will have to allow yourself to remain relaxed within this intensifying experience. Discomfort is perfectly normal in the context of yoga and in the context of life, if you feel pain, that’s when you know you have to stand back and change your position – or experience if we still talk about life experiences. When having challenging experiences, you learn to breath, to relax with discomfort and learn from it.

Furthermore, I would advise anyone who wants to start this journey to alternate any type of yoga they’re doing. If you want to build strength, it’s good for you to work on your core and always challenge you but it is also good to know when to relax and listen when your body is asking you to stand back. And if you’re doing yoga only to relax yourself, challenging you might be beneficial.

As you move through the body, there is a lot of energy that we are transmuting. We are playing with the energies coexisting with us, breath, life, laughs, tears, gifts, chakras …

Though the body is how you get to discover your spirit. Even faster than reading books. You drop into the very present moment. Mind starts to go away when you’re in the movement part. Naturally you connect with your heart more and the present is what allows your spirit to blossom, because you’re connected with your body and spirit and the mind is not doing this chatter thing. I find moving in general to be one of the most helpful ways to connect to your spirit.

We are made to move, because if we don’t, we fall.

Personally, I know yoga and therefore meditation has been really beneficial to me. I used to have panic attacks, to speak too fast to be understood and to move through life even faster than my mind was even able to articulate. I come to yoga/meditation as often as I can because when I don’t I feel that my body is not in tune with my being anymore. When I start to articulate my movement with my breath, I am able to come back into my true essence, I encounter myself every time a little more. And it is always a pleasure to discover another part of myself. That’s where I find the magic in life. It’s magical to look at a tree when you remember that it was only a little seed in the beginning. And it is magical to see that one can be even better everyday. I used to think that only self-centered persons could think that way but now, I think that it takes courage and maturity to be able to live in peace with oneself.

Here you can find an article about yoga, more focused on a christian point of view https://puricarechronicles.blogspot.com/2018/07/yoga-practice-of-yoga-is-much-more-than.html

Here’s another really good website about yoga if you’re interested to know more : https://www.yogapedia.com/  

I hope this article was beneficial for you and inspired you to start doing yoga – even more.

Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions if you want to know more. You can also propose a subject for a future article.

Stay tuned !

Love

Ben

Want to read more? 

Here’s my article about meditation : Stop Running and Listen to Yourself

Want to know about my next film project?

Here’s my article about my Docu-project : The Internal Change Happening Within and Outside of Us

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Be your best self for your own self

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2

In our world today, we always have to be at our best, to say nice things, to do everything we can to please everyone around us and to show how better we are better compared to our competitor.

The problem is, we aren’t able to listen anymore. We’ve accepted the fact that we have to talk to prove ourselves. But the more we try to prove ourselves to others, the more we stop believing in us. Other people’s opinion is becoming far more important than our own. 

But who is living our life but us?

The more I try to tell everyone how my life is going, what thing I should or shouldn’t do, the new habits I have that I’m trying to get used to, the more I find myself caught up in this “do it better than anyone else” motto that we all seem to share.

Instead of showing off and proving everyone our own value.

Instead of trying to catch the eye of the person in front of you.

Instead of explaining to everyone how good you are.

Instead of trying to sell yourself to your next date or boss.

We should start by living our best life for our own self.

Listen, always. Learn to shut up and let things happen.

We can be able to let space for things that indeed will be uncertain but far more right. We should always try to let ourselves discover the unknown. That unknown who knows how to surprise ourselves and show us “beyond”.

Beyond the unknown, beyond dreams and beyond all human perception.

Barriers do exist but in the blink of eye, in the next right moment, when you let yourself be, they are pushed back and rearranged.

Listen, let go in the moment, articulating the fewer words possible to let space for the purity of the moment, of the words that compose it.

By taking up all the space and time, we prevent ourselves from discovering the magic of life, the one that will show you the next step to take, the one that is made of peace.

Again, life is magical. And that magic comes from those moments where you accept to receive.

To be continued …

Love,

Ben

New vision of the famous Covid-19

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2

4 minutes reading

So, since everyone around here is talking about it, I guess we’re continuing on that subject as well, the now famous 2019-nC0V.

Yes I agree with some of you, you can freak out a little. Some things don’t add up. Yes, if you think about it there’s some crazy numbers behind it. Almost 5000 people contaminated, about 110 deaths, multiple people contaminated in the world in just a few weeks etc…

Ok, there’s no point in arguing about numbers. They’re facts.

But what if you could forget them and move your focus on something else?

Unfortunately, governments have political and economical reasons for you to be anxious. They want you to be sick as well. In order to buy what they intended for us to buy. It’s sad to say it but it’s true.

Does anyone really think that the surgical masks are going to protect us? Do you really think that this Corona virus would be so annoyed by you wearing it that it would not even try to get into your system?

As a matter of fact, scientists already know that those masks won’t protect you from any virus. Instead, they’re useful when you’re sick and you don’t want people near you to be contaminated as well. “It’s efficiency isn’t demonstrated at all when you wear it and you’re not sick.”

Nevertheless, everyone wants to have one.

It’s crazy how here in France everyone went to our pharmacies to buy them. They’re sold out. Which is pretty crazy when you think about it. 

Nobody is anxious about the flu when it comes in the winter. Nobody is anxious about people even dying from hunger right now when you’re reading this.

It’s ok, we’re used to it.

Well, if you’re used to it, then just try and live your life to the fullest everyday. Even if there’s some crazy virus threatening to spread in the whole world.

Did you notice that the Chinese government decided to build in just a few days hospitals that would bear twice the capacity of everyone contaminated?

They did so in Wuhan, the epicentre of this crazy new year psychosis. 

I can’t help but think that they already know how much, where and who is going to be contaminated next. It wouldn’t be the first time a virus would be created by men. Think of the HIV for example. Which, by the way, earn ridiculous amount of money to the health industry.

The problem is, the more you get anxious, the more you’re likely to be sick. I heard that since the corona virus started, the percentage of people having cancer increased significantly.

Don’t you know that the more you’re anxious, the more you’re likely to get cancer? It’s proven now, cancer comes from anxiety. And everyone knows that cancer is earning loads and loads of money to the health industry, and therefore to governments.

It’s all related to our point of view. If you look at something, it won’t have the same shape as if you look at it from a different angle. And this can be an image to translate other things such as sickness since we’re talking about it.

And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do, trying to change your point of view on the subject.

Because I want you to be happy and to live your life to the fullest. It’s really important for you and for all of us.

I once heard about a women who has cancer. She talked about it like I never heard before. She said that the most beautiful way to live in this world is to live without fear. Just live, live happily. Because when you die, there is to time for living.

She said : “I have cancer. I’m happy. And I love my cancer. It taught me how to live life. I love my cancer very much. It’s mine!” 

Only through hardships will you be able to grow. Only through them, will you see life from a different perspective.

Of course I’m not saying everyone should be sick to understand the meaning of life. I’m just saying that you can beat every virus, sickness, hardship, people … just by being positive.

Only if you would just be happy to be alive.

I took this image to talk about this because I think in life, there is time to be, time to have fun, time to grow, time to learn and also time to be still. To accept that sometimes life needs a little rest. 

It might look dead but maybe in the inside it is just resting and waiting for the sun to shine again. So that life would show us how to be patient and how to accept what it can teach us. It is frozen indeed, but in just a few weeks, water will flow again and will show us how that time was valuable.

It might be easy to say I know. But just give yourself some time. And try a little more everyday to live life from a different perspective.

And don’t forget that everything that comes into your system will be digested and you will take all the ingredients that are in it, even if you didn’t want to.

And of course when I’m saying this, I mean everything you eat will be digested indeed but I’m also talking about what you hear, what you watch, what you do …

Everything that comes in contact with you will have an effect on you.

So be wise and choose what is best for you. And no one won’t ever be able to tell it better than you.

And if you liked this article, you can choose to subscribe to my blog and receive a new article, a new picture and a new way of seeing life every week.

Love

Ben