The Actor’s Vow

I’ve recently read something that I think beautifully expresses some aspects of wholeness or whatever it is we mean when we refer to conscious, intentional human beings. It is a quote from Elia Kazan, titled “The Actor’s Vow”

I will take my rightful place on stage
and I will be myself.
I am not a cosmic orphan.
I have no reason to be timid.
I will respond as I feel;
awkwardly, vulgarly,
but respond.

I will have my throat open,
I will have my heart open,
I will be vulnerable.
I may have anything or everything
the world has to offer, but the thing
I need most, and want most,
is to be myself.

I will admit rejection, admit pain,
admit frustration, admit even pettiness,
admit shame, admit outrage,
admit anything and everything
that happens to me.

The best and most human parts of
me are those I have inhabited
and hidden from the world.
I will work on it.
I will raise my voice.
I will be heard.

You see, he sees that he has a place, his own place, his own rightful place on stage from which he will be himself. He has a place-the hearth to return to-so he is not an orphan (any more). No longer constrained by his fears of what others will think, or fear of his own failure or stupidness, he will simply respond as he feels. Think of that.

I could go on, but why bother leading others to see it my way? See this your way, but consider it and let me know what you think, what it makes you feel (if anything). I think it’s a very good expression of awareness of and responsibility for one’s own self.

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