Welcome back to the trenches. The long-awaited finale to my series, “Lessons in Drama” is HERE.
In case you missed it, here are the other parts:
A ten-word recap: drama can be ridiculous / toxic. Let’s work through it together.
This next part is hard, but short (that’s what she said)…
The Drama will NEVER End.
Yes, the lessons we learn in the high-school / community / professional drama world will chase us (with knives) forever. I so wish I could end this series with “be impervious to drama and you’ll win forever!” The reality is that it will never go away. I think it’s because on some level, people thrive on it. They want conflict so there can be resolution, because with resolution comes peace and purpose. Is it how we are truly built? Like the elusive tootsie roll pop, the world may never know.
Think about your life. Consider all its facets: work, school (where applicable), family, friends. If you can’t think of one instance where drama and pettiness has occurred, congratulations, for you are officially a part of the world’s first cyborg community (and we all know that they actually do develop feelings later on…)
So how do we deal? How do we balance our need for conflict with things we must have in order to be better, like love, contentedness, and calmness?
Gravitate Towards the Cool Folk
I don’t mean the popular crowd. I mean the handful of level-headed people who are relaxed and chill. They do exist (outside the pot-smoking crowd) and they avoid drama like the plague. Go ask them if you can be their friend. Chances are high that they will accept you and love you. For some, these people may be people you already know, but never thought to hang out with. Others may find these people in other unexpected places, like family. Either way, be near the people that will provide you a sense of calm and purpose.
Take a Break
The business of drama can be a soul-sucking, heartless enterprise. Taking a break will be easier for the introverts. Sometimes I need serious recovery time after interaction, and even more so if those interactions are high-strung. In the throes of a show / audition / other drama-influenced situation, that need for recovery can be impossible to appease. Here’s how I manage: take a walk, find a quiet place, meditate (I have to do this with my eyes open because I’m 28 and still care what other people think about me…). Pick one activity that has absolutely nothing to do with drama and get to it. For me, it’s hooping. For others, it’s running, painting, or yard work (all equally productive, though it doesn’t have to be). Just take a break and recharge.
Deeply Reflective Practice
One of the questions that surprises new students and people who have not worked with me is “how did that feel?” When I ask that, I mean that question multi-dimensionally, as in “how did that feel…in mind? Body? Spirit?” It always catches people off guard because they weren’t actually thinking about answering those questions a second ago. They were just going through the motions and accepting my directions as fact. Inevitably, discovering the answer involves another go-around, one in which they are denying their inner cyborg and actively thinking about what they are doing. That, at the heart of it, is practice, an art that is second nature to musicians but elusive to so many others. When the questions turn inward, the drama reduces. It doesn’t dissipate altogether, but become much more manageable. When you’re frustrated that a lead role is behaving egotistically, the questions “how did he/she get to be that way” and “how can I not be like that” will lead you down the ridiculous-free path of enlightenment. Think on that.
To drive this point home, one of my next posts will be a List of True Stories I Did Not Make Up to Make You Feel Better (which should be the second tagline of this whole blog). Look for it soon.
In the meantime…
Drama-free love and peace,