“Things can get confused: somebody can say, ‘Oooh, I’m not too sure about your yellow shoes,’ and inside you’re like, ‘How dare you insult my mother?!'”
Julia references the empirical sciences of math and biology, wherein the “product” presented for criticism—a correctly solved equation, a concretely quantified variable—does not reflect directly on the presenting subject, and contrasts this with acting, wherein the “product” presented for criticism—the performance itself—is intimately reflective of the actor’s/actress’ interior, and is thus profoundly personal and exquisitely vulnerable.
In response to the confusion which is often generated by this vulnerability, and the desire to transcend the fetters of fear and other limitations, Ken introduces his dream for an Integral Actors Studio, where he envisions a convergence and integration of manifold modalities brought to bear on the actor’s craft and guiding vision. Ken describes what such an “integral package” would entail, and reveals how personal, cultural, and institutional dimensions can be mindfully engaged through psycho-synthesis, yoga, meditation, peer work, technical exchange programs, and other practices.
Here, what is perhaps the most intriguing portion of the dialogue unfolds, where Julia and Ken discuss the “metaphysics of acting,” or the phenomenon of working with subtle energies in the service of art and personal growth. Julia describes exercises which test not only the degree of physical proximity a given person will permit when confronted with love, rage, or other “formed energies,” but their ability to intuit the texture of such emotions even in the absence of bodily cues or other outward signals. Ken complements Julia’s insight by drawing on the Tibetan and tantric traditions to point to the corresponding wisdom at the heart of negative emotions, and illustrates the possibility of transmuting these energies in the service of transcendence, clarity, compassion—and excellent art.
Julia and Ken play naturally off of each other in the humorous and insightful display of a shared vision which bespeaks the beauty of bringing an integral approach to acting. We invite you to treat yourself to the rare flavor of this dynamic duo….
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About Ken Wilber
Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.