This is a recovered post originally written and published 01/22/2014.
“Remember to forget your lines,” he said.
My scalp itched under the tousled red wig pinned to my head. The satin kimono whispered across my shoulders as I reached up to add more snarls while relieving it. I tested the non-transferable lipstick on the unlit cigarette in my hand.
What the heck is he talking about?
“Remember to forget your lines.” He made eye contact with each of us; with purpose; with intensity. A smile played across his lips, but didn’t rise any higher. There was no riddle in his words; no tease in his tone.
Is he crazy? Maybe he really is crazy.
His dark-chocolate eyes met mine, held. “Remember to forget your lines… April Green.”
I wondered if my castmates could hear the click of connection from my brain when I understood what Frank, our director, was saying. It was loud enough in my head, for sure.
He wasn’t telling us to forget our lines.
He didn’t want us to kick them to the metaphorical curb and turn opening night of our play into a nightmarish twist on Whose Line is It, Anyway?
He was telling us to let go.
He was telling us to be, not act.
He was telling us to respond, not recite.
April, the hooker with a heart, along with several other characters inhabiting a seedy Baltimore hotel, remembered to forget that night, and the audience responded in kind.
It was a game-changer in my acting journey.
What would happen if…
- …you remembered to forget to laugh? (Would you laugh at that questionable joke that everyone else is laughing at?)
- …you remembered to forget to react? (Would your words be better formed, and perhaps better heard?)
- …you remembered to forget to meditate? (Would your practice be truer to you, and therefore deepen?)
- …you remembered to forget to eat? (Would you eat when you were hungry, rather than because the clock said it was time?)
When you remember to forget, you invoke your core truth; the “real” you.
What do you need to remember to forget?