My first week with The Impulse Company. I’m finally here! It seems like I’ve been waiting for this moment for such a long time. I was so anxious and afraid: what if I’m no longer able to do what I love after everything I’ve been through? My hands were literally shaking. But I braced myself and entered my personal Hogwarts, still afraid I’m no longer a magician.
The war has changed me, as it has changed all Ukrainians. It has made me stronger and made me question everything I believe in, but it has also left me more vulnerable than I could ever have imagined myself being. I feel like I am touched by everything, unwillingly responding to everything that’s going on around me and within me.
I tried to figure out what these changes mean to me. If they are with me for good – can I live with them or will they ruin me?
We did one exercise, quite simple, but so insightful. Sitting in front of a partner, notice something specific about them, say that to them, receive the same words in answer, answer back with the same phrase and so on for some time. At some point, the magic begins: you’re no longer saying the words, you have relationship, you are developing a story (or I would even say – a story is developing you) as you let yourself see your partner, truthfully respond to them and be present in the moment. And sitting there, in front of my partner, I realised how precious my vulnerability is. How responsive and true it makes me, how alive and free I felt. And then, observing other students doing the exercise, I realised how special, beautiful and human this vulnerability makes us. And impossible to take our eyes off.
All of us, actors all over the world, are under this huge pressure: working day jobs to earn money, trying to make our path into the theatre and film industry, to actually do what we love, networking, developing ourselves and our skills, and trying to have a good life. Sometimes it feels like I’m balancing on the top of the Shard, juggling with knives and singing a song. Which makes me think: how do you preserve your vulnerability in such a high-stress acting life?
For now, I realise that the answer is quite simple: you just let yourself be.
Works for me.