The maestro, Martin Scorsese was recently quoted in Harper’s Bazaar talking about Sharon Stone in Casino and the process for the actor auditioning (and then working) for a director.
“What you’re looking for, always, is not for someone to give you exactly what you envision but to surpass it, to use their own intelligence and instincts and imagination and talent to bring the character to life””actually, to get to a place where they’re surprising themselves.”
That comes from embracing the inherent chaos of the moment and the willingness to create within it. No matter how well things are planned, rehearsed, memorized, strategized, “prepped”, deliberated, controlled or executed ”“ the goal for the actor is to simply allow what’s happening to happen.
It’s everything. And it’s not easy. Perhaps even more so nowadays. Because it requires us to be human and reveal our inherent vulnerability. And sadly, we’re living in a time where technology is chipping away at our humanity and creates a disconnect from our essential nature.
How many times have we hidden behind our cell phone, pretending we’re on it when we’re not ”“ because we’re too scared to connect? How often have we been distracted by nonsense that’s being tweeted or reposted, rather than allowing ourselves to look up from our device and notice the living world all around us? Whether it’s about masking our low self-esteem because we’ve got a device in our hands and we feel more comfortable with it, or it’s contributing to our ADHD and inability to focus, or the science now that’s showing that young people may be having a harder time reading people’s facial expressions because they spend more time interfacing with a screen than with another human. I also noticed personally that it’s eroding our ability to simply be with people we connect with on dating apps.
What the piece indirectly reveals is that apps like these are speeding up the process of getting to know someone and the end-result is we “connect” (at whatever superficial level that may be) and then move on to the next “match” when our base needs are fulfilled. So that’s not connection at all. That’s simply our dopamine levels being spiked each time someone new pings us. Our wiring tells us there’s always someone better coming along, so it enforces our inability to be fully human. We let the social constructs (and “rules”) of an app dictate and then habituate human behavior; not the other way around.
I’m on Tinder. I’ve been challenged the same way. What was a process of getting to know someone over a few weeks or months has now boiled down to this:
To asking someone out
To getting their phone number
To being courted
To exchanging G-rated pics
To expressing your feelings
To hooking up
To dating exclusively
To making a commitment
To exchanging X-rated pics
To making future plans together
To then being too busy
To not hearing from him or her so much
To being avoided outright
To getting a divorce
To being “un”-matched
All in like 30 minutes!
Welcome to the new world order. Oh, connection, where have you gone? If we don’t keep practicing ways to be human, we’re screwed. As actors, our job is to reflect what it means to be human back to humanity. That’s all we have. Don’t lose that ability in the name of the latest app that has to be installed on your phone.
Sharon Stone mentions in the magazine article that she’s currently single. For her sake, I hope she doesn’t resort to getting on Tinder.