Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
To operate as a medium for character and story is not so much a matter of what the storyteller does as what the storyteller doesn't do. It is akin to the Chinese idea of wu-wei (non-action), a concept that denotes effortlessness, spontaneity, or what Chuang Tzu refers to as “flowing”. Every well-told story flows. Every event, every action, moves the story forward, naturally, in a kind of karmic dance. The art of flowing, as applied to drama, requires that the writer get out of the way. One becomes “empty”, unobtrusive, so that the characters can become whatever the characters are, so that that which is yet-to-be can come into being, allowed to birth itself through the agency of the storyteller-made-medium. Indeed, one might say that unless a story is birthed in this manner it can have no lasting raison d’être, and as such, cannot endure.
The time in which we are now living is wanting the stories and storytellers that can penetrate the cynicism, the despair, that can explode them, and present alternatives to how we might live, how we might build the courage necessary to heal our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies. The stories we tell now will determine whether we live or die - dramatic stories always tread that boundary-line one way or another. We need stories that help us imagine the practicality of hope and the necessity of acting out of love for one another. We need writers that remember freedom – poets, visionaries, realists of a larger reality.
Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of Art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible story-telling and story-finding. Build courage, or die.