Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Feelings, whoa whoa whoa feelings ..

Emotional people do not bother me - even when their (non-violent!) emotions are directed at me, whether they're thrilled with or pissed at me.

I take a deep breath and figure they have a reason for feeling what they do and expressing themselves the way they do - even, in some cases, if what they're feeling doesn't, in reality, involve me.

Many times people who are upset aren't even angry at the person they're yelling at - or actually mad about whatever it is they're screaming or writing in vicious emails or letters.

Many folks can't deal with emotional people when they're upset. They flip out when people are emotional around them. They become frightened. I've wondered if they are afraid of their own feelings and therefore uncomfortable with people who are so expressive.

I find that most artists I know are emotional - especially if they're passionate about their work. Passion can easily overflow into other areas of our lives.

Professionally, actors have to deal with feelings all the time - their own and those of so many different characters they play. I think it's a good idea to be not only familiar, but comfortable, with our own emotions so they can feel free to express whatever our created characters need to get out.

Being afraid of feelings, or incapable of dealing with them - our own or anyone else's - might create problems in relationships. With others as well as ourselves.

As I tell my actors, feelings are just feelings. They won't kill anyone - unless they are not dealt with or if they are left unexpressed. Allowed to infest and infect, neglected or suppressed feelings can grow until they come out sideways or in ways that are outright destructive.

Destructive feelings are tolerated in films and fiction when it's fake; they can be disastrous when they happen in real life.


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