Saturday, January 21, 2012

On knowing

Question: Whaddayou know Joe?

Answer: Nothing.

"If you know something you are an idiot," says Philippe. "Every idiot, he knows something."

I have thought about this a little recently, it is starting to make more sense to me, for knowing implies something concrete, fixed, immovable. It is heavy.

It lacks thelightness in the joy of discovery for there is nothing left to discover once you know.
As artists can we ever allow ourselves to know, is that not the death of us?

It is hard to admit that we don't know something, we have to know because when we know we are clever, intelligent and can be rewarded.
But the unknown is where creativity lives and thrives. We have to learn to embrace the unknown, to love the unknown, to live in the unknown, it is the the unknown that will reward us, the unknown that will nourish us and the unknown where we will make discoveries for ourselves, where our spirits and imaginations can play.

It can be scary in the unknown, when things are unknown they are new, the new can be scary, scary because we don't know, because we haven't got a frame of reference, because there might be surprises.

Surprises? Gah! Run and hide!

Oh no! Give me the comfort of routine and the safety of the same old shit.
Let me tread the same known ground, repeating the same known ways and the same known approaches. At least I'll be safe.

But the safety the known grants is worthless. Worthless because it can't enrich lives, the known can't surprise an audience, it can't rock them and ask that they believe in magic because once we know how magic is done we immediately take away the magic and all we are left with is a trick.

To be truly alive is to live in the unknown
Our thrills come from the unknown, life breathes, in the unknown.
And it is only in the unknown that we can begin to discover our freedom.

So in class, trust the unknown, have faith in casting off and not knowing where we will go today. Embrace that part that is scared, hold its hand, build its confidence, learn to have courage in the unknown by constantly hanging out there. Take pleasure in it. Love it. Then you will discover new things, new ways to play, new ways to create, new ways to live, new ways to be.
And maybe, just maybe, you might be discover your way to be great.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. what i meant to say was I thought we came here to be idiots

    2. Yes we did come to be idiots but an idiot for the stage is very different to an idiot in real life.
      The idiot in real life thinks himself intelligent because of all the things he knows.
      The stage idiot is an idiot but he is also special. Special because he can touch an audiences imagination. The real life life idiot cannot, he is secure in the real world and all the things about it that he knows. There is nothing special about the real life idiot. He will never touch you in the way the stage idiot can.
      There is a difference, a special difference, one can open our imagination, the other can open a book of facts. One will live in our imagination for the rest of our life the other is instantly forgotten.

      It was fine to leave the first comment up by the way.