Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Life has often been compared to a film.  In that we are all actors on a set. 

Characters being played.

One of the sticking points with this analogy is that actors are knowingly playing a part and are speaking lines that they have learnt.  In other words they're not being themselves or talking their own words.

But it struck me watching a film this evening, that we don't get to choose the script.

An actor learns his lines and then uses them as part of the presentation of the character he's portraying.

And we think that we choose our script and actions and the location of the action.

We don't though.  In fact, an actor has an advantage... they can learn the lines, practise saying them in several different ways with alternative inflections and emphasis.  They get to get them right. To say them with the maximum impact.

We don't - we get one stab at the steak..... And we don't even know that it's the one opportunity. The script we get is pure improvisation.

Improvisation without there being the option of choosing what words to use in the  improv.  In fact we're not improvising the words, we're being improvised - made up as it goes along.  Life is a constant improvisation, with no actor.

We are improvised.

We are an improvisation.

One dictionary definition of improvise is:
To invent, compose, or perform with little or no preparation. ...

I'd amend that to: To invent, compose, or perform with no preparation.

Everything we do, and everything we say, is done without aforethought.  Even the notion of aforethought is done without aforethought.

There is an idea that we decide what we say - but it is an incorrect conclusion added after the action.

You know when you're having a conversation and the thoughts that you're having just don't match up with the words that come out? 

The words that spew forth from your mouth are no more yours, than the actor's script is his.

You're THINKING 'she talking a load of bullshit' and SAYING 'hmmm, that's very deep and intuitive of you, Viv'.

The words - the script - is no more yours than the actor's script is theirs.

Except they get to deliver it pitch perfect with the maximum impact.

Whereas, we falter and stutter and leave unsaid the things that are thought - positive or negative.

Because there is no actor in us speaking the words.  The words just get spoken.

And there is no thinker in us, there are just thoughts.

So...erm..ultimately the analogy is inaccurate, as are all analogies....

But it is the inaccuracy of it that points out the truth - it is the contradiction that emphasises that there is no actor in you that can consciously choose how and what to say.  It's the contradiction that shows you the truth of the lack of a doer, thinker, actor, speaker.

"All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players."  Will Shakespeare.

Far be it from me to amend the great bard, but it's more accurate to say: 

"All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely played."


  1. Yes!

    Improv! I love it. That's right. Words spew forth, then we think about what we just said. "Doh, maybe I shouldn't have said that." Wrong! That's where Byron Katie's "wisdom" comes in... Yes, you should have... because you DID!

    So amusing how the mind rushes in for credit. Just like that lame co-worker, or boss, who doesn't waste a second before stepping over everyone and everything to claim credit for an idea. What a JERK that mind is, huh?

    Then again, here, that same mind is writing these words, thinking IT's slick, pointing out how it is a dastardly bastard. Who the hell am I to think I can out-slick slick? I'm IT. Mind sucks, but shit, it's ME. What a hoot!

    Good'ern (once again)!

  2. Mike!

    You having problems with a co-worker or boss? ;-)

    "Out-slick slick" Love it.

    I miss your blog posts....

    V xx

  3. Hard to script,nay,impossible!'This' which has no beginning or end...yep all improv,ever fresh,ever new...

  4. Oooh, 'ello Suki - haven't heard from you for a while!

  5. Had been sick and had major surgery. Getting better! :)

  6. Aw, soz,Suki.

    How is the back? Was the surgery worth it?

  7. Actually it is my stomach. Surgery was necessary as well as very strong antibiotics. Feeling better, thanks for asking. Yes,definitely worth it, the pain was becoming unbearable.

  8. Whatever happens, happens! The body has no immunity and is part and parcel to the "Script" of Life! 
    We don't live, we are being lived...

  9. Oh, no, Viv... no problems at all for me. Boss? I never see him. Coworkers are all cool as hell. Things 'r great!

    Yeah... the blog... See, I have suddenly found that I don't have a lot to say. Whatever I say isn't really true, so I just shut up anymore. I think about posting, but someone would try to take me serious and think I know something, or I know "the way". Don't want that. This crap is too easy for that, and I just feel like whatever I'll say will just add to the confusion and muck things up.

    Of course, I'm apt to change my damned mind at any moment. :)