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Reflections from the Intro to Meisner Retreat

For the last 10 days a group of 10 stunning actors have been here in North Wales extending their training on our Introduction to Meisner Retreat - one on summer break from LAMDA, one doctor looking to follow his dream, some early career, one straight out of school, some experienced pros - what a mix, ay?! All of them knowing they needed to go deeper, to connect with themselves so their relationship with their craft and their work could be easier. ​They've been posting daily reflections on our social media but here's some of their closing reflections from the week...

I have the ability to dream big and become the master of my own ship. All it takes to keep the fire lit is the willingness to notice when I'm somewhere else and breath, bring myself back to the present with ease. Remember that is easier than I think. It's the struggle that's hard. The way through is up and out.

Keep reaching your hand out to others. Keep offering your hand out to others. If you’re down, reach up to people above you. If you’re up, reach down to people below you. That’s how we connect, that’s how we stay alive, that’s how we choose to live. We can call people to the land of the living with what we do - being open hearted, empathetic, sensitive, compassionate, caring. We’ve all done that for each other this week. Thanks Steph for showing us the way. That what’s in the way is the way. Every moment is a choice between living or dying. I’m inspired to keep choosing living, and to make art that inspires people to keep choosing life, life, life. I want to be the stone that creates ripples in the water. The leaf in the flow of the river. The wild horse that appears on the riverbank and beckons you somewhere you didn’t know you could go. I want to inspire, to have an impact, to leave footprints, to be a force of nature, to listen, to answer the call of the wild, to be in service to something bigger than myself. Don’t try to do it do, just do it, and keep doing it, until our doing is done. Be the heartbeat, be the heart of the beat. How are you doing you? Notice when you are doing something that doesn’t serve you. Catch it gently like a butterfly, and let it go. Release your wild self. Know yourself, your self knows. Breath. Take the brakes off your brain. Be here now. Be. You can choose your story. Don’t let a negative moment be the narrative that colours your whole day, month, year. Open yourself to all the colours there are. Paint with every colour in your palette, and be curious about the colours you can’t access easily. Open the doors. With ease though. It’s as easy as you let it be. Go gently, hold yourself lightly, like a gift.

​I knew that this retreat would change me. I knew that I needed to spend time on my craft and to come back to myself. I also knew there would be physical aspects of the retreat that would challenge me. I couldn’t possibly comprehend that when I arrived on the Friday, that I would become one of ten (eleven really) who love so fiercely and connect so deeply with the craft of acting and each other. I didn’t expect to fall into canals and rivers and be okay with it, to even relish the act of falling, and to be so grateful to be surrounded by beautiful people who shared my wins and my failures with their full hearts. To enjoy riding down rapids on a standup paddle board and to enjoy getting it wrong in the studio has set my heart aglow! This retreat has given me the space to serve myself first, to step back, to not rush in and save everyone, whether they want to be saved or not. It has also been the space where I’ve remembered that acting is what I was put here to do. Doubt has melted out of my system and my fire is back. Coming to this retreat has given me to tools to feed the fire, even in moments of lowness. I feel so loved. So held. So safe. None of this could’ve been possible without you, Steph, these 9 people and this incredible space. I arrived open, and I am leaving changed.

👊 Anything is allowed 🤝 Connect, connect, connect. With everything and everyone. I’ve never felt more alive. ⛵️ Your ease is yours- you don’t have to give it away. 🔥If you don’t feed the fire it goes out. 🙅‍♀️Don’t deal with hypotheticals, you just don’t need to have that conversation. 🧘 Remember you can always return home to your lungs, they will open their doors widely to you and ask you ‘what took you so long?’ 😉 Human beings will always be more interesting than actors.

How is more useful than why. ​The one who comes first is brave. The one who comes last is wise. But the one who learns their place is controlled and free. They have the power to ignite the fire, trusting it will never go out. The sight to take in the beauty of the world and the people they meet. And the ease to be awake. Hold it lightly. Be kind. Listen. And, of course, always up and out.

Your allowed to feel, feel into your heart there’s so much in there. Be a human not an actor. Notice your patterns because they will show up everywhere in your life and art. When a difficult feeling comes up, don’t close into yourself. Lift your head and heart and allow it to pass through you. F*ck hypotheticals. Don’t do buts, and don’t say “I Try” Notice when your disconnecting Emotion is just energy moving through you The walks reminded me that nature is our greatest companion and teacher 🍃

​It took courage for me to come here, for all of us, and I’m so glad we did. This experience has been like no other because of the particular people who chose to come. The loving guidance and gentle push from Steph. As well as our willingness to be open and live from moment to moment. I’ve met and incredible group of people who are supportive and equally inspiring. My journey was easier, enjoyable and helpfully challenged by everyone to strive for more. I have met different versions of myself. I’ve got to connect with nature, other human beings and most importantly myself. I’ve discovered my patterns, habits, resistance and resilience. I will continue to grow after this, I’m certain of it. There’s no doubt about it because I can’t go backwards and most defined don’t want to. 🥳

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