Lee Brock: Be The Vessel

Doug GoldringCommunity

I’m in a scene study class. Katherine has just finished doing her monologue.

Before I can get a word out, she says,  “I have to work on the circumstances, and I didn’t feel very relaxed.  My body was tense, and I think I should play the opposite of what the lines are saying.  I was rushing, and I don’t know who I am talking to.”

I think about all she’s saying – so many things; so many self-criticisms; so down on herself.

I find myself saying, “That’s a lot.  Why don’t you go again and this time just “Be the Vessel?”  Let the words come through you.  You don’t have to do anything.  Let the script do the heavy lifting. Get out of the way.  You are the instrument which the material can move through. Let’s have another go.”

She starts again. This time she’s relaxed and spontaneous.  Something comes in on her.  She starts crying and stops talking.  It’s not a “monologue” anymore. We’re witnessing something raw and profound.  She eventually continues to talk and finishes the piece. The class is silent. We wait.

Katherine looks up and says…

“What just happened?”

I say, “I don’t know…maybe you got out of your way.”

When you are giving yourself too many things to play with or when your thoughts are too loud, you might give yourself permission to let go of all the stuff you’re working on. Relax, and just say the words.  In this open state, you may be visited by inspiration and, in turn, inspire others.

It certainly worked for Katherine.

– Lee

Lee Brock teaches many classes at TBG, including the 6-Week Summer Professional Acting Program.

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes.