DANGER #1: Confidence… Don’t be confident.
You will gain confidence going through the process of training, but, it will be a truly deeper confidence; who you are, exactly as you are, moment to moment.
If you have anxiety, for example, and block it out with a layer of confidence, eventually you are going to have all sorts of neurosis popping out the sides. The act is not sustainable. It’s not sustainable because it’s not pure.
When you start Meisner training, the first level is to open up to who we truly are. We work with who we are in this moment. If you are nervous, the encouragement will be to embrace yourself. Experience your nervousness. That is your opening to being authentic to yourself.
If you cover up your true feelings, how can you actually experience real confidence? You will always have a sense of being slightly “fake”. It’s hard, if not impossible, to be deeply confident when you feel a little bit “fake”.
You can see this point made in children. Have you ever seen a “confident child?” – it seems unnerving. Kids are just kids. Kids appeal to us as confident because they are neither confident nor non-confident. When you see a distinctly confident kid, you feel badly for the child because there’s a touch of neurosis to it.
Real confidence is different from self-assertion. Real confidence is having the ability to be who you are, with no act on top of it hiding “the real you”.
So, come into class and get on stage and be nervous. That’s what we work with. Everyone will love you for your honesty. Nervousness at the outset is a great tool. It can totally open you up when you live it out fully. You have something strong to work with, a strong emotional drive that pulls you out of your normal comfort zone.
As you work with this more and more, that anxiety will wear off and disappear. But, having opened up and worked through this process honestly, having opened up and practiced dropping your ‘cover’, you will be left with a more open, more authentic… you. Someone you are comfortable with, because you are no longer hiding.
(2nd danger: niceness. Coming next…)