I was listening to the Las Culturistas podcast. The hosts Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers introduced Stephanie Hsu, the actress who played the daughter in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
Turns out they all went to NYU together and so had a very intimate talk, not a simple Q & A, and they were talking about their drama teacher Elizabeth Swados, who they credited for giving them permission and for pushing them into emotional spaces with each other they did not realize was possible. How exciting it was then and how strange and difficult it’s been to preserve and negotiate space for that artistic sensibility into their professional lives.
Their talk reminded me of that time in my youth when I first studied acting, how exciting it was to perform in ways you didn’t think were possible; demonstrating and proving to yourself you are capable of more than you realized. I was talking to Husband that it was probably my favorite time in acting – the beginning, heady days of discovery and excitement over unknown possibilities yet to come.
So anyway, this teacher, they said, taught and encouraged them to perform from a place of limitlessness — that really struck me. I live in a very limited way with a very limited perspective – I think constantly on how to shrink my workload, needs, thoughts within the parameters of the demands of the day, and my dreams have become very small. My thoughts mostly circle around to-do lists. I don’t remember when this started, but I live tempering m capacity for joy and happiness, to feel big feelings, and to think large, landscape-size thoughts. What the fuck happened. I think it developed out of a desire to protect myself from…disappointment maybe? Anyway, it got me thinking. How and what if I returned to the limitless mindset? What if I start to explore how to be free within the confines of my day and situations? That would lead to a very different kind of life.