The Reflective Age

Discussion of the art and craft of improvisation.

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The Reflective Age

Postby Spots » October 30th, 2013, 8:32 pm

“Reflection is not the evil; but a reflective condition and the deadlock which it involves, by transforming the capacity for action into a means of escape from action, is both corrupt and dangerous, and leads in the end to a retrograde movement.” - Søren Kierkegaard

What's it mean to reflect? To be relatable?

I know there are two distinct camps in improv when it comes to audience approval. While I do not subscribe to "looking for approval" I do subscribe to having a passive awareness of it.

Is it my job as a performer to reflect back at the audience what they want? To reflect back what they like about themselves? Is there a "how-to guide" to properly doing this?

The theater is a giant mirror. The audience sees the performers and transfer themselves onto the stage. They want to relate.

"As audience members we want to see confidence in others. We want to see genuine joy and vulnerability. We want to see the best and most frail parts of human life shining back at us."

What do we do as performers? Should we worry about gaining audience approval? Should we performers be concerned about the reflections we put forth?


We're not responsible for reflections. Because it's impossible to know or control what we're reflecting. We're only responsible for ourselves and being true to ourselves.

What if you ask a tennis player "How are you holding your racket with your thumb?" The tennis player becomes self-aware and they trip up.

So I would say yes be aware if I didn't know for a fact that worrying about approval was the fastest way to lose it.

“Reflection is not the evil; but a reflective condition [is]"

My brother turned out to have Narcisstic Personality Disorder and caused me to remove memories of what I thought were genuine experiences from my childhood. Meanwhile I'm also a performer and I'm forced to find solace having a healthy dose of narcissism while doing what I love. I'm connected to the stupid internet looking for reflections from people whom I passively know. Did this person like my facebook status? Superficial. Everything these days is a reflection. We live in a reflective age. It's why I am absolutely in love with this song. Every single thing about the last year of my life has been about this:

I want you to grab your headphones and BLAST this.

Now I know that Arcade Fire's lyrics are purposely ambiguous but I gain deep insight and joy from them. If you concern yourself with reflections, you are dealing only in the superficial. There's something more to art, beyond the grasp of the superficial. We have to accept that it lies in the perpetually unknown.

Here's what a reflection is, if you choose to live in one: It's a perpetual feedback loop of failure. Don't you think? Reach further always-- that's when the work will be the best.

Unless you want to be a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. Thanks for reading.
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Re: The Reflective Age

Postby Spots » November 19th, 2013, 7:36 pm

I posted this gif as a joke. But then I took the time to watch each individual's reaction to the event.

http://usatthebiglead.files.wordpress.c ... e-nuts.gif

How many men react by reaching down to their own crotch or at least by shifting their weight / lower bodies?

How many women react by bringing their hand up to their face or head?

How many of them bend at the waist?

How many of them try to hide & protect their bodies behind someone else's?

You can see reflections everywhere.
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