How does your intellect interact with your creativity?
The conflict between head and heart
Jodie Foster has commented, “I can basically put my emotions aside and go headfirst, but it’s something I have to watch, because sometimes I don’t know how I feel about things…
“Until years later,” she adds, and laughs.
“I am someone who experiences the world through my head, so my psyche’s fight, my whole life, has been the head against the heart. That’s what all my movies are about, too.”
Brie Larson once made a great comment about this ‘head’ and ‘heart’ interaction:
“I was the type of person that would show a PowerPoint presentation about why I should do something versus crying and screaming over it.” [imdb]
[Photo: Brie Larson in a poster for ‘Captain Marvel’.]
In addition to the creative value of being non-intellectual in your work, there can be unconscious ways you may limit yourself as an artist.
Psychotherapist Mihaela Ivan Holtz helps creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She also writes about the emotional and creative pleasures and challenges of their inner lives on her site Creative Minds Psychotherapy.
Here is an excerpt from one of her articles on the topic of unconscious conflicts:
The uniquely competitive arts and entertainment world can easily trigger your worst unconscious conflicts.
You hear things like “planets have to align for you to make it.” And yet, many artists become successful every year.
While you may not be able to control when and how the “planets align” for you, you can align yourself with possibilities and opportunities.
Your unconscious mind can sabotage your dreams. What if you could understand your unconscious mind and turn it into your ally?
- See more in article
Are you unconsciously holding back your creative career?
Taking risks to be more creative
In my interview with Jennifer Lehman, a film acting teacher and consultant, she compares the linear mind or ego to the police department motto “To Serve and Protect” – and notes:
“When you’re in a creative state like acting, it’s not about protection – it’s about revealing and risk-taking.
“It takes tremendous courage to do that, and if the mind steps in, it’s there to pull you back from that experience: ‘Whoa, wait a minute, we’re getting into the danger zone here!’
“Exceptional acting performance is about being willing to stay right there with the emotional heat – ‘on the stove’ – without becoming self-indulgent,” she adds.
“As soon as you’re ‘on the stove’ it’s not about hopping off as fast as you can, or staying there, ‘frying’, but knowing when to get off, and that’s an intuitive thing.”
Photo: Nicole Kidman has commented about the emotionality of her work:
“You live with a lot of complicated emotions as an actor, and they whirl around you and create havoc at times. And yet, as an actor you’re consciously and unconsciously allowing that to happen…”
From article Actors and High Sensitivity.
Annette Bening – step away from your intellect
“What separates us as actors is that there’s this whole kind of emotional synthesis you’re looking for where you then have to step away from your intellect completely in trying to absorb yourself.
“It’s like stepping away from all of that, and then hopefully something has percolated in your own unconscious which leads you to something that you’re not necessarily able to articulate in an intellectual way, but is expressed nevertheless.”
From my post – Annette Bening on unconscious versus conscious.
James Woods said “I’m just like an idiot savant.
“I have one enormously enjoyable, pleasurable – for me – talent, which is being able to act.
“I do it without any confusion or restriction or ambivalence or hesitation, and it just flows, almost as naturally as anything in my life.”
He also has said he is “tired of the Actors’ Studio bullsh*t that has ruined movies for 40 years.
“All these guys running around pretending they are turnips or whatever the hell they do.
“You just play the character as he really is. As a loudmouth, blowhard, coward, sh*thead.
“You know, it’s OK to be just who the guy is.”
He thinks the process of acting “requires you to be unconscious [of it] when you do it.
“When you’re aware of what you’re doing, it’s never very good.
“If you just let go and you’re in the scene, all of a sudden, it’s good. I can’t act; I swear to you, I feel like I can’t.
“I dread it every time I do it. I feel like the more I do it, the less I know. Which is a good thing.” [quotes from imdb.com bio]
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