The Art of Remembering

Journaling is an important part of an actor’s experience, and so during breaks and after the busy moments, I see almost everyone in the apprentice company jotting something down in their journal. Journaling is also just as vital when it comes to traveling. So much happens with each day that it’s helpful to jot at least the main points down. This made me think of the reason why people journal. Is it to reinforce the experience and discover something new in reflecting, or is it to look back later and remember? It makes me think about what I’m going to remember most from this experience. I know the biggest part of being an actor is being fully present and thinking of the future takes you away from that. I would love to remember each moment, but I know some will stick out more than others and my mind has wandered to what moments I actually will remember.

In most theater programs I’ve been involved in, they almost always start off with a circle and everyone introducing themselves in one way or another. It’s usually name, school, major, one interesting thing about you, etc. With One Year Lease, we filtered into Athens in the span of one day. We met each other one by one, in pairs, and in groups. We started making connections and intensely in-depth conversations. Then we wandered around Athens, swam in the ocean, watched Greek theater, arrived in the awe-inducing Papingo, went on an incredible hike, etc.

So the first few days went by without us having that formal circle introduction. Together we all just kind of fell into the experience of being in Greece and having a passion for art, which served as our introduction. And so today was the first day where we started working with theater. We had an introduction to Viewpoints with Shira where we had our first “traditional” introductory circle.

"Traditional Introductory Circle"
“Traditional Introductory Circle”

She even pointed out that it would feel kind of strange because we had already gotten to know one another.There were seven specific questions we were asked to answer in that specific order with a specific phrasing. We learned how easy it  is to forget these questions, when the spotlight is on you, especially the phrasing and order. What I found interesting about this introductory experience was that I felt like I knew these people more when we weren’t talking about these things that we think define us, but rather the conversations we had already had and the new experiences we had already shared together. We all have these ideas of who were are and who we want to be and that was what for the most part was addressed in this circle introduction we had today. And while a lot of what people said told me something new about them, that’s most likely not what I’m going to remember of them from this trip.

Grab for Post I might not remember each conversation we have or each meal we share together. Eventually I might forget what colleges each student went to. I probably won’t remember the specific hairstyles of each person. Maybe I won’t even remember some of the most amazing stories they tell me. But I’ll probably remember what we go through in the next month together. And maybe I’ll remember some of the details everyone gave this morning, but I also hope to remember so much more than that.

– Monisha

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