Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kindling Knack 4/15/09

Genius is the talent for discovering what cannot be taught or learned.

Immanuel Kant
Hi. Government got your money?
Einstein once said he wasn't a genius but that he was just very curious. I don't know but I guess curiosity is behind all endeavors that transcend what people seem to know. It has been said that education begins the moment you leave school. That's when you start to find out some of your teachers knew what they were talking about, some of them knew some of the time and others never did know. Leaving school and going out into the real world requires shedding a lot of skins.

In my own career I have seen young people come into professional theatre fresh from some drama department or school of the arts with the stupidest ideas as to what acting is all about and what actually goes on in a professional theatre. It's painful to see them struggle to let go of what their favorite professor taught them to do. But letting go of useless training is essential to finding one's way in any important endeavor.

There are theories, there are practices and then there are discoveries. Theories are like rule books, written or compiled by somebody along the way. They generally say that if you put this with that then the other thing is going to happen. Some of these rules are good, others are not. One has to decide for oneself. And that's where the practice comes in.

I know actors who act by the numbers, as the saying goes, who think they know how any given scene should be played based on similar scenes of the past. If they have a love scene they will perform a generic love scene with no love in it, a rule book love scene. No risks taken, nothing learned.

Then how do discoveries come about? By asking questions. By curiosity. By saying "I wonder what would happen if I tried attaching a flat piece of wood to the bottom of the ship with a handle on it. Maybe I can steer it that way and I wouldn't have keep moving the sails back and forth by hand."

In short, geniuses are curious people who put the rule books aside, imagine, think things through, try them out and keep trying until they work.

Maybe you qualify as a genius but don't know it yet.

Have another one on me.


Linda's World said...

I even discovered after I was out on my own for a few years, that my parents weren't as stupid as I thought they were. In fact they were the smartest people I'd ever known. My two adult kids have discovered the same thing. 37* here tonight...I'm so tired of being cold. Linda in WA

Big Mark 243 said...

This is pretty much 'on point'. Something that I have found that is hard for the younger people to understand. I guess that is what makes what Kant said so profound.

SILVER said...

i suppose that's why we try NOT to discourage children from asking questions..

much untapped wisdom lies in their minds because they do not have rigid boundaries or strict categories..

strange that we sometimes have to re learn.. to be able to free our minds like children..

Elisabeth said...

Excellent! So true. Thank you.

Beth said...

There would be no discoveries, no forward progress, no innovation without a healthy curiosity.

Hugs, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I think we all have a bit of genious in us, it is just a matter of finding the subject that ignites the spark.

Indigo said...

I know I would of never gone beyond my pain if I listened to what every else had to say about me. Instead I decided to find out in my own introspecting way what the world truly had to offer.

Wonderful post as usual dear friend!(Hugs)Indigo

Rose~* said...

Ah yes - curiosity may have killed the cat, but the early bird still gets the worm. We still have until the end of this month to file our taxes, but with hubby being an accountant, everyone got theirs filed early and have already received their refunds. Happy Spring to you!

Breezy said...

THink of the things that would never be, if people had listened to one person tell them "It can't be done." I am not very good at exploring new ways, but I support those who do. I give them hope and encouragement to keep trying if they have an idea, or want to do something a different way.