Monday, March 15, 2010

Marathon Theatre and the ability to live in the moment.

Just the mention of the almost nine hour length of Lipsynch is guaranteed to elicit a response of disbelief. Yet the experience of watching the show does not feel like A Nine Hour Show. (Thankfully.) Good stories and regular breaks keep it engaging and enjoyable. And it must be said that seeing it in its nine hour version is a completely different experience than the version where it is split up into three sequential nights. There is just something unique about showing up to the theatre prepared and ready to go through the experience of watching a nine hour play. The audience actually enters the theatre in a different way, more like the feeling of when you start out on a long hike knowing that you have your water bottle, chocolate bar (thank you, Norway, for teaching me this hiking necessity!), packed lunch, and the conviction that you will make it to the top, picnic there, and then come home with that tired-in-a-nice-way feeling. Obviously, a nine hour play requires a desire to be there and the effort to set aside other activities to commit to focusing on the play for an extended amount of time. There is a type of discipline involved, though not an unpleasant one, and this attentiveness and investment pays off with a communal sense of having accomplished a long journey where the boundaries of your experience in the world have been expanded in some way.

Which makes me wonder about how much our anticipation of an event affects how we actually experience an event? Often I find myself rushing to events or meetings and slipping in without much personal preparation. And even when I plan for events I am hosting, I often end up doing things at the last minute anyways. Clearly, planning is a part of hosting an event, especially for Myers-Brigg J's, but perhaps it should be as much about being actively present and investing in the actual lived moment. That is sometimes difficult for me because I am always thinking ahead to plan for what might happen, and then coming up with an additional back-up plan in case the first plan doesn't work. As a wanna-be ENFP (who is actually a J, much to my own disappointment and despite my former delusion of being a "carpe diem" kind of girl), I guess it is about finding the right balance of planning and being well-prepared enough so that when the moment comes, I can relax about the details and know that now is the time to just BE. Sometimes I am better at this than other times, but I guess this needs to stay on my list of life qualities to strive to cultivate. (Is that allowed? Can I actively plan to try to be more disciplined about living in the moment?)

PS. This show demands a ton of investment...12 hours, a ferry ride, and a 20 minute walk.

PPS. S pointed out to me that I am not a carpe-diem girl in any sense of reality. It is amazing how much you can learn about yourself from someone else. Another surprising thing marriage has taught me is that I am much more klutzy than I thought I was and I drop things more frequently than the average person. Which caused me to wonder...have I always dropped things and never noticed, or is this something new that should be a concern?


  1. I'm always amused at how many characteristics you and Melissa share (re: your "klutzy" behavior). Hopefully I don't get in trouble discussing such things on your blog!

    One of my mottos in life is don't sweat the details. That shouldn't be news to you, as I'm sure I've told you those same words on occasion before. I find life's just easier to deal with and enjoy when you don't get caught up by the little things.

  2. Ha! When I saw that you dropped things a lot, I just had to comment! I've broken three glass things in the past two months.

    I don't think it needs to be a concern unless it's due to a weakness in your grip.

    I think my clumsiness comes from not paying attention to what I'm doing. I'm always thinking about something else - I pride myself in my multi-tasking but feel ridiculous when I'm clumsy because of it.

    The nine hour play sounds like a great experience - reminds me of a theater near me that shows extended version The Lord of the Rings - all three movies in a row. Epic.

  3. I am glad to hear I am not the only klutzy one.

    @Mike- I think you and S are pretty similar too. :) Yes...good advice. I tend to obsess about the small stuff.

    @Davanie- maybe that is part of my reason for clumsiness too? I tend to be thinking about multiple things other than what I am doing. Could explain my inattentiveness...