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All creating, all art, begins in the Unknown. ~Anthony Meindl
Mystery occurs outside of our safety zones – in the unknown. We’re taught from an early age that the unknown is a scary and unsafe place to be. It’s unfamiliar. It involves risk. So we do everything we can to prevent going there. Even though going there is exactly where we need to go as artists.
Deep down we all crave it. Desire it. The thrill-seeker. The adventurer. The painter. The poet. The actor. The writer – All know that any expansion and growth in life, all discoveries, all creative victories have only occurred by stepping out into the darkness, out into that which is unfamiliar.
Look at your own life. Anything that you’ve accomplished that has been meaningful or significant or fulfilling has required that you first step into that which is foreign. The unwritten page. The blank canvas. The empty room. All art you’ve ever created required that you first take the leap!
The mind tells us things like, “You’re going to get hurt.” “Don’t be stupid.” “You can never do that.” “You’re crazy!” “Who are you to try that?” – and on and on – so that it feels almost counter-intuitive to step into the void. But this is just the left brain trying to keep you safe. Stuck. Uncreative. Unsure.
Instead realize stepping into the unknown is simply part of the process of creating. It’s the creative matrix. It’s infinite potential. It’s the molding clay. It’s the substance needed for your art to take root and grow.
It requires letting go of the intellect, tuning out the left brain and letting the creative genius of the right brain flow.
Step into the unknown. Fully. Totally. Committedly. You’ll see that it supports your step. It’s been beckoning you to take the leap into it all along.
And watch what happens in your life. Even if the outcome isn’t exactly what you thought it would be, the sheer act of attempting creates so many other possibilities, insights, awareness, understanding and breakthroughs that nothing is ever lost in trying.
The novelist, Andre’ Gide, said it best:
“In order to discover new lands you must be willing to lose sight of the shore.”
Anthony Meindl is an award-winning teacher/actor/director/writer/producer. As Artistic Director of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop (AMAW – voted best acting school in Los Angeles by Backstage Magazine) – where the ‘right brain rules’ – he is endlessly inspired by his student’s fearless creativity.
Meindl’s other credits include the award-winning 35-mm short film, READY? OK! and the feature film BIRDS OF A FEATHER (with Olympia Dukakis, Bruce Vilanch, Trevor Donovan and Lindsay Hollister, which had its World Premiere at the 2012 Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival – winning the Spirt of the Festival award – both films he wrote, directed, and produced.
AT LEFT BRAIN TURN RIGHT (available on Amazon) is his first book and teaches artists of any kind to unleash their creativity: 15 weeks and 25 ways to unleash your inner Brando, Shakespeare and Einstein. The book makes accessible to all artists the philosophies that launched the careers of Meindl’s students Shailene Woodley (Golden Globe Nominee, star of The Descendants), Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl) and Cory Monteith (Glee). Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyMeindl
***A Note from Lori: A few weeks ago, I received a surprise package in the mail – a book entitled, At Left Brain Turn Right. Inside the front cover there was a personal note that said, “Lori – Thanks for inspiring so many! Love, Tony” I was very touched by this unexpected gift and message. Since then, I have read Tony’s empowering book, and have really enjoyed his light-hearted teaching approach – an uncommon path to shutting up your inner critic, giving fear the finger and having an amazing life. This book is a helpful tool for any creative thinker. Thank you again to Tony for sharing the book and this guest post!
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