OC Artie learns lines  The Odd Couple taught me two lessons on becoming more professional.

Lesson #1 today…

Lesson #1: Preparation
There are moments — for me, before a show — when I feel like I'm just not disciplined enough to be an actor. (Or a business person. Or a father. Or the operator of a motor vehicle.)

So, watching the cast of The Odd Couple — and admiring them at every step — I mentioned to Matt Slaybaugh, the producer of The Odd Couple and artistic director of Available Light [Theatre]: "I just don't think I'm disciplined enough to be an actor."

Matt replied: "What do you mean? It isn't about discipline."

Artie: "It is for me. I just can't find sufficient discipline to learn my lines well enough."

Then Matt said (and here's the lesson):

It isn't about discipline. It's about this: at some point, you will experience a magic moment on the stage — a moment of completeness, of control, of being the character.

It won't be about remembering your lines. It will be about the character's intention. You will be the character.

And the rest of your life, you will be focused and committed to trying to have that experience again. It won't be discipline that gets you there; it will be desire, the desire to achieve that experience again.

This is about more than life on the stage. It's about life on the planet. In your job. In your family. In the mirror.

[Lesson #2 tomorrow.]