With Patti Stiles in town this past week, reinvigorating tons of friends with the fun agenda, I thought I’d post a little maxim that I’ve been finding useful.
Maxim: Find the fun you can have with what you have right now, rather than worrying about the correct thing to do next.
Not following the maxim: Start playing a scene: discover I’m low status and they are high. Ok so I know scenes can work by reverse a status relationship, so my job is to figure out how to do that, thus solving the scene and doing it properly.
Following the maxim: Start playing a scene: discover I’m low status and they are high. How much fun can I have with my partner, that high status character? With this relationship? Enjoy that, rather than trying to ‘work toward’ the next step. When what you have feels like it might want to turn into something else, you’ll find it is easier and more obvious to make a change (eg a status shift) because you have immersed yourself deeply in the moment and created a reality that gives you lots of possibilities.
To put meat on the example: maybe I bow when the master makes any request and I discover a ridiculous, pleasing physical quality to my right-angled bows, allowing them to get bigger or more awkward. Simultaneously my partner enjoys using ever-longer invectives to insult me with – ‘you miserable millipede-legged fascimile of an ape’ (he’s not a happy high-status at all!).
These things are fun and we are playing with them, along with adding other details to the scene and messing with each other: what happens when the servant needs to bow with the plate of champagne flutes? At a certain point though it feels like it’s done, and I find myself saying ‘I’ve been practicing for this moment, sir’ and give him a mighty bent-at-the hip stage headbutt. Or my partner says: ‘I’ve insulted you for years, and yet you are so stoic. I break apart at the hint of criticism… can you tell me how it’s done?’ The thing that is needed, more often than not, just comes from being with what’s already there.
This isn’t to suggest bridging when the scene is calling for a change (see this quote). We don’t want to delay for fear of moving forward. But we also don’t want to press forward with an scene-solving course of action for fear of being present with what we have. We don’t want to be preoccupied with the correct ‘game move’ when that gets in the way of what’s happening right now.
It’s a tonal thing, for sure. It’s not about squeezing every drop of juice out of the current situation – we may want to come back to it. But we want to establish and enjoy things, and not feel pressured to drop things for being ‘not good enough’
Maxims are cheap tricks – they are right until they are wrong, because reality is infinite and cannot be constrained by words.
Maxim Reality. Prodigy dude and a cool guy.
But right now, I’m finding it a handy trick for me, and maybe it will be for you, too.