Imagine playing the same character, the one you came up with in high-school, reciting the same stories, the same lines every night… for your whole life. Eventually you get tired of the ups and downs, the yelling, the cursing, the crying, the drama…. Eventually you’ll become tired of acting….
In short, you’ll finally be ready to shut down your theater.
The first one to caution you against this is your ego: “If you shut it down for yourself, you’re shutting it down for everyone else, too.” (You see, the ego only lives inside the theater. He can’t go outside with you, he’s just a series of roles you’re playing.)
So it’s like this: to shut down your theater, to take a break from the action, you’re going to have to learn to sit on an empty stage, without lights, without costumes, without scripts or stage designs or extras. Just YOU, alone, in the dark. If you can handle it, which takes a lot of guts – to live without costumes, props or other characters, but JUST YOU…
If you can handle that – then slowly you begin to get a feel for Who You Really Are, in the silence, in the emptiness. “You” without all the fru-fru. You begin to see this YOU without the theater is so much more interesting, authentic, vulnerable and caring, than the “you” you were playing on the stage (and not even convincingly, at the end, not even to yourself!).
It’s like you finally start to remember the YOU you were all along… before the roles came around and the theater opened.
After that, you can reopen your theater at any time, or leave it closed. It’s just not that important to you what happens on the stage: it can no longer control you or affect your character.
You will have found the on/off switch, what a relief! Now, if the theater wants to have a show, it needs YOU to open it.