Shaun Baer

actor - singer - writer

"A New Day Has Begun"

Captain's Blog - Stardate 60402.0

Four years ago I had the amazing opportunity to take a master class with the incomparable Broadway legend Betty Buckley. Definitely one of the turning points in my life, although I think I am still processing some of the lessons learned.

While you would think this would be an amazing opportunity to learn about performance, the first day dealt almost exclusively with fear and meditation. She started by asking us all, this rag-tag group of folks from all walks of life, what our biggest obstacle with auditions and performing were. No matter what we said, as we broke each of them down, it boiled down to fear.

Her take-away, which I was reminded of Thursday, was that fear is a chemical response in our body to new stimuli that is basically there to make sure that when we see the saber-tooth tiger on the plain before us, we know that we should either kill and eat it (fight) or run away (flight). It is caused by an increase in adrenaline in the body to give us an energy boost to carry out whichever task we choose. 

But we are the ones who make the decision. 

The meditation she taught, and I have continued to learn about, is focused on bringing peace to a hyper-active mind. Part of her approach included accepting the concept that "We are not our mind. We HAVE a mind. It is our tool and we can learn to use it differently."

I think I finally understand what she and Dan Harris are talking about. I meditated yesterday for the first time in a while. I set a timer as usual for twenty minutes and though I'm usually fidgeting by minute 18 and often wrap up 30-50 second before the chime, yesterday I stayed in in through and past the second bell. I felt more focused and much calmer.

Definitely a habit worth keeping.