Last night I set foot into the acting studio again to recommence Meisner training. There are not words to explain the excitement that I felt re-entering this space!
As I took my seat in the circle of chairs for the introductory class I could not wait for the clock to strike 7 so the training could get started.
Class soon began, and we commenced introducing ourselves and working our “listening muscles” in get-to-know-you exercises. I could feel the space warming up and the buzz of nervous energy in the black studio.
When the exercise moved to something different I was shocked with the revelation that soon hit me.
As we sat in the circle we were asked to look at each person in the eyes and really take them in.
One actor began, looking at the actor beside them; they then looked at the next actor, then the next actor and then the next, until they looked at me. The moment passed and then they moved onto the next actor.
This sounds awkward, well, it was.
However, as each actor had his or her turn looking around the circle, with each gaze I shared I began to feel myself settling and beginning to make contact with the person who looked at me.
Then it hit me. I suddenly became aware of how rarely we give ourselves permission in “real life” to really look at another human and take them in for who they are. And rarely do we allow ourselves to make contact in this kind of vulnerable way with another human being.
I found myself excited for the next round, and then it was my turn.
As I began to look into the eyes of each actor I found myself relishing in the privilege it is to really see another person and to let them see me.
It felt odd to see others and to enjoy being seen. But somewhere inside of me this made me sad.
We live in a world that claims to be more connected than ever before. But this activity made me realize once again how disconnected we really are.
I carry a smartphone in my pocket that allows me to connect with any number of people anytime and almost anywhere. But is this really connecting?
In any given day we have multiple human interactions buying groceries and petrol, making enquiries, seeing friends, debriefing a day with family. But how often do we really take the other person in and equally allow them to really see us?
Aside from my family, I would say this would not be often. Life in this “connected world” for me, often feels two-dimensional, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
We were not created to be two-dimensional or to live in disconnect. This is a sad existence.
I believe in the God of the Bible who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in divine communion – in perfect connection. The Bible says in Genesis chapter 1 verse 27, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them…” If God exists in communion and we are created in the image of God, then we too can conclude that we are also created to really connect with others and with God.
I think it’s time that I personally make more of an effort to stop keeping my head down and really see the people around me and really connect with them. Let’s say no to two-dimensional living and use the ability to connect through our smartphones to arrange time to really connect with the people in our lives.
Charley Cox's previous articles may be viewed at