Ch01.Blog32 An existential thought for your next audition
by Nick Cain
DISCLAIMER: I could sound a little like a crackpot in this blog. So straight up, l’m warning you. But fuck it, the below is well worth considering even if it’s not your particular cup of tea…
Paul Arden was the quintessential advertising man. In fact, looking at old images of the salt-and-pepper haired, spectacle-toting, elderly gentlemen in a fine suit sitting on a bunch of over-sized books, you could be forgiven for mistaking him as a friend of Don Draper in a series of Mad Men. Best known for his role at global advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi, although you may not know it, you’ve seen this man’s work in some form. Or – at the very least, been affected by his influence on the world of advertising.
But that’s not originally how l got to know Paul Arden consciously, and it’s not how he came to shape my views on my existence and the role art plays within it.
Paul wrote a series of very simple yet ideas-rich books. Each one l suggest you should read for different reasons. I’ll place a link to them all at the end of this blog. But the book of most interest to me right now is God Explained In a Taxi Ride. It is a book l often suggest people read when l’m asked my belief around the idea of God, and how l consider the interconnectedness of things.
It’s a bloody interesting take. The book is small enough that you can read it ‘during a taxi ride’. It’s essentially a picture book, too, (maybe that’s why l like it, it’s great for my simple mind!) but it goes a great way to marrying my spiritual, artistic and scientific beliefs.
Now, l’ve only got 500 words to write this whole blog, so forgive me, dear scientists, for dumbing this down.
If at an atomic level everything is made of exactly the same stuff (particles or quarks), and energy is a vehicle or a conductor for this stuff… then it goes to reason that everything and everyone is connected in some way (even by the definition of just being ‘stuff’ together). The book examines the transference of energy into different forms, and where and what it helps form. Such as a sunset, a human, a feeling – we are not just random stuff floating in space. We are formed into things.
And that to me is where god resides, in the creation of things. There’s a harmony, a synchronicity to all this existence stuff – and not necessarily shaped by a man with a beard on a white cloud either.
But before l go down an existential rabbit hole, let me bring it all back for you…
If we are all connected in this way, it goes to reason that this can play a part in our lives, particularly our artistic lives.
When you’re acting (or partaking in any art form or any task, mind you) you are transferring energy from one point to another and affecting something or someone else. Creating something new; a feeling, a thought, an action, a reaction.
That’s pretty special. God-like even, as it would be.
Now, you may call bullshit on everything l just typed. That’s the beauty of you being you. You can form your own opinions on all this stuff. But you know what, my next audition l’m going to take this into consideration. That maybe there is something bigger at play than just delivering some lines in a stuffy room with complete strangers.
What do you think? Worth a try?
Let’s transfer energy, affect someone and something – even when we first greet the casting agent. Trust in the synchronicity of us being there at that very moment. Believe in the interconnectedness of everything in that room, the vulnerability of giving and receiving the energy given. Just transferring some fucking energy already!
See if it doesn’t make us feel that little bit more special in the room, like we are creating something special with others. It’s the magical high we are always craving anyway.
Grandiose, l know. But fuck it, right?! What have we got to lose?
Let’s be special, and make our art be about something bigger than ourselves. That’s something to believe in.
Great books by Paul Arden