The Selvedge Yard has a great story on James Dean and Dennis Hopper this morning. They worked together on the set of Rebel Without A Cause.
Hopper was so entralled with Dean that one day on the set he grabbed Dean and said, “You gotta tell me what you’re doin’, because I don’t understand. Tell me, should I go to New York and study at the Actor’s Studio? Man, tell me what I should do.” Dean told him very simply, “Don’t go to New York and study. Don’t act. OK? Just, you know– do it. Don’t act it, don’t show it– just do it.”
Jon Patrick of The Selvedge Yard follows up with this:
I love that story. It’s like, don’t go through the motions like you’re doing something– actually do it. How you live, move and breathe should be natural. Speaking for myself– so many times in life, it’s like we’re so busy planning out our routines instead of encountering life naturally. Not that all planning is bad, but we’re focused on the efficiency, convenience, routine all the time- and also how the world sees us. What should I say? What should I wear? What will people think of me? Blah, blah, blah. And life becomes stale. It becomes predictable. It can become this sad little trap that ultimately is the end to all means. We stop anticipating or welcoming anything unplanned, different, or unexpected because we wouldn’t know what to do with it. Where would I fit this into my neat little plan?
I wonder sometimes what I’m missing out on in life because I don’t want to be inconvenienced. Because I don’t want to take my eyes off the hamster wheel under my feet and look up. Stop planning and analyzing everything to death– just do it.