so i just saw black swan, and it did something to my head. i left the movie theater last night feeling distinctly uncomfortable, without really being able to put a finger on why. natalie portman’s performance was absolutely terrific. but the story wasn’t exactly covering foreign territory; anyone familiar with method actors knows what some artists will do to get emotionally in touch with their work. i mean, you’ve seen what christian bale did to himself for the machinist, right?
walking home, and feeling slightly out of whack, i felt compelled to try to write something, to try tapping into that weird/unsettling feeling. but i kinda lost touch with it before i was able to get any words down. and, “unfortunately,” i wasn’t able to force myself back into that weird headspace again. i felt frustrated because i couldn’t shake the idea that i’d never be able to write a truly great story until i was somehow able to not only explore dark places like that (almost on command, upon sitting down at a desk)—but i’d also have to find a way to describe that, communicate that feeling through language.
being in the process of a pretty painful breakup right now, i’ve been listening to a lot of classic breakup records. or, more accurately, blood on the tracks and sea change—pretty much on repeat. with 12 angry months tossed in occasionally. i don’t know if that helps in the least bit, but it does make me feel like i should be able to make something—cathartic or interesting or emotionally resonant—out of a what is essentially a big fucking mess. but i also know that great art doesn’t necessarily have to come from a place of personal pain or discomfort. so i’m interesting in hearing if there are writer-type equivalents of method acting. laura had a good post a while back about carrying a character around in your head with you. but what do you do to get into headspace, especially if it’s an uncomfortable one?