To be a complete human we must support the construct which we refer to as “self” with four separate but inter connected and intertwined subdivisions which we call mind, body, soul, and spirit. Think of these as four elastic bands whose job it is to give the self shape, support, and the ability to receive, understand and respond to stimuli.
When these four are healthy and strong then the self is in dynamic stasis: It functions as an integrated whole that is vibrant, powerful, capable of great work and is able to respond to temporary disruption, fluctuation, or atrophy of any one of the four systems. An optimized system therefore is one where all four bands are healthy enough to not only do their part in supporting the whole but also temporarily doing some of the work that is usually done by one of the other three.
The great thing about theatre is that it can strengthen all four of these components, especially if you dance, which I don’t, (and for which you should be glad). There is nothing that I do that requires the totality of self more than acting. It is not any one of these attributes but all four that are required when on stage, and because we use all four we become fuller, more rounded, stronger people.
So even though my bands stretch and creak and cause me pain at times I’m going to keep working them; because doing so makes me a better man, is great fun, hard work and one of the best ways I know to live life fully.