"It is not good to talk about Zen, because Zen is nothingness... If you talk about it, you are always lying, and if you don't talk about it, no one knows it is there.”
The powerful message here for actors in training is that words can not capture the emotional/spiritual space that you occupy when you strive towards this thing I call True Acting. And yet, we continue to describe it, reflect on it and point to it as a reminder of the direction we must aim the arrow.
And so, the description is this... You must shift yourself so completely out of the way that you become an empty vessel from which the character can speak through. Rather than thinking of acting as a putting on of masks, I am saying that it is an unmasking of oneself to reveal the character that was waiting there all along.
This reminds me of two wonderful quotes from the Tao Te Ching:
"We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want."
"We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable."
And so you work on your craft and you work and you work and if the particular training you are following is one of great value, it is leading you towards an inner flash of lightning, an unexpected, unplanned and unforced state of total freedom, total expression, total availability and unrestricted responsiveness. Now, all “technique” disappears, there is no effort, no tension. And what remains? YOU. You actually doing. You actually living. Nothing more and nothing less."