The Second Element: The Power of Action

Directors say action – they don’t say, feel, imagine, or pretend. To act is to do, not to pretend.

When I say an “action,” I don’t mean necessarily just banging on something, hitting or kissing someone, shooting something. An action is teasing, mocking, pleading, seducing etc. Action is how we acquire things. If it weren’t for action we never would have moved out of the oceans onto land. We wouldn’t have invented the wheel and the tools to make them. We wouldn’t have built cities or travelled to the moon and back again.

We are a 3 billion year old success story of a will to survive.
“Actions” in acting terms have been reduced to pathetic little verbs actors attach to lines(which aren’t really lines, but more on that in a future blog.) Actions are born of deep primal needs. Or in crude terms the three F’s: Fight, Fuck, Feast. Words and their interwoven actions are weapons, tools, bait, medicine, means to acquire, means to an end etc. We are defined by what we do and how we go about doing it. 99.9 % of us “feel” exactly the same way as everyone else. It’s what we do and how we do it that makes us uniquely us.
We have been given language, and language and the way in which we use it is a critical and the most transparent way we communicate. “Our intent” is buried in the vowel/consonant combinations that we call words. These words are assembled into sentences. We seek comfort, we seek love, we seek a number of beautiful things. We also seek to hurt, to destroy, to maim, to steal, and murder. So action in it of itself has no value, but we as human beings imbue it with value depending how we use it or how it is used against us.

Words in that sense are weapons, traps, words are seducers, words are used for the acquisition. Anyone who has been with a group of people and somebody says something and suddenly your mood switches, someone has “done” something to you. You say, “Hey man, that hurt.” They say “What, I’m just joking.” Bullshit. If you look very carefully that is not an action to tease, that was an action to mock and to hurt.

Any time anyone talks to you about anything and your mood changes, you have been “done to.”

Action is also how we communicate over distances big or small.
For example: you walk into the house, you walk in the front door and you say, “I am home” and then you hear, “I’m in the kitchen.” What a ridiculous conversation. Of course you are home, where else would you be, and in the kitchen you will find them soon enough. But why is this important, it’s not the words, it’s the intent. You are late. You promised you wouldn’t be late. So you come in and say, “I am home,” with the action to apologize, or to plead, don’t yell at me. And then you wait, You wait. You now hear “I am in the kitchen.” Sometimes you get “to warn,” or an attack. In other words, guard up. You might get “to comfort,” to set you at ease, in which case you relax. All from a distance.

Or an alternate scenario:
You are late. Man, you tried very hard to get home on time, but you had the worst day in your life. The last thing you need is to walk into your own home and get grief. So you walk in the front and say, “I am home,” with the action “to warn,” i.e: don’t threaten, don’t come at me. I have had a rough day.
You might get somebody from the kitchen or wherever backing off saying, “I’m in the kitchen,” to make you feel okay cool I get it. Or you might get threatened, “I’m in the kitchen,” in other words, now you have a decision. You either have to mend your action to apologize or be ready for a fight.
Another example, tends to happen at the end of months when some people are moving.
Beggars and Pleaders
Some of your friends might have called upon you, to help them move. There are different kinds of people. There are, what I would call the beggars and the pleaders. “Come on please! Can you help me move, my brother’s being difficult and I’m having a fight with him so he’s not goanna help, and you know I have no money right now and I can’t hire a truck, so, really, would you mind… Could you help me please, please!” And there you are, Sunday morning, carrying a couch up a flight of stairs.
Teasers and Seducers
Then you have the teasers and seducers.
“Can you help me? It won’t take very long, honest, and, you know, I think Bill/Nancy’s got a thing for you, and I think you kinda like him as well. Anyway, he is going to help. It will only be a few hours. I’m buying the beer and pizza. Look, I know you’d like white wine. Okay, I will get you some.” There you are. It’s Sunday morning, carrying a couch up a flight of stairs.
Demanding, threatening types
Then you have the demanding threatening types.
“Okay, you don’t want to help! Fine! But don’t you dare ever ever ask me for any favour, ever, ever again. Okay. And I will tell everyone we know what kind of jerk and selfish prick you are”! And there you are, Sunday morning carrying that couch up a flight of stairs. 
How people go about acquiring things says a lot about who they are. We all got very good at certain ways of acquiring things and not so good at others because some were rewarded and some were not as children. 
Subtext is a literary expression. 
Hidden meaning a literary device. What we do with our words and their buried intent could change the trajectory of our lives or even be a matter of life or death.