“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”
One of the first things I learnt when coming into a scene is to expect you’re going to get what you want. When you come into the scene, expect that whatever your objective is, imagine if you’re going to get it as easy as walking. Walking is pretty easy but then again, I’m pretty clumsy at it… I always trip out over on air and sprang my ankle while just trying to leave the house. Coming back to my scene, I definitely knew I would not come out on top and I knew the scene ends up me embarrassed and left by the character’s one true love. So why did my acting teacher say that to me?
Because it will hurt when my expectations cracks…
One of the things we humans do is have an expectation. Based on the Oxford dictionary, an expectation can be described as “A strong belief that something will happen or be the case.” In acting, we use it all the time to create suspense or a reaction for both the actor and audience to create a surprise. For example, when we watch a horror movie, you expect the hallway of a haunted house is empty until a ghost suddenly comes out and ruins your day. Yeah, us artists are manipulative people. We use expectations to get something out of you, but how can you with expectations to help you out?
Expectations can cultivate negativity or positivity if you use them correctly. I think most people in their lives have experienced the pain of something not going their way. It eats you up inside and drains your every desire to keep going. You decide to just give up and live hopelessly. It’s like when you ask someone out on a date. When you expect them to say yes but it results in a no, it feels super shit. You feel like all hope of you finding love is gone just because they said no.
It’s just the worst.
So maybe there are times where you shouldn’t have expectations because like in acting, you will end beating yourself up for it. Same goes for everything else. A promotion. A grade. It’s that entitlement that breaks you.
The way to fix it is to change what you expect.
When you expect an outcome, it’s either a win or a loss. If you expect the process, something happens. You expect to learn something new and gain a new experience. You don’t focus on the end but instead, you gain a journey. Set expectations on how you are going to feel about the process. It’s something in stoic philosophy, it’s about controlling what you can control.
No one can fully control a result. Maybe try controlling how you feel about it.
Constellations | Credit: Stephen Henry