Jul 10, 2013
Tagged with: BE THE FLOWER


Maybe you’ve heard the jokes about directors asking actors to “be more autumn” or “be the tree.”  Well, maybe that joke is really a great idea!

Try this acting exercise at home or out and about in the world:

Pick an object, anything, anything at all (that is safe to touch).  For example, a flower, like the one pictured above, a flaming orange cosmos.  Take at least one minute and really look at the flower.  Notice everything about it.  How many petals are there?  Is it in full bloom?  Wilting a little?  How orange is the orange?  How many seeds are bunched together in the center?  Look at the flower from another angle.  Try one more.

Now close your eyes and touch the flower.  How do the petals feel?  What is the stem like? Can you feel the ridges of each petal?  Notice everything you can through touch.

Smell it.  Does it have a smell? Does the smell remind you of anything?

Listen to it!  Really!  Bring the flower close to your ear.  Do you hear anything?  (Hopefully not, but who knows!)

Experiment with every way you can sensorial experience the flower, besides eating it.  Maybe taste a petal.  Maybe not.

Take all of this sensory information, add a healthy dose of imagination and be the flower!  How does a flower ambulate, talk, what qualities of a flower are fun to embody?  Does imagining being a flower change how you look at the flower?  If the flower is in full bloom, what would it feel like to move as a person in full bloom?

Perhaps the artist Georgia O’Keefe was wrong when she said, “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small.  We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.”

What would happen if we paid more attention to the world around us?  Who knows maybe we can really “be more autumn.”  I look forward to reading about your experiments in being ____ !



Author: Elizabeth Vander Kamp

  • Lori

    lovely! I’m going to try this today E.!

  • Demi Eckhoff

    Great post, Elizabeth! Thank you for reminding us to appreciate the world around us and ‟smell the roses”.

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Demi, Thank you! I hope you got to smell the roses today!

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Hi Lori! You are a beautiful flower! E

  • Carl E

    Mr Rogers stoplight in his house was always on yellow reminding kids to slow down, and “smell” the flowers. I love how your acting therapy can help us overcome and be an active participant: slowing down or speeding up depending on the situation, rather than being a passive observer!

  • Phil Vander Kamp

    Hi Elizabeth, I was in the garden today and am being a cucumber!

  • Bob

    Ahhh, Elizabeth, Your guided experience of ”tuning in” to the flower was awesome. Slowing down and drinking deeply for those things that are right here in our presence, is to be in a state of Paradise. What a great place to ‘act’ from….even when you are in ‘performing’. Thanks for the wake up call, and another opportunity to celebrate the ‘is-ness’ of being alive. I’m looking forward to the next play. Peace, Bob

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Bob, Thank you! Yes, let’s celebrate the ‘is-ness’ of being alive! The next play is in the works – with singing!

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Carl, I had forgotten about Mr. Rogers stoplight. Thank you for reminder and your kind words.

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    How wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  • bobl07

    I am all in if it’s with singing!

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Oh Good! Because there might be audience participation singing, too! Thank you, Bob.

  • Bob Lujano

    Good, because then they can drown me out and it will sound so much better. (:>

  • julia

    Hi there, and Thank you, Elizabeth!

    As an actor, I deeply appreciate the debunking of phrases, instructions, creative approaches that are easily made fun of when one is not in a place where the focus is on transcendent creativity. You invite us to say, Yeah, I’m gonna invite transcendent creativity every day! Forget not doing that. what an invitation to feel as alive as we possibly can, wherever we are.

    Thanks so much!!