#TheGouge: What is Intentional Inhibition (Reacting vs. Responding)?

Jesko von den Steinen breaks down Intentional Inhibition, or the difference between reacting and responding.

Welcome back to #TheGouge with Ponch and Cujo. I'm Cujo, and I'm here today with Jesko von den Steinen. And he's going to talk and give us the gouge on intentional inhibition. Jesko?

Sure. Thanks.

Ok, so intentional inhibition is a concept that comes from Alexander Technique from physical theater and from actors and singers. Essentially, when your phone rings, it buzzes, you have a tendency, almost a Pavlovian response, to go to the phone. Now, we also have the opportunity when that happens, to say "no." And then go to the phone. And that small moment of saying "no" and not reacting right away is a huge difference.

Let me unpack it a bit.

The difference between reacting and responding is the difference between being an animal and being human. The same thing happens creatively. If your boss or the director tells you to do something, very often we try to serve or we try to give them an immediate reaction or response. Now, the artist says to the boss or to the authority figure, "no," waits, listens, and allows a response to emerge, and that response will tend to be much more authentic, it won’t be a reaction. The difference between a reaction and a response, so reaction is stimuli coming and you react; response is that space in between, and that is freedom. So, the choice we make of how we choose to respond is our integrity and identity as an artist. So, the next time you have something come at you, stimuli, you have an opportunity. You can be reacting, or, you can respond. And if you respond, there's a good chance you'll be responding with an authentic voice.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the gouge on intentional inhibition.


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