Knowing yourself and Nowing Yourself
Published: May 6th, 2020 by theatretrain

Knowing yourself and Nowing Yourself

My best acting teacher was a professor in Moscow. He became my friend and stayed at my home when he came to London to direct some of my performing arts students and again when he directed a nationwide theatre tour of the Cherry Orchard.


My daughters were amazed at his morning ritual. He would prepare a large bowl of cold water to which he would add ice. He entered the garden every day in his underwear and poured the contents over his head. He assured me that he did this for 365 days of the year – rain, snow or shine.


Why does he do it? To wake himself up. He isn’t content to just be awake – he wants to be AWAKE.

He is convinced that most people sleepwalk their way through life and operate on a sort of automatic pilot for most of what they do every day. As an artistic person he needs to think outside of the box, resist the urge to make everything the same, safe and steady – he needs to rock the boat in life and in art to be truly creative.


That’s what we want in our young performing arts students as they train in acting, dancing and singing, a vibrancy and sharpness in their life and in what they create; let’s call it intensity. Misha has originality and intelligence combined with an ability to find humour in anything, that makes him an inspiring teacher and director of theatre. ​ His brain fizzes with ideas and constant readjustment. He doesn’t so much know himself as NOW himself – hence the cold water over his head.

When you get up tomorrow would you do that? And if you don’t, how else could you be more alive.


Our professional virtual classes in acting, singing and dancing continue online. Theatretrain is offering FREE top-quality performing arts classes to all young people in this time of national crisis, providing them with an outlet thatencourages confidence, creativity and comradeship, while also positively contributing to their overall fitness and mental health. To register for FREE visit