Nice interview with Bill Murray this morning on NPR Weekend Edition.
He talks about habit, in the context of why he doesn’t have a phone or an agent or an assistant:
Everyone needs to take a vacation from the sort of automatic things you do, you know. The automatic things you do are basically those things that keep you from doing the better things you need to do.
That, in a nutshell, is what technique is all about. You cannot learn a new way to do things without setting aside the way to do things that you already know. Actors often have a wish that they can just “follow their instincts” and do what they feel. This notion is the opposite of the idea of technique. Technique means doing things in a prescribed way. It means doing things in a prescribed way that takes you beyond the way you would automatically do it. It disrupts your learned inclinations and preferences about how to do things.
If you don’t believe this, there is no reason to study technique.