Mastery In Action: Keanu Reeves

Mastery in Action - Keanu Reeves.jpg
There’s liveness we are all attracted to at the razor’s edge.”
— Michael Gervais

Keanu Reeves stars in the recently released film John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. As with all John Wick films, they are an action-packed thrill ride and the type of movie that shows off the skill of the stunt coordinator and performers. What these movies lack in a narrative they make up for in the enormous amount of talent that must be honed behind the scenes to filmed flawlessly on the big screen. After finding a video on Keanu Reeves training for many of the scenes with live fire weapons on the range. What John Wick means for him at least my interpretation of it. Keanu is chasing mastery in the form of marksmanship. Watch the video below from Taran Tactical Innovations and see if you catch the details I did!

There are couple comments here that I'd like to expand on the first comment is on the shotgun run [after 1:55] Jade Struck, a firearm instructor at Taran Tactical, cheering and tells Keanu, "ten seconds flat you were doing twelve before." But he won't have any of it "I had a could have been cleaner." Jade fires back, "What do you expect? Your hand is cut." This scenario is someone who is genuinely chasing what it means to master a craft. Even though he has a cut on his hand, he still is pushing the knife edge of what he is capable of. For some, this would be grounds to give yourself a handicap and say well its the best I can do I have a cut hand.

The other comments came from looking at his rifle time [after 2:20]. The whole group is telling him it was awesome. Again Jade asks, "Are you OK with that?" Keanu responds, " was clean." Terry behind the camera, adds some telling remarks, "He's never satisfied, but when you're that good you have to be." Again Keanu will have none of it.  He still has to analyze his run and he could do better. He responds with I went out of order. Out of all the comments that could have been said he’s so dialed in that target order is the priority.

I find these two instances incredibly eye-opening for what playing as John Wick must be like for Keanu. Regardless of the comments above, we can all see the tremendous skill that he possesses with these firearms, but what these comments do add is texture to how Keanu is motivated. The driver is one of internal force, he is chasing something for himself. He even as continues to beat his own times and with a cut hand no less, showing the character that is required to be at your best.

At the end of the day, I believe mastery is striving to be intrinsically your best in whatever that is. In this instance, for Keanu Reeves, it is pushing marksmanship to the very edge and this video is a fraction of all of what he's putting into this skill. Regardless of the external, taking it upon yourself to keeping yourself on edge is how one approaches mastery. So I will pose a question: Where is your edge, and how do you keep yourself on it?

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