Monday, October 13, 2014

Dear Friend - thoughts for a young artist in challenging moments

Dear Friend...

You're not alone.

I write this in response to a recent email - from a former students, now friend - but also in response to an email I might have written as a young adult, person, and artist, myself.

The journey on which we engage after we leave the safety net of the undergraduate situation (or the high school situation, or the conservatory situation, or whatever seemly comfortable situation we had found ourselves in for a time) is scary. We find ourselves in uncharted waters often without a direct understanding of our "true north".

But your "true north" is there... just not in ways you/I/we might expect. It's in the journal entries from classes, from our past experiences, and in reminders from the Universe.

Some of my reminders:
"It's all about the search"
"Four rules: Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don't get attached to the results."
"Those festaus chainnes will certainly help you find your center and your spot!"
"I write this from a bus station so excuse any misspellings but I think you needed a response..."

Your reminders might come in small ways: dragonflies in the morning air; that same cardinal that chirps every morning (annoying at first, but comforting over time); and unexpected text, phone call, or facebook message just to say hello.

It may be difficult, and I realize I may be being vague, but continue the journey. Keep on the search. You're not alone.

As an artist, you see things differently. Feel things differently. And interact with the world - her people, her politics, and her energies - in a way that is unique and special and adds a much needed voice. You experience the world with a fresh perspective and although it's difficult (socially and financially) to embody YOU and your journey, you only know you. You can only be YOU.

I've told actors with whom I've worked - this is YOUR body. You can't not be you. Although you're telling someone else's story, you're telling it through your body and your perspective. Stay honest to that and the story will stay honest to your audience. This is true in theatre, and in dance, and in life.

As a performer, I am constantly seeking feedback and looking for confirmation or information on my ability to communicate. But I also need to trust my training and my craft and the constant search for improvement. (Again, in theatre, in dance, in art, and in life).

Dear Friend... although it may seem as such, you are not alone. There are many before you and many to come after. What is your journey? What is your search? What is in your heart? The answers may be challenging, but I encourage you to take the risk.

Thank you!

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