A New York Photography Story

Can A Place Hold A Memory?

I found myself thinking this while sitting in the audience tonight at rehearsal. I love sitting in the empty theatre of whatever show I’m performing in and coming to a state of comfortable balance in the space; just observing, centering myself. It’s a space of exploration for me. I’m curious about the great actors who may have graced that stage before me. How cool is it that I get to be in the same space? I’m not sure if it’s just me projecting my assumptions or not, but either way it’s special to me.

I learned about centering myself in the space in a class in college called The Speaking Voice In Performance. For the first few classes we laid on the ground, eyes closed, focusing on being in the moment and the breath. It may not seem like work, but you’d be surprised at how much emotional work and mental effort goes into quieting your brain and allowing yourself to let go of your anxieties or thoughts. After a while, with the noise of the outside world drifting away outside the black box doors, for an hour each day my mind quieted long enough to hear things I’d never noticed before. The hissing of the pipes, the creaking of a door, the sounds of the building becoming increasingly louder, as I myself grew increasingly quieter. The energy of the room became more apparent than it had before. This room had its own life, its own energy, its own vitality. I became just a passerby in the big scheme of things. I liked that. It reminded me that my anxieties are not the totality of the truth of my existence. There were many bigger elements outside of myself. For some, realizing that they are a tiny particle in a much bigger universe is frightening and makes them feel unimportant. For me, it started to relax me and showed me that the universe is vast and wonderful if you stop long enough to listen to it. It is not frightening nor depressing to me, my small nature in the big scheme of things; it is a relief. I am only in control of what I do. I can’t control the world outside of me, much as I can try, but at the end of the day I am not responsible for the actions of everyone and everything else in my vicinity. It’s a huge weight lifted. This vast world and the infinite space beyond all have their own marvels that I get to be privy to, should I choose to wonder at them. So, can this microcosm of a space in the big expanse hold a memory?

It may be far-fetched to jump from the contents of the last paragraph back to the original question, but in my brain it makes quite a bit of sense, so I’ll try to span the bridge as best I can for you, dear reader. Quieting my brain enough to be rooted in the space I’m in with no outside distractions, no cars honking, no passersby cursing, no trains humming, and getting in tune with the energy of the space leads me to question how one effects the environments they’ve spent time in, energetically. Who came before me in this space? On this stage? In this audience? In this dressing room? What great work has been performed exactly where my two feet are planted? How many wonderful memories have been created in this theatre? How much laughter? What did that sound like? How many memorable performances? How many standing ovations? Am I standing on the same ground, the exact spot, of the great performers who have inspired so many? There are so many that I admire. Have they left their energetic mark on these walls? As I experience the room, thinking these things, my imagination goes deeper and deeper, until I can almost see and hear each of these instances happening. Am I walking in the literal steps of the greats who’ve gone before me? I like to think so, and hopefully someone will come along and wonder the same about me…

Composing Beauty

Ingenuity, I love that word! It has such a nice ring to it, and such a deep meaning (at least to me). I view ingenuity as an essential skill in creativity, and creativity/ingenuity an essential skill of surviving in this new, digital age. I find it fascinating that one can create a job or a career for themselves where there was nothing before. In today’s day and age the opportunities for money making are endless. One of my inspirations for this exact thing is Lin-Manuel Miranda, internationally famous composer of Hamilton,¬†In The Heights, and a member of Freestyle Love Supreme (who, I’m sure, has many more credits, both famous and not, to his name).

I’m absolutely enthralled by his tenacity, skill, perseverance, and his genius. He literally put himself on the map in the entertainment world. He created something brilliant using just his brains, skills, experience, and a pencil and paper. Not only that, but it’s given other artists the opportunity to be a part of the beautiful, caring community that he’s created throughout this process. He’s even changing the world and peoples’ lives by using his works to support causes that he cares deeply about. That, to me, is ingenuity. It”s creativity. I could write many, MANY more paragraphs about my admiration for him as an artist and person, but I’ll get to that in a later post because I could write a novel on it with my ability to go off on tangents and daydream (although that is not a bad thing).

With technology we have the tools to create new things every day. Heck, this article is new right now. It is not a masterpiece of an article, but it’s being created now, in the moment, and shared. Nowadays we have all kinds of opportunities for financial success, we just have to use our ingenuity to build on them. For example, in the past we couldn’t write something and automatically earn money¬† within a moments’ notice. Now we can. We couldn’t write a book and have it published on amazon without going through the proper book publishers outside of the company and then selling it…but now we can self-publish books and sell them online. We couldn’t automatically create a video of ourselves performing and broadcast it to the world, thereby gaining fame. Now, we have stars who got their start doing just that on youtube. The opportunities are endless. When you think about it, once you open up your mind and heart to creativity so many ideas can come pouring in, and you just have to work tirelessly at them, with all your passion and heart, to create something that you truly stand by. You don’t even have to create for others. Create for yourself, and your passion, care, tenacity, strength, and genius will shine through and you will find your own success by using inginuity.