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…
Wanderlust isn’t a word that I hear very often. In fact, I think I only started hearing it used after the movie “Wanderlust” with Alan Alda, Jennifer Aniston, and Paul Rudd (to name a few) came out in 2012. It’s a weird-sounding word to me. Wander and lust combined together. It makes sense, though. I guess you could say that I have wanderlust. I want to travel the world, with the exception of a few places. I want to eat new foods, observe new rituals/ceremonies, experience new beaches at sunset, swim in different oceans, and just generally be able to say “I’ve been there. I saw that in person.” Who wouldn’t want to say that? Who wouldn’t want to know what it feels like to be elsewhere instead of just the safe confines of home? Home is wonderful (in some cases), but I feel like it’s when you leave that you can truly appreciate what being home feels like. If you never leave home, I don’t think that you can ever entirely know exactly who you could be if you experienced things outside of your scope and culture in life. I think traveling the world would be life-changing. My bank account would agree. My bank account wouldn’t be changing for the better, though. My point of view might. Getting to know people in other countries takes away the level of fear that some experience while thinking about how big the world is out there. It becomes smaller and easier to handle when you know you’ve got friends, when you know that you can connect with those around you in other countries. Sometimes I think that in the US we forget that many countries live surrounded by neighboring countries, so they’re more knowledgeable on a firsthand basis about the people and cultures around them. Here in the US we are relatively isolated (other than to the South and North) from the other countries. Being able to communicate with others in their native tongue is something that I’ve found exciting and fun. You see, I’ve taken Spanish since I was a little kid, and I will continue to practice it every day. I love getting to speak to people that I would otherwise not be able to communicate with. There’s something so special about making a connection with people who come from an entirely different place than I do and sharing a laugh with them simply because language is not as much of a barrier. It’s liberating! I truly hope that someday more students in the US are required to take years of foreign language lessons. We could then be able to communicate more effectively and kindly with all parts of the world because so much of culture is represented by how the people of that culture formulate their communication with each other. If we can understand how to communicate, we can better understand how to work together. 🙂
“Give em’ the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle em”. Any “Chicago” fans out there? That lyric was literally the first thing that came to mind when I thought about the word dazzle. Dazzle sounds sparkly, doesn’t it? It sounds glitzy, like the 20’s, at least in my opinion. It reminds me of themed 20’s parties, songs, dances, movies, singing, and general stuff of that era. It also makes me think about how I can dazzle people…or at least “dazzle” my own life. You see, I’m an entrepreneur, so I’m always thinking of ways to dazzle my customers at all of my jobs (yes, you read that correctly, I have several jobs). I’m a waitress, dog walker, house sitter, e-commerce store owner, and aspiring actress/singer. There’s a lot of room to dazzle there!
Thinking about the e-commerce store, though (millennialpets.org), I’m always learning and growing. I’m not particularly technically inclined, and that is an uphill climb for me…but I’m always learning and achieving and acquiring new skills. I’ve learned more about how the internet/tech works in the last few months than I have in a lifetime, and it really is a whole other world. All in all, I hope to dazzle my clients every day with awesome customer service, speed, accuracy, and products that provide tons of incredible memories! I also hope to have the skills of Broadway stars so that I can literally dazzle entire audiences every night one day. It will happen. In the meantime, keep on being you, you fabulous ragtagdailyprompt’ers! Have a wonderful Monday!
So, my lovely blog readers, I’ve been gone for a few days…and what a wonderful few days it has been! It has certainly been an adventure! I got to do an acting project, which meant I was taken away from this bloggin’ business for many hours as my presence was needed on set. I did have a fair amount of time to think, observe, and enjoy many different facets of life while I was there, though, and I just want to update you on the adventures that I’ve been having.
This first picture was taken early yesterday morning, at 6:20 am, while on the train…yes, people, performers do see the light of day in the morning! I was surprised, though. I thought I would be the only one on the long subway ride past Everybodyelseisstillsleepingville, but boy was I wrong. It turns out…this city certainly wakes up early! It got me thinking: where are all these people going so early in the morning? What are their jobs? It really put things into perspective for me. Many people make huge sacrifices in life to be successful…such as being at work at a very early hour…and they probably work many long hours as well. I’m really in this with everyone. It made me feel a sense of solidarity, but is that really the truth? Or is that feeling false? What do you think? Needless to say…my day was started off with this boost of energy that I wasn’t expecting to get from complete strangers…simply by them being in the same boat as me. Now that’s food for thought; gotta love New York City and it’s diverse, solidarity-loving crowd. I think I’ll stay. 🙂