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…
Way to go NYC! I found this installation in the Time Warner Center, and it’s awesome! Celebrate all types of love!!!! Happy Pride!!!!
Ya know, I tend to log in just when the day’s prompt happens to be perfect for me. Maybe it’s the universe nudging me to write? Who knows. I think the universe has a way of guiding us to what we need if we are truthful with ourselves. At least it’s that way for me. The universe has always brought what I want/need to me when I allow myself to accept it. So…today’s word is security: something I know a lot about, being an artist. It’s no secret that being an artist is not a very financially secure life. I think we all tend to feel it at some point or another, and how we deal with it is important. That’s actually part of the reason that I’m a part of the RDP community. I found recently that I needed to open myself up to the universe more, to find new pathways of security financially, so I’m feeling out what is right for me in this moment. Since I’ve opened up myself to the idea of e-commerce (on top of my regular job), I’ve been learning a lot about the world of the internet. I’m not sure if it will pan out financially, but even if not, I feel that the universe is leading me to the thing that will (and maybe this will be it, who knows, I’m just trying). I feel like I’m a step ahead of where I was beforehand simply because I’m learning and I’m not in the same place I was before. I’m on a journey. I like that. I like knowing that I’m taking strides. I’m not stagnant. I’m not stuck. I’m growing. I’m learning to let go of some negative ego assumptions. I’m learning to be more capable in ways I didn’t think about before. I’m learning that there’s many skills out there that I need to master to make it as an artist that have nothing to do with singing/acting, but they are creative. Security would be nice! On the other hand, as I said before, being an artist is very often an insecure financial life. I was told growing up that I should have a fallback career. I balked at that idea because I knew that by doing that I’d be telling the universe that that was more important than being successful in my dreams. I still think that. I’ve modified that thinking, though. I realize now that there’s no reason I can’t do both. I now put into the universe that I’d like financial security and artistic security. I now put equal energy into both. I find that the older I get I realize that I can have my artistic dreams if I find a way to financially support those dreams, too…I used to think that doing something to make money other than singing/acting was selling out, but now I realize that it’s a necessity (at this time of my life) that I do both. I think this period of learning and growing will benefit me in my career as a performer, I just have to see the silver lining…and maybe the silver lining will benefit my artistic career, too. Any artists out there feel the same way? What have you done to figure it out? I’m curious, and wish you all success!
Balance is a tough one for me. Is it for you? I tend to be very enthusiastic about several subjects in life, overly so, but not about others. For instance, my life is based on musical theatre/acting success. Since I was eight years old I have dreamed of living in NYC and being on Broadway, but pretty much nothing else. I have a hard time feeling like if I let up on that sole focus even a little bit that I’ll make it there. I see other artists able to let other forms of creativity into their lives, and even to feel passionate about them, and then be on Broadway as well. I strive to be like that, nowadays, to allow myself the chance to try and indulge in other things in order to live a more full life…but that is really hard. I have many interests (photography is kind of cool, I love Spanish, I like drawing, etc.), but if I could have my dream of being on Broadway that would be the one thing that I actually really want and have made life decisions based on that; well, that and my current personal relationship with the most awesome guy in the world. So…it’s hard to learn that stepping back on my passions and trying to allow myself to do things that I see as less advancing of my ambitions are equally as valuable. You see the conundrum? Balance, for me, is a learned activity. I’m learning that balance is necessary because if you put all of your eggs in one basket, what happens when that basket breaks?: it falls apart…and that’s destructive. So….I try to teach myself to allow myself to feel passion about other things, too, while still finding ways to work on my preferred art. That also becomes difficult when work/life balance gets in the way. As artists, our survival jobs often times do not pay nearly enough to cover the costs of life as an artist, lessons, etc. So, I’m learning to try and balance that as well. I’m a very hard worker in all areas, so giving myself a break and giving myself balance is something I work on every day. 🙂 Honestly, I don’t feel that I’ve ever allowed myself to be so open while writing a post for the internet, so please excuse the very personal nature of this post if you’d prefer it, but the word balance struck an unexpected “note” (see what I did there?) with me. I hope you find balance in your lives comes more naturally for you than it does for me, and that some day we all feel equally balanced. 🙂 Happy writing/reading!
I’ve found that ambition has a price, so I’m trying to revel in the beauty of the moment while working to make my dreams happen. 🙂
Lil piece of Central Park!
What to say about the word disappear…at first I thought that the idea of the word disappear could be easily written about. Then I realized that what I wanted to say, maybe it wasn’t so healthy; or maybe…it just is…not healthy or unhealthy. So let’s have a go. When I think of disappearing I think of the obvious: a magic act. The item disappears. Simple as that. Err…well, not simple for the magician, I know. Magic is something that is very important, though…for me my connection to musical theatre is magical…it opens up my soul to worlds that I didn’t know could exist. It’s like there’s a whole part of me that doesn’t exist when I’m not singing/performing musicals, and when I do get to do what I love I become so engrossed in it that my angst, my worry, my outside concerns…they disappear. It’s moving and enthralling to me. There’s nothing else like it. It is so magical that I could even tell you the exact moment that I fell in love with what I do. I will never forget it, and I hope it never disappears…So…what memory do you love so much that you hope it never disappears? I hope you all have one, and I hope it brings a smile to your face when you read this!