With November being our gateway into the holiday season (including an entire day set aside to give thanks) I set out to write this reflection in gratitude.
For my creative team and cast who helped make my recent production a reality.
For the schools I work for that actively support not only my stability but my creative pursuits.
For my partner, friends, and family, whose investment in my growth and well-being are direct factors of any so-called “success” I’ve been able to achieve.
However, as I begin the process of developing my next project, feeling grateful comes with some resistance. It’s always this stage of the process that feels riddled with road blocks as the realities of budgetary and scheduling restraints reveal themselves. The perceived lack of resources overshadows any sense of abundance to be thankful for. And the fact that I’m developing another solo project doesn’t help the situation. Making a solo is hard. The soloist becomes responsible for generating all energy surrounding the work - and that energy has to excite collaborators, intrigue audiences, and still leave reserves to create. Without a cast to hold me accountable, how do I maintain my work and relationships while also tending to a physical practice and rehearsal schedule?
Cue the tiniest violin.
The fact of the matter is there will always be roadblocks, and more often than not, I find myself being the biggest roadblock of all. When I made my first solo I was single and had lighter work schedule but I “didn’t have enough money or studio space to work.” Ironically, this self-imposed restriction became the catalyst for one of my most performed works and partly defined my solo practice, which has ultimately become a process for uncovering gratitude within my irritation of the season.
This season, I find myself at a desk more often than in class. I could use this as an excuse to just give up on a physical practice all together. Alternatively, I could sneak away from the office and risk jeopardizing my job. Or, I can surrender into the situation, for every positive and negative factor, and acknowledge that this is now part of my physical and creative practice. The information of my daily life becomes stored in my body and will thus define the movement vocabulary of this next work. I don’t yet know what new discoveries this could bring. I don’t yet know all of the new challenges this will present. It’s been long enough that I don’t even know what performing in this body feels like today.
But what I do know is the treasured moments throughout this process in which I do find myself in motion will be something to be grateful for.