Tuesday, September 28, 2010

7/1000 Baby Steps

The Theatre Arts has been my life. I wrote, directed and created costumes for my first play when I was in Kindergarten.

Fortunately Mom and Ms. Rising, the poor soul teaching me that year, were not only tolerant of my antics, but supportive. I remember giving Ms. Rising a preview copy of my script; getting her approval to produce the performance one sunny afternoon in our plant filled classroom.

All of the costumes were made of construction paper which I generously let the actors keep. I gained a reputation for being "bossy" from the other kids after directing a stunning show. A trait I have since learned to both embrace and temper.

I've continuously engaged in some kind of performing arts since that day. And held some pretty interesting jobs as a result...actress, carnival barker, director, costumer, circus ring mistress, producer, radio personality, adult educator, stand-up comic, improviser...

Having babies didn't put a damper on my passion. I was breastfeeding my 5 week old daughter on rehearsal breaks while directing "12 Angry Men". When we moved to Seattle I got a job teaching adults. I traveled around the country teaching... which was really just an 8 hour one woman show for intimate audiences in hotel ballrooms. So there wasn't a lot of time to commit to the process of being in an actual bone fide theatrical production.

Even though the kids weren't exposed to theatre constantly, they grew an interest in the art form at early ages. My son convinced me to do my first Seattle audition because he wanted to be in "A Christmas Story". Luckily we were both cast. He played "Show Mommy How The Piggies Eat" Randy and I the cackling school teacher of "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" fame. So began the past decade returning to my beloved Church of Illusion.

But I've become disillusioned.

The same routine, similar characters with different names, no new adventures to take my breath away... the "been there, done that" t-shirt of predictability is moth-eaten.

Two years ago Husbang & I discovered the world of Alternative Arts. A mis-mash of techniques, tools and mediums. Although fine art has a different rhythm, it takes my breath away.

This past week I realized that I can't just make the leap to art and expect to land where I was in the realm of theatre. I guess when you spend 30 years honing a certain skill set it's easy to forget how to take baby steps.

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