Zigzag

Creative people are those of us who are forging brand new paths. But I will be the first to tell you that the path is never straight.

We look at what was given to us, what we are told we have to follow, and say “nah, how about this way instead?” That takes some guts. Innovation, the act of thinking outside the box and daring to shift the focus, takes courage. It also requires actually knowing what we want. 

I find that knowing what I want and landing on a creative path that feels right is often harder than it sounds. It’s an ongoing journey. It’s not as if we artists suddenly discover our own unique worldview and think “That’s it!” then go on our merry way. It’s that we are constantly looking at the gross, rundown, beaten path that others keep walking on, and assume there must be a more scenic route. 

The path we forge, the pursuit of a creative career, is a zigzag.

Artistic practice is a constant quest for the serious truths of human experiences, and serious truths require some serious dancing. I’ve always thought I wanted a career in theatre, but is that the core of what I truly want? Honestly, I think what I want more than anything is to inspire and to build communities.

The reason I am so in love with stages and rehearsal rooms, the reason I feel so fulfilled writing a script or directing a play, is because I have been present with groups of strangers while we all share a sudden sense of belonging. I can’t get enough of uniting people’s hearts. I see a deeper truth, and now I will approach theatre through that new lens, or create something completely different all together based on that understanding. The realization took some dancing. I let my interests move me around so I could see the art from different perspectives and understand what was drawing me to it.

That may mean that theatre is what I end up doing full time, but it may not. As long as I’m building communities and finding those “Aha” moments of truth, then I’ll be happy.

We’re often faced with beaten-down paths and told to follow them. Whether it’s the “proper” education, how to look, how to dress, how to behave… Shifting the focus onto what you hold dear, what you believe is important — bringing light to what often takes place on the sidelines — takes practice. The act of decentring is a constant rehearsal. But if you can dig deep and try to unpack what it is that you love, that.. *ahem*… sparks joy, then you will fall in love with the beautiful, difficult dance of finding your own way.

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