rounding things out

Today we did our second full run of the show. It's clocking under an hour. Its slowed down five minutes as we come into it more. Felt really good today.

The work, the words, and the actions really do come from us - I always knew that, obviously, but there is something about everything on stage under light that strikes me. I feel myself in and around the piece, and I see other people's experiences and ideas coming out on stage, melding into this story pot we've concocted.

I've never experienced this before. It's deeply personal but it isn't about me. And somehow these showings of our work to date cause me more stage fright than I've ever felt. Shows I've acted in, sung in, danced in, shows where I really didn't know my stuff as well as I do now, the level of stage fright they induced pales in comparison. Jessica mentioned, and I agree with her, that it's because of how personal it is - not that the story is personal, but the effort is personal. So much of ourselves is involved. Offering that effort up to an audience brings up a lot of anxiety. 

I have a feeling that because my stories are lying there hidden under action, text, and an overarching story, they're somehow barely disguised and waiting to be discovered. But really, no one will ever see them. They're forming the fabric of something new, they're no longer decipherable as my own very personal offerings.

I feel like I should say something about process and reflect on my past posts.

Maybe a round up of some things I've learned -

  • if you use your body everyday it will talk to you more than ever
  • trying a million things on their feet and getting one good thing is easier than thinking a milion things through in your head - there is a certainty possible in seeing things moving that you can't always achieve on paper
  • impulse is a beautiful thing to be followed - if the result of the impulse is wrong, or not the best thing for what you need, another impulse will tell you so
  • sometimes you think something looks great from inside, and turns out it looks like shit from outside; that outside editing eye really can't be lost. I know this, we know this, but how easy to forget and fall in love with ourselves all the time
  • words can be used so sparingly and still have so much affect (i.e., the penultimate - 'For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn. We should all be so lucky.)

I suppose I knew all of these things. But now I know them more than ever, and now I understand better. If I run into these lessons again, or struggle, for example, with being too verbose, or ignoring impulses, some little part of my brain will say 'Sarah ... remember what you learned with Sam Bergmann-Good, Jessica Hickman, Shaun McComb, Adele Gigantes, and Genevieve Doyon...', and I'll curse myself because I have learned, and I can't go back to pretending I don't know certain things. I have practiced and pushed myself to a higher standard. Shucks.

I'm really proud of what I have done and what we have done together. I think you should come see it. Friday and Saturday, 8pm, and a special afternoon tea version on Saturday at 2pm. You bring the crustless cucumber sandwiches.

- Sarah