You know those days where you wonder if what you’re doing has any effect on the world whatsoever? The other day in rehearsal while surrounded by 4 foot tall swan puppets I thought to myself, “Wars are being waged… injustices are occurring across the globe… people are dying from famine and disease… and MY biggest concern right now is how to get the trumpet to stay in the puppets mouth?!?!?” It seemed like what I filled my days and nights with just didn’t mean anything…I was ready to chuck my TYA career out the window and become some sort of Peace Core/Freedom Fighter/Superhero in a fabulous uniform…Then I read something the following day while taking a coffee break…
In between rehearsals and watching Presidential primary results, I’ve waitlisted reading the latest Grisham novel in favor of Jill Dolan’s Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theater. Dolan writes “moments of liminal clarity and communion, briefly transcendant bits of human feeling and connection, spring from alchemy between performers and spectators and their mutual confrontation with a historical present that lets them imagine a different, putatively better future.”
And in between sips of my grande non-fat latte, I had a moment of epiphany. (Either epiphany or the caffeine kicked in.) I thought about the “future”… in the current political campaigns that word is bandied about a lot…but it really hit home as I stared at the text. I do TYA because I want to effect the future… see that’s what I was doing while obsessing over my swan puppets… I was hoping to inspire the next generation of theatre goers… of world leaders…. of human beings…as an artist I am a part of effecting the future. (Cue Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All)
I guess I’ll be a director and postpone becoming a Peace Core/Freedom Fighter/Superhero in a fabulous uniform for another day.