December 17, 2008

On the Convention...

Well...after a day of rest I am back to work. The day of rest came after what was a very long travel day back to Baltimore from Seattle, where I went for the National Performance Network Annual Meeting to perform with the Carpetbag Theatre. Never having attended one of these events, I was indeed curious - as I have been for quite some time - and of course, being a performer on the "national stage" I did see the importance of bringing the best of myself to this situation.

The performance - a shortened version of "Between A Ballad and a Blues" - was a part of the weekend showcases that were held at Seattle's On The Boards, and the work was incredibly well received by the audience, which included presenters and artists from across the globe. Performances seen include short works by choreographer Heather Maloney; Dasha Kelly, founder and director of the Still Waters Collective; the multifaceted and joyful D'Lo; actress Allison Warden and the Tiptons Saxophone Quartet.

Of course, as this was a convention, there were many seminars: those that I chose to attend were "Presenting in the Twentieth Century", "Working and collaborating Internationally: A New Global Paradigm", and a fundraising workshop held by the Creative Capital Foundation. While there was LOTS of information given during these seminars I have to say that I am very happy to have had the opportunity to participate, as well as, energized, inspired and - yes - humbled. Of course, it will take some time to truly digest what I learned last week, but that will come as well.

It is strange having the thoughts that I am having about all of this, as conventional thinking tells us that once we understand ourselves that the task of taking one's self and that understanding into the world is a "piece of cake". Not so, I realized as at thirty-eight I heard panelists saying the same things that I have heard from other panels, mentors, teachers, and guides for quite some time: just be. Be who you are, trust yourself, focus on your craft, keep your eye on your path.

This, of course, was energizing - and it was inspiring to hear the voices of many who feel the same about many large issues that I do.

Nevertheless, it was also humbling, as I was also reminded that while we are out in the world, we must also keep an eye on ourselves - making sure that we indeed walk our talk.

With that, what can I say? Perhaps a part of embracing humility is to realize that we are all human, and ALL susceptible to the ways of human nature. Perhaps that realization is also the key to true spiritual growth as well as the true ownership of who we are - and from that ownership comes the ability to bravely take all of ourselves into the world.

I have no answers, of course - just some perspective as well as the hope that I will, from this day forward, continue to examine myself as I do the world and make sure that what I contribute is truly the best that I can offer to this planet in all ways.

Happy Holidays,

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