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From Cathy – Journey of a New(ish) Theatre Artist

July 15, 2014

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The apprenticeship has come to an end.

For me this year has mostly been liberating to being a “real” true theatre artist and performer. I’ve spent the last several years trying to figure out how I want to live and work in the theatre. While I was in Houston, I discovered what it was like to be a teaching artist at Main Street Theatre; I learned what it was like to work wardrobe at a big theatre; 8 shows a week at the Alley Theatre; I created a tiny theatre company and production with 2 fellow performers; and I moved to Connecticut and continued those jobs in a new setting. I really wanted to perform more than anything else. I tried to get into grad school, and I got into Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre’s Professional Training Program. Since studying physical theatre in Europe, I knew it was something I liked, but being in California at Dell’arte is where I really started to feel like I found my niche. When I found Touchstone, I was excited to test out my theory. “Let’s try doing original theatre in ‘real’ world setting.” “Is devising theatre is where I belong?”

And I would have to answer yes. In the past year, I’ve come to realize that I actually am a good collaborator and performer; it’s not just something I love, but it’s something I can do. I’m still figuring out how to communicate my art and what I want to say, but that’s also part of the journey of the artist. I’ve learned how to listen and believe in myself and not worry too much about what others think.

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My two fellow apprenti, Mallory and Jordan, may not know it, but they’ve really helped me grow, especially in being a more confident human being. Mallory and Jordan are similar to me when I was their ages. We may all be different types of creators, but we have very similar, laid-back personalities, and by being with them, I somehow can see how much I have grown from 19 to 23 and now 27; what a rare and unique gift. I often just want to just tell them, it’s all going to be alright, you’re great, believe in yourself, keep working hard, don’t give up, don’t get sucked into negativity. But they’ve had their own journeys and discoveries to go through. We’re all at different stages of “what the hell do I want to do with my life,” figuring out how life works, seeing what we want with life, and realizing that life is never going to be easy.

Bill made a comment in one of our classes that I struck a cord with me, something I’ve known deep down but didn’t know how to communicate; he said it so simply and truthfully. “Things are always going to get in the way of your art.” So you have to learn how to fight that; you have to learn how to not let yourself get defeated by mundane and not-so-mundane obstacles in life. “I’m tired, I’m lonely, I’m overwhelmed, I’m confused, I’m poor;” if you want to be an artist you have to learn how to break through those obstacles and not let them get in your way.

Touchstone is a small but mighty theatre with many obstacles, including a small ensemble that doubles as artists and administrators with each 1 person doing at least 2 people’s jobs. They work tirelessly to keep the organization running as smoothly as it does, and I can tell that this gets in the way of their art sometimes, but boy, do they know how to break through those obstacles to produce their art. And they do it with so much truth and passion.

Touchstone has shown me what it means to break through the obstacles of life to be a creative theatre artist. This will be a partnership I’ll never forget.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 16, 2014 2:58 pm

    Bravo, Cathy!

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