Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Once Upon A Time:

Fairytales are more than scary.
Sometimes I think they're based on truth.
Right now I feel like I'm stuck in a novel co-written by Stephen King and Margaret Atwood...

Once Upon A Time is the start for secrets and lies, and fascinating truths that certain readers despise.

Once Upon A Time, women were taught they needed rescuing; that speaking your mind was an offense punishable by death.

Once Upon A Time I was confident and felt that I had nothing to lose, because if they don't like my work, there's always another audition, and eventually, even if they don't like me, they'll get so tired of seeing me return with a smile, that they'll take a risk and give me a job.

Once Upon A Time I lost that confidence somewhere between sophomore and junior year at University, when I found out the guy I was head over heels for was cheating on me, and my heart broke for the second time in my life and I forgot how to believe in myself.

Once Upon A Time I walked around like a zombie and didn't believe the compliments, only the mistakes and naysayers and I was too skinny, and too lost to perform with confidence.

Once Upon A Time, my college voice teacher, an amazing woman named Adrienne, convinced me to sing opera and said,
       "Wait a minute, do you think you don't have a voice? YOU HAVE A VOICE," She saved my life and reminded me of what I'd forgotten; that deep down, I LOVE singing, dancing and acting and that I have a voice worth listening to.

Once Upon A Time, I walked the line between self-doubt and the desire to prove myself to others, and the stubborn streak of 'why the hell do I care so much about their opinion if I love doing it, I won't stop,' and I STILL moved out of state and 'took a break,' even though half my heart didn't want to --- had to give love a chance.

Once Upon A Time, I went to an audition for "Kiss Me Kate," in Denver, and they were surprised that  I could sing well without a microphone taped to my face, and they called me back, but I had to decline because I couldn't swing attending classes all day, rehearsals all evening and then studying for anatomy finals and getting no sleep to perform well at anything.

Once Upon A Time, I took up Ballet class again at Lemon Spongecake dance company and was loving it, until I mentioned it to a friend, who showed up unexpectedly to what had been my solo sanctuary. I dropped my mason jar of water at the studio entrance, and was so mortified and ashamed, that I never went back.

Once Upon A Time, I graduated from massage school, and got my heart broken again, and then met my partner and got married, and had two kids, and am now getting back to singing more than Disney around the house, and preparing myself to audition and act and dance again with the same 'nothing to lose,' attitude that made me so successful before.

Once Upon A Time I found out I'm an INFJ and that it's actually weird that I remember details about people and places so clearly, even if I haven't seen them in years, and that NOT EVERYONE re-plays their worst days from their life so far on repeat in their head at night. Like when I was late to dance class by 3 minutes because my alarm didn't go off, and my professor made me sit next to her for the entire class time, while I balled my obedient eyes out watching famous dancer 'Jack' teach Fosse (one of my all time favorite choreographers). When he asked me to dance, she said "SIT THERE," and he kept encouraging me and I wanted to join him more than anything in the world.  Like Obedient Ella from the book "Ella Enchanted," I couldn't disobey my professor. Were I to get up and join, would very likely  mean she'd probably fail me, or throw me out.  After all, I was being made an example of and it all felt the same way it did when I was in First Grade and tortured by my teacher for being "willfully insolent," instead of the fact that my not understanding her was a developmental thing, that most teachers acknowledge. As for the college professor, I still sometimes wonder why she was so wary of me --- I just wasn't good enough, I guess. I HATED being late before that incident and I still hate being late. Maybe next entry, I'll write about why being late feels traumatizing for me, in and of itself.

Once Upon A Time, I am STILL working on forgiving my past self, and letting things go, and letting it be "okay," that I am not perfect, and never will be. I am who I am, and that's a soul working to do my best and be my best, which means never ending and continuous improvement.

I HOPE someday I'll be able to say,
       "Once Upon A Time, I healed my old wounds and accepted that I am good enough and planning to get better. I profoundly love and accept myself."

I am lucky. I know love and joy and have support in my life. Even though I have a dark side, and sometimes I get lost in it; most of the time I thoroughly enjoy my cheerful disposition. I still live every day with humor, the most that I can.

Please remember to listen to people. For children especially, it is vital that they are heard-- they may not understand why they feel things so deeply, or why life can hurt so much, but if they know they're safe and loved, then they can access their resilience and continue to sink their roots deeply into the sacred earth, and stretch their green youth exuberance for growth to the sky!

Just... please, no matter who you are, please don't give up on yourself. If you find that you're thinking crappy, negative thoughts, and you cannot remember your self-worth or that you truly CAN do anything you set your mind to, find a friend who will take the time to REMIND you of that FACT.

As I used to say, (and still do) every single time I leave the theatre space (from age 11 through forever),

       "I LOVE YOU ALL!"