Yesterday I mentioned a silent promise to do better, and I made good on it! I love making good on promises! Last night's rehearsal was more focused and I did not flub my French. I'm going to be so bold as to say that I think I made a downright sexy gypsy smuggler-lady! (Living the dream, people. Living. The. Dream.)
Truth is, when I feel like I've done my best, it's not because the I didn't "mess up", it's because I told my part of the story as authentically as I could, and that I'm not just a body milling about, but a plot motivator. My Mercedes believes that she reinforces Carmen's power over Don Jose, adding to his madness. That's far more interesting than just singing the right notes and rhythms. Intent!
My beautiful artist-friend (the one who preaches cross-discipline creativity) also attests that the art isn't as interesting as the story of the artist who created it. So I think about my story; where am I and how did I get here?
It was over 7 years ago at a Christmas party when a sub-conscious yearning bubbled up and annouced itself to me. Surrounded by high school classmates who were always more interested in my effortlessly popular brothers, I stood and listened to their stories about exciting post-college lives with loves and high-paying jobs - a leggy blonde moving to London with her English fiance (I swear he was even wearing an ascot), or my middle school crush moving to China with his perfectly polished lady after vacationing in Goa or Bali or wherever it is the beautiful people go. It was suddenly my turn to share and I couldn't bring myself to say that I was just living in my brother's pool house, teaching teenagers how to sing beautiful vowel shapes. I couldn't do it. I was ashamed of my cowardice - ashamed that I was more comfortable encouraging the dreams of others than pursuing my own. I was envious of these peers living beyond the roads and codes of our youth. So I lied.
I lied, and proclaimed my intent to move to New York and try my hand at a career. It shocked me when I heard those words fall out of my face. And that it took the paralysis of shame and envy to uncover my true desire is not a point of pride either, but what makes me very proud is that I made good on that not-so-silent promise. I did not want to be a liar, so I packed all my clothes and went alone to a city I did not know. I set my intent, was my own plot motivator, and discovered that however negative the motivating factor may be, when the manifestation of it is a life lived more fully and fearlessly, I'm suddenly very grateful for my fear and my gifts. Birmingham, AL may not be London or Bali, but 3 hours in Seville every night is pretty beautiful.