Getting on stage is a strange job. People often ask me: do you still get nervous? Yes. After 11 years YES, pretty much every time. The stage is a place of the moment, full of opportunity and unexpected outcomes. Plenty of chances to fail, to shine, to connect, to fall over : )
There are risks involved with being on stage, being exposed, being seen.
Risks lead to questions, and questions can lead to doubt. I question myself and my work a lot; I question my direction, my impulses, my ideas. I live a lot of my life in uncertainty. So it may surprise you to hear that I often wonder if I should be storytelling… I think every freelance artist asks themselves this. The odds are against us, no security, no guaranteed income, no known outcomes. Just this mad passion for what we do.
Let me be clear: I love my job. LOVE it. And I often lose my way, and the path of the artist gets dark.
On my worst days I take out the folder. It is crammed with notes, cards, emails, gifts and images. Over the years people from my audiences and workshops have given me things. A key on a necklace, a hand of peace brooch, thank you cards, quotes, engraved wood, totems, talismans, protections, and most of all their words. When the doubts inside my head seem insurmountable I take out these things, and let my audience light the way for me.
It has sustained me again and again over the last 11 years. I did it the other day. I write about it here in an effort to share more of this path with you.
So as the year draws to a close, here’s to all of you, you know who you are; all of you that gave me cards, that gave me notes, drawings, animations, gifts, words, thank you cards and asked me to keep going.
When I get lost, you light the path up for me, I draw breath and I take another step.