Category Archives: Creativity and Courage

Creativity, Transparency & Courage

This above all: To thine own self be true. – William Shakespear … [Photo by Matthias Wagner]

Next month, I’m planning to go to my hometown of Winnipeg to visit friends, family, and take in some of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. I’m quite looking forward to it!

Being at the Fringe Threatre Festival is going to be interesting. I haven’t performed in nearly two years. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that. Part of me misses being on stage, and part of me doesn’t. When I take in live theatre, though, I tend to start thinking about diving into creating and performing again.

That said, I don’t really have a burning desire to get back on the stage again and perform. Well, not really, but maybe a little? It’s complicated – but I’ll try to explain what I mean.

Acting for the sake of acting and getting deep into a role has never really been, shall I say, my impetus for getting involved in theatre. When I think about it, I don’t think it was ever my true desire to be an actress. I just sort of fell into it, and then went along for the ride. And I’m glad I did, because I believe it to be a very important part of my life journey! But more than anything, I came to see theatre creation, production, and performance as a means of personal self-expression.

I never got serious trying to expand my threatre career because the real reason I was in it was to use theatre as the medium to express and explore myself and ideas – and this was done primarily by creating, producing, and performing my own independent plays.

And so, it’s not performing or acting in and of itself that I miss – although it can of course be quite fun! But rather, I miss the process of creating a piece and bringing it into the world, sharing it with people, and interacting with an audience. I like knowing that I’ve made an impact on someone else’s life.

I’m not sure if I’ve given up on my past threatre career just yet. (Although it hasn’t really been that much of a career for the past 8 years or so, since I haven’t been deeply involved in it for quite some time.) My last show, which I only performed in one city, was vastly underdeveloped bu the time opening came around, and of course I bombed my opening performance and got a horrendous review based on that horrendous opening show.

That’s been a pattern I’ve had for a while:

  • Have lofty ambitions for a show.
  • Book a slot in Fringe festivals when the play is merely an idea.
  • Work on creating the show for the booked performances… but then inevitably get stuck in the creative process.
  • Fall WAY behind schedule because I hold myself to really high expectations and get overly critical of everything I write.
  • Scramble to get the show ready, somehow, in time for the pre-scheduled performance date so that I don’t have to bear the embarrassment of cancelling the show and losing all the money I had already invested in festival fees and props and costume pieces and advertising, etc.
  • Focus way too much on the production details (like sound, costume, poster and flyer design, etc.) because I find that part so much easier and more grounding than the difficult process of trying to be a creative genius and prove to the world that I have something important to say. Plus, it makes me feel like I’m actually making progress and being productive.
  • Calm myself down from stressing myself out (like you wouldn’t believe) and somehow pull a performance out of my ass on opening night.
  • Kick myself over and over post-opening-night show for missing various key points that I had intended to make due to getting too nervous (not to mention being underprepared.)
  • Get depressed about the inevitable review from that horrendous premiere performance. (I’ve almost always had the wondrous ‘luck’ of having a reviewer attend the very first performance EVER of a new production or at a theatre festival… and of course the very first performance rarely goes according to plan.)
  • Try to continually improve and tweak the show throughout its entire run.
  • Stress myself out during the festival.
  • Mop up my splattered self-esteem (and you can image how much of a mess it can get when one’s own grandmother expresses disappointment over that bad aforementioned review and refused to see one’s show because of it).
  • Reassure myself that I’m capable of so much better.
  • Remind myself that, although the show was vastly underprepared and nowhere near my initial vision and ambition, it was still something that many people were touched by (at least as the show continued to improve).
  • Tell myself that there’s no way I can let that be my last production because if I were ever to “retire” (so to speak), my ego wants to go out with a bang. i.e. a show that’s garnered tons of praise and wonderful reviews.

… And that pretty much brings us back to the present – or, to just under two years ago when my last show wrapped up at the end of July, 2017.

Every so often, I’ll find myself thinking about potential show ideas that I could, just maybe, attempt for next time. Although next time I want to ensure that I’m beyond prepared. That would certainly be a refreshing breath of air!

One of the show ideas I’ve tossed around in my head involves a format I’ve never done in my life, and it sort of terrifies me: Portray myself on stage. Not a character, not a work of fiction. Portray my real self and share stories about life. Share my actual thoughts and fears and demons. You can see why this might terrify me.

Part of me desperately wants to attempt this type of show. I’ve never done anything like it, ever. I have no idea if it’d be any good. Have I even led an interesting enough life to warrant such a show? But the very fact that this scares me tells me that I should probably explore it.

If I did a show based on my life (it’d be a storytelling style play, I believe), I ask myself if I’d have the courage to be blatantly transparent about my self and my life. I truly want to. But would I have the balls to do that if I knew my family would be there in the audience?

Ultimately, I’m pretty sure this is something I’d like to explore. I don’t have a specific idea as of for the theme I’d want to explore for this type of show (aside from daring myself to be as authentic and transparent as I could be), nor for the stories I would share. But it’s definitely something that’s been on my mind, and I’m so curious to discover what kind of show I’d come up with if I were to pursue this idea.

I suppose I could consider this bog post as a means of “leaning into it” – “it” being the idea for this storytelling show in which I’d portray my unabashed and unadulterated self. Hmmm…

How comfortable are you in sharing your true self with the world? What stories would you be afraid or nervous to tell? What kind of stories do you think others would relate to best? …And especially: What kind of stories would you love to hear? <3

This above all: To thine own self be true.

– William Shakespeare

Big News & Life Updates

Hey hey hey!!!

So… it’s been a while since I last made an update. (Oops.)
A lot has happened in the past 7 months!

First off, the big, main thing that happened is… Steve and I got married!!!! 😀
We married in early April. <3 It was a pretty last minute decision. I was nearing the end up my allowed visit to the US and would have had to leave no later than April 9th. I hadn’t intended on using up my 6-month allotment all in one continual visit, but neither of us wanted me to go away again. In the past, we had talked on and off about the idea of someday marrying, but usually Steve would waffle on the idea and ultimately decide that, no, he didn’t want to marry; and so we would by default continue our long distance relationship with me going back and forth, or with us meeting up in either Canada or other countries. And this would go on for years…! I thought this same pattern was to be repeated yet again… but then Steve had a shift in his attitude towards the idea of remarrying. He definitely didn’t want me going away again and wanted me to stay. And the feeling was mutual! But the only way it would be possible for me to stay long term would be if we were to get married. Since there was no doubt that he wanted to continue to be together (for potentially the rest our lives), we decided to get hitched! We had a very simple ceremony. It was just us two, the officiant, and a friend to act as our witness. We both dressed nicely, picked out some simple but nice (and matching) wedding bands, and exchanged rings and vows. Admittedly, I got teary saying my vows. (What can I say, I can be quite the sap at times. 😉 ) It was a happy day. Afterwards, we went out for a simple meal at a nearby vegan restaurant. Here’s a picture of us on our wedding day. 🙂 [caption id="attachment_1750" align="alignleft" width="3088"] We got married![/caption]

So… what have I / we been up to for the last 5 months? I feel like I’ve been really busy, even though I don’t have a “job”! At least not officially, although I have been helping Steve out a fair bit with his website and business!

It took a long time, but with the help of a designer we were able to create a new logo for our online Conscious Growth Club! I also help moderate our CGC forums and assist with our coaching calls.

Steve and I have taken some small trips as well. We’ve been to Disneyland a couple times (we have annual passes, so we kinda go there a fair bit since it’s only about a four hour drive from Vegas); we’ve been to Park City and Durango (Steve attended mastermind meetings there, and I came along for socialization and fun that takes place outside the meetings); and I helped out with a LOT of ebook editing and assisting with daily videos for the Deep Abundance Integration program that Steve created just last month. (DAI is going to create a lot of work for me over the next several months as I create all of the content from the videos and put it into ebook form.)

I also did a fun challenge/deep dive of my own, where I recorded and published a video to YouTube every day in the month of June. (If you’re interested, you can check that out here.)

Aaaaand… the newest piece of news is that Steve and I had my immigration interview just earlier this week! Steve and I, not to mention the immigration interviewer as well, were rather surprised that we landed our interview so “soon” after submitting our immigration papers after getting married. I believe 5-ish months used to be considered normal timeframe, but for the current US governmental administration, what used to be standard wait times are now often tripled (and sometimes even more than that)! We were expecting to get our interview within 11-17 months or longer, according to the current listed processing times. (Some centers even have processing times close to 2 years!) So to have our interview now over and done with is quite serendipitous!

I was a bit nervous for the interview, even though logically I know I had no reason to be. The immigration officer who conducted the interview was very friendly, and we didn’t encounter any difficulties. He congratulated us and said I should expect to receive my green card sometime in the next 30 days. So YAY!!!

Steve and I have been longing to do some international travel, but haven’t been able to due to my lack of a travel permit or green card. I haven’t even been able to visit Canada! But once I get my green card, we’ll be able to travel together outside of the US once again. I’m really looking forward to that. I miss Europe, and I’d love to visit new places too, like Australia, Asia, South America, etc.

So… that’s my update!

I’ve procrastinated big time on writing a screenplay. I definitely still want to do that, and I’d still like to try doing that screenplay writing challenge I mentioned in a previous blog post, too! With the ebook editing (i.e. video to ebook conversion) project on my plate, plus planned travel in November (and then the subsequent holidays), I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to squeeze in that screenplay. BUT, I do know that I’d like to get on sometime soon. Although, time is relative, I suppose.

Oh, time…

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
– Bruce Lee –

(^^ A note to self.)

<3