We have all had that feeling of if I could only get in front of this person, or that person, or better yet, if I could just be myself in front of this person I have worked so hard to get in front of.
This week, I went to several play readings and screenings of new works. Some really established playwrights, directors, filmmakers; some up and coming, and some who are very established but making a transition or trying out a new medium. Either way these people and their audiences were diverse and their were opportunities to network.
I’m all about a genuine connection so, if I don’t particularly care for the work I’m probably not going to approach someone, or as my mom always said, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I take this a step further; if I don’t have anything nice to say, I don’t say anything at all unless asked. But back to the main topic.
One event was at The Cherry Lane Theatre; I saw an amazing new work by Charles Fuller. At intermission Mr. Fuller asked that anyone with interest in helping create a life after the reading please speak with him afterwards.There were many of his friends, colleagues, and professionals in the room. At the end, I wanted to shake his hand and congratulate him but walked away and went home. I wanted to say “congratulations” because what I saw was amazing and deserves some life after this reading, but I talked myself out of it because I felt the other people there were capable of more than I am. I perceived there to be a wall, some divide that made him unattainable to me, or that my words were less important than someone else’s. This wall I allowed my self to create is just that, a wall of my own creation. I built it stone by stone allowing my self to think I am not able to offer as much as others. These people have worked hard, they deserve respect but these people are also uncles, fathers, sisters, brothers, best friends, cousins, and we can all recognize that relationship; it’s the same.These people I perceive “on the other side” are no different from me. Something I think we all forget when we hope to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
So instead of creating a divide, I’m going to begin looking at things as they are, a connection with someone. Life is relationships, that’s what art is all about, relating to others so when did we stop relating? I’m beginning to lay a new foundation that paves a path to where I’m headed and, just like when im on the highway, I can see straight unto the horizon.