Friday, July 2, 2010

Ladies who lunch ... learn

Lunchtime conversation with much laughter and many tangents. Tangents that lead to self-discovery. Or if not actual discovery, a putting together of pieces in a way I hadn't done before.

Did I know I really wanted four completely unrelated career paths? It's not that I haven't achieved some level of success or personal satisfaction already from each. But how to take any one of them further? If not at the same time, how do I know which one(s) to begin with? Two pieces have received priority attention from me in the past decade: Woolynns and yoga. But I only sing once a year these days, if that. And my yearly foray into directing makes me itchy for more. Big changes are on the horizon. As the tectonic plates shift, maybe I can find a new balance, or a new plate to stand on. Or I could try spinning more plates at once (but now I've mixed too many metaphors.) Supposedly I should do one thing and do it well, but I want to do four things really well. (stamp foot here)

Woolynns is the name of my business and this blog, and it is here I feel my most creative. I see seamless clothing in my head and a gallery is adding my scarves and purses next week. I have two scarves laid out ready to roll (literally). I have a custom piece to begin. Another fiber artist's work has pushed me out of my comfort zone to begin experimenting with size. My next house will just have to have a bigger studio space for all this expansion into larger felting. The prospect is so exciting to me, I feel somewhat uncontained, and somewhat aghast at what I think I'll be undertaking.

YogaMom is the title I gave myself when my first child was born and I was teaching yoga. I had left performing and felt a need for a job title. It fit. That yoga part of myself is where I feel my most accomplished. I have been teaching for 14 years now. I have trained other teachers. I work with alignment and energy, injury, prenatal and post-partum yoga. I feel like I have so much to share and can never fit everything into one class, one weekend workshop, one private session. I love learning from those who profess to be my students. I want a yoga yurt with heat for the winter where I can practice, teach classes, work with private therapeutic clients.

Performing. I quit doing that professionally in 1998. It wasn't the hardest choice. I had a baby. I was pretty cranky even when I had theatre jobs. As scary as it was to not be a performer, it was actually calmer. I had had a good run that included many high points over a decade of work. People who knew me as a child still wonder if I miss dancing. But I was shedding that side of me even back in my performing days. My body was never made to dance at the level I had asked it to perform. (I'm dealing with the fallout from that every day now.) But if I could get my voice back in shape, if I could work with a great pianist and start singing, a happier part of my performing self might return. Just chanting at the end of a yoga class reminds me of that side of me, making me long for more notes, more syllables, more instruments.

And then the surprising opportunity of directing came along. I had so many good directors over the years. Some were high school teachers, some were fellow college students, some were directors for whom I worked, some taught classes for professionals. I also had some terrible ones; directors who were getting paid to do this. I didn't think I was a director when I got asked to help with Shakespeare for 8th graders. But when I saw how something I offered could make even a bad performance look better, something I offered could bring out more from the child who coasted on talent, when I realized I could get a good performance out of children who wished they didn't have to do this play, well, it made me less tolerant of poor play productions where the children all wanted to be there and wanted to be pushed to do better work. If I could get so much from students who were required to be in the show, why wasn't I doing this more? This one would require certification or even a degree. I would need to learn pedagogy (rehearsing a play is not teaching acting classes). It might require doing it to the exclusion of all else.


Maybe I shouldn't meet good friends for lunch anymore. It makes me think big thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment