A friend emailed this to me a long time ago and I read it whenever I feel like I'm at an impasse; with my art, family, friends or relationships. I'm on a roll making plans for my next chapter right now, but I thought this might be useful for anyone who is suffering from Winter Blues or going through a major transition in life.
LAST WEEK: last week i was uncomfortable AND discouraged. last week i talked to person after person that had the same negative tone of “what are you doing here in berlin, there is no money and no work for dancers” and then what little work does exist is extremely hard to get. i amrealizing even an audition is near impossible unless you are a truly unique and
exotic specimen with a ten page CV, that includes being the reincarnation of martha graham.
REJECTIONS: i have already been “unaccepted” to one audition, and not chosen for an audition that i did get. so my rejections begin to collect. and yes, i am keeping a log. tally marks that somehow make the shame humorous, ordered, and insignificant. lines on paper that i can snub some day.
POOF: so last week, for various reasons we need not go into here, i hit a low. i cried and tried to self-combust by means of strong mental power.
THE LIGHT AT YONDER END: and then something happened. it occurred right there in the open air on “koppenplatz”. i was just walking along, desolate little me, and something yet unknown to my persona took hold. these foreign streets, combined with denial and discouragement, ignited some force in me that makes me feel as a stranger unto myself. truly, i skirt outer
body experience. i was just walking down the block and something shifted.
WHILE IN ROME: i feel like the germans wake up each day and set an internal metronome to which they march. they follow a beat and stick to it. a bit cold, but focused, and closed to all distraction. so, “when in rome”. . .i set my own little metronome of determination and embark on a personal plan of attack.
EGO: first, good-bye to ego. ego must go so that confidence can function unencumbered. whatever ego i could manage to part with i left in the rosenthaler U-bahn station. Ego had me shy and beating myself up over a bad plie in class, Ego kept me from testing my german when lost on the streets. Ego was not helping the situation at all.
SECOND: second, i see how it has to be. i have this short set thumb, which, according to one palmitrist, means that i have to work for what i get in life. dance won’t come to me, so i go to it. and this requires a distinct tact and boldness that makes me immensely uncomfortable. but since my ego is on loan to the berlin air, i’ve managed to put myself on several lines and what do you know – it pays.
SERIOUSLY: i went to see marten spangberg (dancer/choreographer) perform and was impressed with what he did. the day after his show i boarded the u-bahn, took my seat, and sitting directly across from me was, well who do you think- marten spangberg. so i leaned in, interrupted his journaling, and said “excuse me. . .” and then complimented his show. a conversation ensued in which he was rather inquisitive about my story. he seemed impressed with some part of the tale and as he was de-boarding he said “i’ll get you a gig” but he’s getting off the train and i have no idea how to get in touch with
him. so he tells me to call a local gallery for his mobile number, and i say ok, and then as the doors close he turns around and utters an emphatic “seriously!”
SERENDIPITY: this is the second astounding moment of serendipity i have experienced with this stunt called berlin, and it honestly took my breath. of all the trains i could have boarded, of all the strangers i could have sat next to. . .wow, and i haven’t even feng shuied my flat.
PERSONALITY: I can’t do a thing about the facts of my CV. It seems a lack of experience as recorded on paper is going to be a hindrance to certain goals. but while tangible success can be recorded on paper, the talents of character will never be captured in CV format. my movement is important in this dance world, but i also am coming to find more value in the abilities of the character to endure, build, and remain on two feet when hopeless sets in; to impress upon people something that matters – the personality. so in some odd way i train this aspect of my career now, pushing myself into the uncomfortable and holding tight to the positive in the face of some rather grumpy negative.
METAPHOR: also, i’m learning a new way to ride roller coasters. my external flesh goes up and down, while my organs maintain a flatline. this way, i can both enjoy the ride, but not throw up from too much jostling. . . .last week bad, this week good, next week. . . probably bad again, but such is the ride.