BWW Blog: Expanding My Horizons
This past week has had ups, and downs. Highs and lows. That's just the way it goes sometimes. The ups have been real up, and the downs have been total rock bottom downs. What I've happened to discover is that the downs are a permanent part of life, and artistry. They are constant. They can be lessened, however by the ups. The ups work a little different, though unfortunately
You see WE have to make the ups happen. Unlike the downs they require work. This week I learned life and art are similar in this way. For me, trying new things and expanding my horizons provided me the high points of my week. In the past week I was assistant lighting designer for a Tony award nominated composer at my university. I had no experience before this besides being a board operator in community theatres before this. Seeing the final product and getting this amazing opportunity really provided me with a sense pride that I hadn't had in a hot minute.
Riding high, I took it upon myself to learn something that has intrigued me for a long time, that being puppetry. I've always thought puppetry, in all of its forms, was a beautiful form of art, but never took it upon myself to learn. Especially because you can't just walk down the street and take a class on it. It's just not represented enough. So, I went to the library and started teaching myself. I'm not going to lie it's extremely difficult, but the extensive history and beauty in the final product keep me going within it. It's going to be a long road, but I'm going to do this and I'm going to be good at it. I'm promising myself that now.
After these events and happenings in my day-to-day occurred the lows hit hard. My life
turned upside down in the past few days. That's when we need to use the lows. I threw myself into work. I was productive with it. I made many different puppets, and things of the like, I started mounds of research, and I got to work!
I think we'll always have reasons not to do things. We'll always say, "I don't have the
time", "it's too hard", or the ever so famous "I literally just can't right now". Nothing great ever started that way, and nothing great will. We have to push on despite the things that attempt to hold us back.
Either way, if you don't have something to push through on, and you're a crafty person, I HIGHLY recommend looking into puppetry in all of its forms. This includes Shadow Theatre, marionettes, and traditional puppet theatre. I've found that while working with objects, devoid of any expression of their own, it has made me a better actor, and theatre artist in general. You learn to channel your expression into something else to create a totally different product. Even if you're not incredibly keen on it I think everybody should give it a shot.
I find that every day, we're expanding our horizons. Some ways voluntarily, some ways
not, but always transformative. Experience is experience is experience. Good, bad, everything in between. Life and art and education are what you make of them, so make all of it meaningful and use it.