BWW Blog: Reflecting on the Extended Broadway Shutdown
When I woke up this morning, I opened Facebook to see that the Broadway shutdown had been extended until early January. While I completely understand that the health and safety of theatre goers and performers is of the utmost importance, it does feel like a punch to the gut that so many performers, tech designers, musicians and artists are still out of jobs. As someone who is training to be in this industry, it's hard to feel like there's anything that I'm training for. However, quarantine has given me the opportunity to explore my other interests outside of theatre. When I first got to college, I had a good friend tell me that we can't be tied to our identity as performers/our majors because ultimately, and first and foremost, we are humans who are multi-dimensional. This in hindsight was the best thing that anyone has ever told me since being in college. Since then, it's been a struggle to figure out what my niche is and it's something I'm still trying to figure out to this day. But I've been fortunate enough to gain access to resources that help me to navigate this. One of these resources is a book called You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. While I'm only a few chapters in, the biggest thing I've learned from this book so far is that your main core of who you are is called, or what the book calls Big Source Energy. Your inner dialogue, the stuff that gets in the way of your Big Source Energy is called the Big Snooze (your ego). This is the stuff that says you're not good enough, your butt looks weird, you shouldn't do that thing because people will think you're weird. But once you are able to quiet that down and get deep down into your Big Source Energy, you're able to hear what the universe is trying to tell you about what your purpose is and what you need to do. Now, I'm not saying that this is the answer to all of your problems and that you won't make mistakes, but it will help you to gain a different perspective about your worth in the universe.
This book was recommended to me by a woman named Minda Larsen. Minda is a cabaret artist, voice teacher, musical theatre performer, and creator of the Starving Artist Solution. This is a course that gets you on track to finding your Big Source Energy. In the very beginning of the course, she talks about the book and a meditation series called Desires and Destiny by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. I have since gotten both the book and the meditation series. The meditation series is designed to teach you that everything in the world is working for your benefit and that you can embrace abundance and that "abundance flows freely towards me."
I found out about her course through the virtual Classical Singer Convention at the end of May. Because the actual convention was cancelled, it was held online through online masterclasses with renowned opera and musical theatre performers, agents and teachers like Minda. The course itself is a little expensive, but if you can afford it, I HIGHLY recommend it if you are a performing artist. The biggest thing she mentioned in her masterclass/webinar is that when you are not performing, you don't have to be a "starving artist." You can do jobs that you love like photography, blogging or teaching. Your jobs outside of the performing arts do not diminish your artistic career. There are so many people out there right now in the performing arts industry who are putting out their services to others to teach and raise their unique voices. The biggest example I can think of right now is Taylor Louderman. Once she left Mean Girls, she announced she was taking a break from theatre. She is now an artist in residence/teacher at the Ozark Actors Theatre in Missouri and teaching.
If you're wondering what my other interests are outside of performing, I like to cook, take photos, and do just what I'm doing right now: writing!
Here is the link to Minda's website if you are curious about the course! https://www.mindalarsen.com