Things are swimming along nicely in our artistic residency at ASU.  The script is in its' rough draft form and now we are work-shopping with our marvelous cast and crew.  Design details are being finalized, and soon we will be hosting a reading with the community that inspired our piece so we can get some great feedback and do our rewrites during Spring Break. 

All in all, we are right where we need to be.  

I decided to take a moment in today's blog to reflect on the experience of returning to a meaningful place after being gone for a long time.  This has been quite a remarkable experience for me thus far, and I think this is a good place to take a look at it.  

My History at ASU

Me and my best Grad School friend Cathan. Circa 2007.

NINE years ago (really?) I was accepted into ASU's first restructured Graduate Performance class.  I was excited to take on the new challenge, but to be entirely honest I applied to Graduate School from the "I don't know what to do with a degree in theatre" place.  Not the strongest reason to go more into debt- but I'm grateful that my fear of the 'real world' provided me with some clarification.  

I took performance classes like voice, movement, Meisner technique, Viewpoints (hallelujah), and more. I also took theory classes, and studio classes that allowed me to write and develop my artistic backbone.  As mentioned in a previous entry- this program made me the artist I always wanted to be.  I never saw myself as only an actress. I wanted more from this complex (and incredibly challenging) world of theatre.  This school gave that to me.  

But I, Katie, was also going through many changes as a person.  I was becoming an adult.  I was dating and engaging in new personalities, and I was figuring myself out.  

I remember feeling so much pressure to be perfect.  Where the hell does that come from?  And I remember that I would do anything it took to be that.  Sometimes with consequences that part of me still wishes I could reverse.  I think we all as people have these great moments of change in our lives, and Grad School was all of that for me.  

So while my education and the opportunities that were given to me were fantastic- I was not always fantastic.  I took my time here to fight some demons, and while I am grateful for what that fight has turned me into...I couldn't help but reflect about what it might have been like coming to this school AFTER I experienced that turmoil.  

But that would be ridiculous I guess.  I think in the grand scheme of all unfolded as best it possibly could.  And even though I wish I could have avoided publically dealing with some of that pain...I'm grateful to the friends and teachers that stood by me while it was happening.  

I realize I'm being vague...but hopefully you understand my sentiment.  Somewhat.  

Returning to the Source

When Circle first heard that we were accepted into this residency...I experienced the entire spectrum of emotions.  I was thrilled to take the work Circle does to a new state!  One of my many big dreams for this company is that CCdd can hold residencies in new places every year.  I want to bring Community-Based Theatre to everyone that wants it.  And in return, I want to bring this new work developed in a new environment back home to San Diego when we’re done.  That’s one of our biggest goals.  The fact that we got our first residency in such a short time made me jump for joy.  This is the start of this new chapter for us. 

But obviously I also had a lot of fear inside of me.  I immediately thought of poor 22 y/old Katie just starting out.  I thought of how pathetic and sad I felt a large amount of time throughout obtaining my Masters.  It was embarrassing.  And at some point since I left and became a healthier and more confident human, I started associating that old pain with this place.  With Arizona in general.  I didn’t know if I was ready to face that place again. 

I felt like blogging about this because I came to a realization today how completely over this fear I’ve become.  Whoever didn’t like 22 y/o Katie in the past has either left or forgotten.  Or perhaps my current state of joyful/confident Katie allowed that old vision of me to vanish.  And the work I’m doing is exciting.  And people want to participate!  That means more than any conflict from my past. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is: don’t let the past hinder your future.  Just because you sucked when you were 22- it doesn’t mean that you suck when you’re 32.  Or 42.  Or beyond.  I took a great risk in being miserable out here- but I did it because I love what I’m doing now.  I want to share the work Circle does with the world- and that’s much more powerful than any insecurity I held onto from when I was younger. 

I used to chant in my head as I felt the sucking depression keep me down back then that “this isn’t forever, this is just for now”.  And future Katie wants to thank past Katie for believing that message enough to get through it. 

Because the only way out is through. 

And if there is anyone reading this right now that’s thinking about giving up or struggling with themselves in any way- I hope you get that message.  And I hope it makes a difference.  And when you survive that horrific transformative moment in your life, you will always be thankful that you allowed it to let you grow.