So it's been a week since we opened "Red Planet Respite" at ASU, and I have been back in San Diego since Sunday. I should have gotten around to this sooner...but I really did have this cathartic experience out in the desert, and I owed it to myself to properly process what all that was before I said goodbye.
So these are my final thoughts on the Arizona residency:
- I am one lucky woman. The time I spent obtaining my degree was at a point in my life where I was falling apart. While I learned so much from that process and my growing pains, I really wasn’t in a position to fully reap the benefits of a higher education (in my current opinion). Coming back allowed me to really remember the values I gathered through my education- and in many ways let it sink in. I feel like I came back to a painful place triumphantly, and likely to many people’s shock- in a much more emotionally evolved and healthy position than when I left. I think the chance to do something like that is rare in life- and I feel like I am a better artist because of it.
- The people you work with really MAKE (or break) an opportunity. With all due respect to my 2008 cohort, I did not choose that specific group to work with. We were all picked separately and had to collaborate again and again, often on projects that we had fundamentally different belief structures about. This did not always breed the most fruitful creative environment. THIS residency allowed me to mostly pick my team. Well, at least my cast. And I know I’ve bragged about these people- but I don’t think I’ve ever done their awesomeness real justice. No matter how stressful a day was with street harassers or challenges back at home in San Diego- I would walk into a rehearsal and all of that wouldn’t matter anymore. My 6 cast members (and my Stage Management team and Designers) were present, willing, and absolutely wonderfully down for whatever in our explorations. I’ve never felt as much fearlessness to create good art as with these sweet people. AND they made me laugh constantly. In the end I felt like I made a new family in this group, and I honestly haven’t had a pure experience like that in years. And while the piece itself has some steps to take forward in development, I am overwhelmingly proud of the passion that currently rules the Lyceum stage. I would absolutely work with every one of these people again and again if I could.
- In the end, I am the captain of my own ship. That metaphor seemed appropriate for this, and it has never felt more true to me than right in this moment. When I left San Diego in January, I felt uncertain about what I was coming back to. Some things seemed really up in the air, and leaving felt like I was abandoning those responsibilities and taking such a big scary risk. But I had to. I have to continue exploring and taking those risks to achieve my dreams. Because of this residency- my goals seem clearer, my aspirations more achievable, and my passion is rejuvenated, and isn’t that beyond ideal? If leaving and making art in new places brings such spirit to me- there must be something to it. And if I have any say in it, I will work towards finding more opportunities just like this one wherever/whenever I can. San Diego will always be my home base- but I want to bring new experiences, and different community stories back to this home- so the impact of our work can grow just like we are.
So today, all I am full of for this experience is love. And all you need is love. And sometimes money. But mostly love. I love you ASU production of “Red Planet Respite”. And if you’re in AZ- you had better go cheer on my babies tonight, tomorrow, or Sunday before you miss out on something special.
Thank you ASU, for continuously supporting me as an artist, and helping me to find my path. Every success Circle continues to find will have a great deal to do with you.
And make sure you check out ‘Red Planet Respite’ when it comes to San Diego in September, but in the meantime grab a ticket to “No Place Like Home” (May 23rd-June 7th) where you can see/hear Soroya’s beautiful piece featuring myself ON the stage! A new (terrifying) adventure for us both!
Until next time, thank you for caring about our work.