It’s been a bit since I’ve checked in so I wanted to do a little summer recap and life update.
For those of you who don’t know, I work at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and every summer we have 4 different conferences showcasing puppetry, new plays, new musicals, and cabaret with around 500 people coming through our relatively small campus.
My second #Oneillsummer has officially ended and we just got back to work after a glorious week off to unwind from the busy-ness that is our summer season.
This summer taught me valuable lessons in how to choose myself, staying authentic to me, and not letting my “shoulds” get in the way.
It’s really cool to look back on where I was at last summer and see how much I’ve grown.
Let’s start with a few creative highlights from the summer:
1. Reading stage directions for Jeannette, the musical
I feel so lucky to have been in the room with a bunch of badd ass, powerful women and some of my broadways IDOLS like Jessica Vosk, Ari Afsar, Lauren Gunderson, and more.
It reminded me how much I love theater and being in a creative, collaborative space and that I belong and feel so at home IN THE ROOM and not in the audience or in the office…
2. Organizing/producing a 10 minute play festival for the O’Neill Staff
My coworker and I had the idea to organize a staged reading night in the pub where we could showcase other staff members work, so just like that, we put on a 10 minute play festival!
We had a great response and had around 9 plays read with various staff members participating from the interns to the business office to facilities to the pub staff and more.
I submitted the first scene of “Navy Play” which I wrote about a year ago and it was my first time having someone read one of my plays and it felt like no big thang!
I’m proud of myself for all the growth I’ve gone through, because if that were me last year I would NEVER submit my play because I would be too scared, think I’m not good enough, or I’m not a playwright or my writing sucks, but now I’m like eh, who cares, I’ll get to hear my work read aloud, how fun!
3. My Sexual, Spiritual Awakening v4
I also did another reading of my one woman show even though I faced a looot of resistance and literally procrastinated up until the very last minute for the show.
I had decided not to stress myself out with it, so I didn’t even memorize it again and just read straight from the script which was honestly fine.
I got some really great feedback from it and it proved to me that I am ready and what I set out to do I accomplished so it honestly made me just more excited to keep submitting it to festivals and sharing it…my 2020 goal is Edinburgh Fringe? NYC Fringe? United Solo Fest? Premiere in NYC at a small theater? Honestly the possibilities are endless 🙂
4. Singing at every single open mic during the Cabaret Conference
Our last conference of the summer is the Cabaret Conference and we have open mic nights in the pub almost every night and I sang at every single one they had!
I love the cabaret conference so much. It reminds me how much I love to sing and perform!
This also proved to be a huge growth marker for me because instead of stressing about what I would sing and trying to plan it all, I just picked my song the day of and was very free flowy with no stress or attachment to any of it.
Last year I planned what I was going to sing like 6 months in advance and was like “i need to be practicing every day” and now I’m like, yea I’ll learn it the day of, why not and I would get so nervous before singing, but this year the nerves were barely there!
It’s so much more fun to live this way!
My favorite plays/musicals/cabaret shows of the 2019 summer season:
Jeannette by Ari Afsar & Lauren Gunderson (this is going to Broadway people…mark my words)
It’s Not a Trip, It’s a Journey by Charly Evon Simpson (obsessed with her style of writing, it’s something I want to emulate)
Black Dick by Terrance Arvelle Chisholm (so fun, so uncomfortable in all the right places, pushing the BOUNDARIES which is something I love)
Thirsty by Tori Scott (I wanna be like her when I grow up)
The Jam: Only Child by Daniel J Watts (best piece of theater I have EVER SEEN. Like stunned. shocked. amazed. inspired. enraged. surrendered.)
On a personal level, some of the major things this summer taught me was:
- how to say NO
- choosing myself
- valuing deep connection over surface level connection.
Because there are soo many artists & people that come through the O’Neill each summer and basically everyone socializes at our pub every single night, the pressure to “meet people” and “network” is really, really high and I struggled a lot with it last summer.
It’s basically the constant feeling of FOMO and guilt for not making enough “connections”
This summer, however, I HAD NO REGRETS IN SAYING NO.
I valued deep and real connection with my soul sisters instead of trying to “network” at the pub.
I spent most of my nights going to bed at 10 pm with my partner to wake up at 6 am to work out and didn’t have to deal with any hangovers.
The nights I did stay out late were spent sitting on the beach with a close friend or two and talking about our souls and lives and learning more deeply about ourselves. I truly had no interest standing around the pub, small talking with various people, while drinking myself to oblivion.
I’m learning to keep following what feels good to ME and not worrying about the “shoulds” or “should haves”.
In the end, choosing myself and valuing those deep connections led to a much richer experience then if I had tried to network with hundreds of different people.