Now that it’s over, a brief overview of all the things that I learned about myself over the course of this program. Of course I learned a lot of practical and technical information, but these things, these personal things, are what made the change happen.
- That I am capable of getting up, utterly fearlessly, in front of a roomful of talented people and letting them see the products of my work, mistakes and successes and emotional reactions and all.
- That I am capable of dancing for three hours at a stretch even after years of not being a dancer. Even with bad knees. That I am capable of keeping up physically with people 10+ years younger than me. That I can push myself physically harder than I ever have in my entire life and feel amazing.
- That I’m no longer the clumsy girl who tripped a lot and never learned right from left. That all it takes is some concentration and willingness to stop being afraid. That I need to trust my body to do the steps and stop thinking so hard.
- That all that stuff my teachers have said about letting go of tension actually works. That I’m capable of identifying those bad habits and breaking them. That sometimes it really is just as easy as working less hard.
- That I can sing the shit out of a piece that’s emotionally and physically challenging right now, on only a few days’ time to learn and practice it, and get a huge round of applause from my classmates.
- That I can accept criticism with grace and without hurt feelings, and shake off seemingly harsh words without dwelling upon them.
- That there are still many genuine, real, kind people in this business.
- That maybe, just maybe, if I’m willing to work hard and let go of all my erroneous self-beliefs, I can have a career and a life in theatre.
So many things are starting to fall into place. Six weeks, and I can feel lessons I’ve tried over and over again to learn finally sinking in. I feel physical things happening to my body and voice that I’ve been trying so hard to wrap my brain around for years, never realizing that all it would take is six weeks of throwing myself into this world and just fucking going for it at all times, regardless of fear or self-consciousness.
I feel like there’s not an ounce of fear left in me. I feel like I could do anything asked of me.
And, unfortunately, two days after starting this entry, I already feel fear and doubt starting to creep in. I can feel myself trying to return to being the girl who got comfortable with protecting herself. I refuse to let that happen; I’ve come too far to forget what I know, now.