Safety in the Studio

Safety in the Studio. Jamie Ridler Studios.

One of the messages I always want to share with the Jamie Ridler Studios community is that you are safe here. But this is not “stay in the harbour” safety, (as they say, “A ship in the harbour is safe but that’s not what ships are for”). This is the safety that allows you to dream, to imagine, to play, to ask, to be, to dare!

This is the safety of the studio.

The studio is a sacred space for creating, for experimenting, for unfolding and becoming. It is a place for bravery.

This is a bit of an odd combination, isn’t it? Bravery and safety? Isn’t it true that in order to be brave you have to be scared? I feel a bit like Yoda when I say, “You will be…. you will be…” It is natural and normal to experience trepidation as you bring your dreams to life, as you risk becoming more, as you experience something new, stretching your capacity, growing your wings. That’s the exquisite work of the studio, whether you’re creating your art or your life.

In the studio, what you do not have to be afraid of is being judged or laughed at or diminished in any way for your vulnerable attempts and honest expression. The studio is a place where you are celebrated for your efforts, supported in your falls and held while you reach for what’s next. It is a safe place to adventure.

The theatre and its rehearsal space taught me this concept of the studio.

I’m a sensitive soul. For most of my life, criticism, scorn, competition, laughter, judgment (including my own) would shut me down completely. It was just too painful! Even as a little girl, when I stepped out onto the ice in my pretty red dress for a first attempt at skating and fell on my bum, the indignity sent me packing, never to return (and that was a feat considering a grew up in Montreal!)

But in the studio it’s different. This is a place to fall on your bum. You’re doing your job when you fall on your bum. Stepping into new territory generally involves multiple spills and mistakes before you start gliding. Creating something magnificent, including yourself, starts in often awkward exploration. It is vulnerable and raw and beautiful and brave and fun. It is all that we are.

This is the kind of studio I am committed to creating here. This is the kind of studio you can create wherever you are. Wherever you are leading, wherever you are stepping in, create a safe space for creativity.

Creating a safe place for creativity is a profound and sacred act.

How might you do that today?

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