Studio Diary: A Snapshot of My Creative Life

Studio Diary: May 21, 2018

Dance: I feel like I haven’t written at all about the amazing experience that I am having with Le Grand Continental in Toronto. I’m now in rehearsals 3 days a week as we move towards performing at Luminato. (The video is from Portland but I wanted to share it because it includes our choreographer, Sylvain Émard.)  I am so glad that I braved auditioning.

I do feel like we’re moving into that “this is getting real” stage when all the inner demons come out to play.  We start with the discomfort of the unknown countered with the excitement of possibility and new beginnings.

Then we get a little more comfortable and excited about learning something new and being a part of something amazing. At this stage, every success and challenge holds great weight. Our inner voice yells, “Look, I can still dance. i’m doing it!!” and “Omg, I’m messing up everything. What was I thinking? I’ll never remember all of this.” At this point, we dive in deeper or start to detach. Perhaps the direction we choose depends on which voice we believe the most.

For those of us who dove in deeper, we started working harder, building our strength, renewing our confidence or we decided to remember that we’re doing this for fun and stopped taking it so dang seriously.

Now we enter the stage when we really start to understand there will be an audience. The training wheels are coming off. The rehearsal director us giving us less clues and we must start to find our own way and recover from our missteps. The show must go on.

Last rehearsal I found myself fraught with emotions. I have no idea why. I just felt sensitive about everything.  Once again I realized the gift that meditation has given me.  For the first time, I aware of experiencing myself as separate from those emotions. I chose to acknowledge and honour them while bringing my focus onto the choreography  – just like watching my thoughts and coming back to my breathing. Afterwards I took it to my journal, giving myself time to experience and process all that had been stirred up by that day of dance.

Collage: The Collage Techniques of Anne Marie Grgich has wrapped up but I am still working on my two collages – the red and the yellow. I have loved learning from Anne. She is generous with her teaching, sharing the processes she has honed over years.  I haven’t come close to experimenting with all of the materials that she used but have gained so much by seeing the possibilities. i feel like I have stepped through a door into a much bigger room of what collage can be.

And that is perhaps why I am so frustrated that my pieces are still sitting on the kitchen table waiting for attention. They’ll need to move forward and/or be put away by next weekend as the seasonal Studio Yearbook packaging party begins! I have a demanding week so I’m not sure that I’ll get any time for them, though maybe on this holiday Monday I will sneak some in.

I’m also not sure whether the red piece is ready for completion. I love it as it is right now, so that’s an argument for “yes” but I also know that as a creative I have a tendency to stop when I “get it”, which isn’t necessarily the same place that is required to transmit the message to the viewer. I’ve asked for feedback in the class.

The Studio Yearbook & Ephemera: This week was the big launch of the summer Studio Yearbook. Now we move into production mode, including having a wonderful time gathering some ephemera for the First 100. On Friday, Shannon, Suzie and I went to Value Village to look for some treasures and spent the evening watching Netflix together and cutting up pages to find little bits of delight to share.  This is something I could do all day!

Photo by Justin

The Studio Kittens: After a spell of throwing up and a trip to the vet, Escher seems to be doing better. We tried several things and are not 100% sure which it was that tipped the balance but we are delighted that his tummy has settled. We’re also thankful that we were able to make this vet trip his yearly medical because picking him up and getting him into a carrier is quite a challenge!

Shibumi also ended up at the vet this week after getting some irritation in her eye. We have drops but thankfully it seems to have settled on its own.  We are glad that we had the chance to turn the outing into her regular check-up. Other than being a bit… well… shall we say, “sturdy,” and the issue with the eye, she’s doing great.  She’s bit of a bruiser this one.


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