One week into my summer vacation and I am hitting the road to begin what promises to be one of the most awesome summers of my life. As I write this I’m sitting on the train to New York City, the sounds of “Crumbled” by Little Quirks playing in my ears. I’m off to train with Tectonic Theatre Project next week and learn about their devising process, dubbed “Moment Work.” The Moment Work intensive is the first bookend to a summer of theatre and travel, which will be capped off by a week-long devising intensive with American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) in San Francisco in August.
With a renewed sense of optimistic, creative energy I begin this journey northward. There’s something romantic about the idea of train travel. The reality of traveling on a regional Amtrak line leaves much to be desired in the way of romance, but I’m so excited about my travels this summer that I’m practically high off of the rose-colored mindset I’m in right now. For the first time in a while, I feel like I’m actively taking steps in the direction of my future and it excites me!
In preparation for the Moment Work training, I’ve been reading Moment Work: Tectonic Theatre Project’s Process of Devising Theatre. Just in reading about the process, which features excerpts and examples from previous Moment Work Workshops and rehearsal/creation workshops for some of TTP’s most well known works (The Laramie Project, 33 Variations, and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, to name a few), I cannot wait to get into the rehearsal hall with my students and play around with these techniques to create our fall production (working title #Untitled). So I can’t even imagine how antsy I’m going to be once I’ve completed the training!
So how exactly did I get here? This is a blog about process and pathways!
At the start of this new year, I became extremely restless in my work. I had been wrestling with a general malaise in my life, feeling stagnant in my work and too busy to find happiness in my personal life. That was an unholy trinity of circumstances which pushed me to venture out of this funk and put myself in positions to move forward. I applied for some interesting teaching opportunities that really opened my eyes to new experiences that I could have in other circumstances–like travel, more exotic professional development, and collaborative teaching.
Then in April, I met with Rolando Sans and Lisa Larragoite (Artistic Director and Executive Director, respectively, for Young Artists of America) to discuss an exciting opportunity. The two approached me about taking on a new role as Education Director for the company. The position will be responsible for developing a curriculum of studio classes that can be supplemented with master classes and intensive for young performing artists in the DC Metro area. It will allow me to grow in my administrative and management skills more formally than I’ve been able to through my work at Good Counsel. And it’s a part-time position, which will still allow me to keep my work at school while growing toward my ultimate goals. It sounded like a great opportunity and I ultimately accepted the position in May.
Concurrently, I had applied for a fellowship at Good Counsel that provides the awarded teacher $5000 over the summer to fund an experience. After researching both the TTP and ACT devising programs, I found that I could afford to do both if I got the fellowship. And as luck would have it, I have family in both New York and San Francisco, so I wouldn’t need to pay for a hotel or a rental car, etc.). While I ultimately was not awarded the fellowship, my administration was so impressed and excited by my proposal that they agreed to fund my studies out of our Professional Development fund.
And so now, here I am. On my way to begin these studies in order to teach these techniques to my students and build our fall production initially, but ultimately to experiment with a process that I want to further explore in my graduate studies in the coming years. I am feeling so blessed and rejuvenated, hitting the road and moving forward artistically and personally.