Upon hearing the super news that I was going to be a presenter performer at TEDx Charleston I dove in head first embracing the theme "Shake It Up!" To truly embrace this concept, I decided to spend the summer learning new art forms, techniques and processes that would help me create my 7 minute adventure. I even enrolled in the Stan Winston School of Character Arts and took courses!
Meet the Professionals
Four insanely talented individuals will be performing this piece live on October 18 at the Charleston Music Hall; Henry Riggs, Maari Soursa, Becky Becker and Geoffery Cormier. Each one of them are at the very top of their fields and I have to pinch myself to believe that they're delivering the tasty bits. Through comedy and puppetry the audience will experience a journey that potentially could alter their lives. If they let it.
Costumes, Props and Music, Oh My!
The opportunity to attack every facet of this performance absolutely delights me. Why not fabricate the puppets, create props and scenery, write music and dialog and make elaborate costumes? It's like I've been to the greatest fantasy summer camp ever and I got to sleep in my own bed.
The clock is ticking and we're 3.5 weeks from the first dress rehearsal. I've been enjoying the show from the view in my head for months and I can't wait to see it on stage with everyone else. What a crazy adventure! There are some surprises and delights that I'm holding back. Afterall, you can't spill all the beans in a blog.
I'll post the video when it's all said and done. Let's shake it up!
For a moment or two I thought about the stress that could come and clobber me with these two concurrent projects, a for profit business, a non-profit organization, mom stuff, wife stuff, me stuff, stuff stuff, and then I decided to ... just. let. go.
Recently, the most glorious combination of happenstances occurred providing me with the best commission I've ever had to date. What was the recipe? We have a budget + You create the timeline + Paint whatever you want to delight children. Seriously? That never happens. Whatever I want? Really?!
I bet most commissioned artists could tell the story about the time that they were hired because "we love your style and aesthetic" and then they're art directed to the point that the final product "doesn't look like what we like about your other work"; well duh. I've been overly cautious about finding myself in that situation again.
When the Church at SeWee Bay approached me to help breathe whimsy into their children's wing I got that giddy feeling you get when you know something magical is going to happen. The folks there are fun, laid back and oh-so-trusting. That was the scary part. They trusted in me to make some good decisions here and not goof it up.
Collectively, we decided on a Noah's Ark theme and I was left to have at it. Goody, my favorite!
While working on this substantially large project I'm working on another massive artistic undertaking (soon to be revealed) and I was a bit concerned that maybe I was going to drown in a sea of creativity to never be heard from again. For a moment or two I thought about the stress that could come and clobber me with these two concurrent projects, a for profit business, a non-profit organization, mom stuff, wife stuff, me stuff, stuff stuff, and then I decided to ... just. let. go. I consciously made the decision to enjoy this summer of art emersion and just go with it. I was just handed a beautiful opportunity to make children smile and I really know how to do that. Why mess that up with worry.
That's when the fun started!
I made portholes for the windows out of foam and showed up each day with a positive attitude and absolutely no preconcieved notion of what was going to happen that day. I let my stream of consciousness dictate where the painting was going to go. It went like this: let's paint a weasel (because we talked about weasels at dinner the night before) who is delighted about something. The next day; what is the weasel so excited about? I know! A puppet. Who's the puppeteer? How about an octopus! There's a corner in the wall there so let's have him on the other side so it's not immediately obvious. Hmmm, Noah has to be standing on something. Folks were talking about alligators the other day, how about an alligator?! I asked friends and family what they'd like to see. My husband said "add a seal" my son wanted it to be "a navy seal!" This went on for a few days and all of the fun was documented on the walls.
I added splashes of unexpected texture by piling up paint, gluing fur, feathers and tasty bits on the walls and attaching things like butterflies, ladders and tiny musical instruments to the creatures. This will be a place that kids remember for a lifetime.
What a neat job. Seriously?! I would go in and start creating and then look up to see that six hours had passed. Six hours? Woah. I had no idea because I was completely blissed out and in my own world. Every once in a while I would check in with the Pastor to make sure I wasn't going too far off the rails, after all, not everyone enjoys this much color and whimsy in their everyday life. "Everything looking ok to you? Is it getting a little too ... odd?" He kept reassuring me that I should go for it, don't hold back, do what you think is right. I think that's as close as "You do you Boo Boo" as I could get. This was turning into a spiritual experience for me that I didn't expect.
So here's to the summer of just letting go. Trusting and having fun. Saying no if it's not right and yes to unlimited possibilities.
What adventure awaits? I can't wait to find out.