This week is a hard week to choose a topic because there have actually been so many. I feel like I may be compelled to do multiple entries and get myself through the holiday season.
Tonight, it will be the production of Ignorance by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop. It was a beautiful production that really did give perspective into my own writing. It was in your face, simple and complicated at the same time. Most of all, it fit within the mandate of the theatre company I’ve been trying to develop, which in a way is the best way something can be inspirational for me right now.
It was a show that played to its audience. It didn’t simplify concepts or ideas or play to the least of the masses, but was easily accessible; brilliantly designed, written and performed; and presented in an interesting and entertaining fashion. Never did I feel like I was being preached to; but the message came through loud and clear: each of us is in charge of our own happiness and we need to make the best of whatever shit we are given in this lifetime.
This may be extremely poignant at this point in my life because over the past 2 weeks, I have made great strides to achieving a dream I have had for quite some time: start my own theatre company with my closest friends. The difference: I decided to start making the moves to make this happen and was no longer willing to compromise that dream. Then, suddenly, the dream started coming to me. I had to continue pushing people in the direction; but, because I had a vision clearer than those around me, people seemed more inclined to jump aboard.
I have finally made the decision to stop compromising the things that make me happy and the result is that I am happy most of the time. It is a strange phenomenon that I wish I had discovered much earlier in life; but, that which I’m grateful for discovering now.
Ignorance has also made me start considering the fact that in a much shorter time than I can anticipate, I will be middle-aged. Though, in theory, “middle-aged” is still relatively young, it is an unsettling concept for someone just adjusting (reasonably well) to being in their 30s. I’m quite content with where my life is currently, but it will take a lot of focus and planning to keep it on track. Not having been a stranger to heart ache and broken dreams, I know how quickly dreams can get sidelined. Over the past 2 ½ years, I have changed careers, relationships and homes; even my family has drastically changed. Since I have finally found a path that seems to be leading where I would like to go, it is wholly up to me to make sure I remain on it and not get distracted by shining things along the side of the road.
I need to start planning for an exciting and happy future. I don’t want to look back at 38 and say, “Whoa! My life needs an extreme makeover!” Those are not happy times. So, I need to begin today to build the future I want tomorrow. Heavy task! But, the thing is: you take one day at a time and work to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today, and you can’t go wrong.
From watching this show, the thing that gave me the most hope that I may be on the right path was the moment that they turned all the lights out and made the audience imagine that that particular moment was the best moment of their life. When the show resumed; the narrator had a monologue about how most were thinking about things that could have made that moment better and as a people we constantly desire more: that is what makes us human; but what we really need to do is appreciate each moment because it is actually the best moment of our lives and we can continually look forward to the next because it will be better.
This is a concept I have been trying to hold onto for quite some time now. In fact, each day, my phone sends me a message at 8am saying: Welcome to the best day of your life! It’s a nice way to wake up. I switched phones in August and had not programmed the new phone to send me this message: I missed it. I started to notice that I was feeling down and low far more often and I was perplexed as to the cause. I started to wonder if it was because my mornings were no longer greeted by this message; so I started it again and to my surprise: it helped! A lot! I don’t necessarily read the message in full each morning; but I see it and have to dismiss it, so I know it is there. Subconsciously, I see it and it makes a difference in my day. It truly is amazing what changing your attitude can do.
Anyhoo, I’m not sure when or where Ignorance will be playing next; but if you ever get a chance to see it: please do!!! A: You will have a hilarious time. B: It is only 75 minutes. C: It says something (without beating you over the head!) What more could you ask for in a night of theatre?!
The last thing I would like to mention about this show. The mission of the theatre company I am developing is focused on creating theatre that appeals to younger audiences (aka young adults). Young adults don’t go to the theatre like our parents’ generation (and they don’t go like their parents’ generation). We are the kids of TV, movies, the internet and video games. Why do we want to leave our living room? Theatre companies need to adapt to make it appealing to the next generation. Ignorance was an example of a show that did this. I looked around the audience tonight and was delighted to see just as many young people as I did “blue hairs” (please excuse the derogatory term for the aged; but it is usually a justified stereotype in theatre but that is a rant for another time). I was so impressed. Young people at the theatre on a Saturday night: so I tried to pay close attention to the show to consider why it was such a draw of youth.
My conclusion: it was funny, it used puppets, it didn’t take itself too seriously, and it didn’t pander to its audience. It treated them as educated people and dealt with issues that are important in their lives. It’s as simple as that: make it relevant and people will come!
If you would like more information on Ignorance and The Old Trout Puppet Workshop you can find it at:
Happy Holidays and may this year be filled with joy and peace to all mankind!
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