Monday, August 16, 2010

The Arts "We may get some splinters"

Last night I attended the premiere show of my friends’ new dance collective.  Three friends of mine have bravely come together to form their own collective, realizing that they each have such a creative vision that it would be a shame to dance someone else’s choreography in a company.
Their first show was a little bumpy.  Of course, the dancing was excellent, but the other parts - the parts they couldn’t control - were not exactly what they’d expected.  For example, they showed up at the venue early, hoping to be able to mark their piece and perhaps do a full runthrough.  This was particularly important since they hadn’t seen the venue before!  However, they were told that the acts before them would not clear off until 7:30 (their 45 minute piece was to go up at 8:00!)  Unfazed, they warmed up and ran through the piece in a nearby park.
Another little bump was the fact that the stage they were to perform on was about 1/4 the size of a typical stage.  Still excited about their first show, they managed to rework the choreography to make it look like it had always been made for that small stage.  
Lastly, the stage was rough wood, with some nails that they’d had to hammer down and tape over in the hurry before their own piece was to begin.  Their answer?  “Yeah, we’ll be getting some splinters.”  And a smile.
I couldn’t help but think about how this one simple line applies to so many of the arts.  It’s a messy occupation, even if you aren’t messing with paints.  Art is full of mess, full of unexpected bumps, full of things we didn’t expect, and full of splinters.  But in order to get through the process to present our best final product (a novel, an amazing dance performance, a painting), we have to accept those bumps (rejection letters?  plot holes you hadn't noticed before?), acknowledge we’ll get splinters, and carry on.
What obstacles have you overcome in your art?

1 comment:

  1. I love this analogy. Art can be very messy --- especially emotionally.

    The one thing that has helped me is just to remember why I write in the first place --- because I enjoy it. Then to relax and have patience.

    It's so easy to get stressed out about the industry and publication.


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