Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sacred Space

I recall an incident one production (no names) when the young woman handling wardrobe duties was so frustrated with actor attitudes and their treatment of her that she was near to the breaking point. This was one of the most loving, energetic people I know. She found herself grumbling and muttering as she prepared costumes before a show, over one actor's items in particular. After a moment of this, she stopped herself. When she told me the story she said, "I realized I was just filling the room with negative energy."

She took a few deep breaths, dug down and found her love again. With special care she laid the costumes out, sending good energy as she deodorized shoes and arranged makeup tables. She didn't say anything to anyone about it except for me, the next day. Later that same day when the actors were preparing, the one in particular who was frustrating her with his lack of courtesy stopped her, and thanked her for her work. The good energy she sent out came back to her.

We all strive to put on a professional face at work and be courteous no matter our mood. (Sometimes we try harder to be kind to our co-workers than to our dearest friends and beloved family - remember that, too). Sometimes, though, the frustration, anxiety or just plain personal irritations can really get to us. I know it gets to me. It's only natural, working so closely. Be wary of becoming jaded, though. There's no point being in the arts if you aren't doing it out of love. There are plenty of professions that pay more.
I know, sometimes you just have a bad day.

But, as actors must leave behind troubling characters on the stage when they go home, so too, I think, we should leave our negative energies off the stage when we return to work. Project good energy. Even - perhaps especially when you are frustrated with someone, think well of them. Wish them luck on stage, in the booth, in the dressing room, even if it's only inside your head and heart. When you step into your job, try to be of good cheer, even if it's pretend for awhile. It will always come back to you, and the shows will be better for it. We may be frustrated as people with other people or job duties or just having a bad day - but deep down, none of us wants the other to fail.

We're all sailing the same ship. Fill the sails with good will.


LIZZIE said...

Such sage advice.

Jess said...

Heh, thanks. I'm getting kind of preachy though...maybe I'll stick to just plain old event updates for awhile..