It’s funny, really, to see something you hadn’t seen since you were a child, unfolding before your eyes.
As a Music major (now a Music Performance major), I often see myself performing, creating, and collaborating, joining ensembles to find more opportunities to perform, create, and collaborate, and doing anything I can to further that creative process. But up until recently, that creative process was one that was particularly limited to me.
Whenever I begin working on a new creative project, it’s either simply taking work created by someone else, and performing it, or finding a certain guideline or approach to work, and use the guide to arrive at a supposedly “new” conclusion. Every once in a while I might make something actually new: new outside of a prompt, and interpretation, or an assignment. But those cases have mostly been few and far between.
I took this class, the one that would turn into a full performance of completely new, raw, never before written or created or performed material, thinking it would just be another opportunity to perform, create, and collaborate. And it was. It was that, and so much more. For the first time, my work, and that of all of my classmates, was, well, ours. We didn’t reinterpret something already created by someone else. We took our lives, our stories, and those of our families, and found a way to tell those stories in a way that was true to ourselves and our families.
Our work, and everything we created, was more than an interpretation: it was the original.
So it’s funny that, even though I’ve been a performer since I was in fourth grade, and haven’t really slowed down as one since, and I’ve been acting and singing and playing almost every instrument in the orchestra (and the jazz band), and I finally picked the study of Voice as my instrument, my parents haven’t really had the chance to hear me sing (and I mean actually sing, not just in the shower or while practicing in my room) since I was a little fourth grader. It’s also funny that my Dad cried, at both the song choice and that fact that it was me singing it, since my grandma passed away when I was in the fifth grade. It’s only fitting that I acting as my grandfather only seconds before, and the song was dedicated to him (who I never go the chance to meet), and his memory, which lives on through my dad, and now me.
I guess what this Origins class gave me, more than simply more wonderful friends and more wonderful memories, all of which I cherish deeply, is the knowledge that I can approach the theatre, and all art, and know that the High Arts, and the “conventional arts”, though worthwhile in their own rights, aren’t the only arts, and regardless of the art form I choose, I can always have a say in the creating of the art.
As an aside, I’d also like to say that I came into the class being skeptical of theatre, as my most recent girlfriend, who broke up with me over the summer, did so because of theatre. She’s now a theatre major at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, in the Meisner studio. I felt, then, hurt by theatre, although it was really only she that hurt me. There is two happy endings to the story. The first is that I am back again on good terms with the theatre, and the second is that, I talked with this girl again. I understand the theatre now, at least more than I did before, and I was able to make a connection with her through what this means. We’re not going out again (probably never again), but we’re friends now. She actually reached out to me first, on the night of the performance, wishing us all good luck (she said that we all “Break a leg”), after hearing through a mutual friend about our performance. I got a chance to visit her when I was in New York, and I finally feel better about where i am. I guess the Origins class is also to thank for that.