Bend, Don’t Break

“Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” -Annonymous

In show business, things seldom work out the way we envision them. We dream of the perfect performance where we sing breathtaking notes, are completely dialed into the character, and are blessed to perform in front of a sea of adoring fans. We seek the perfect performance dates and colleagues that are at the top of their game who draw you up to their level. We yearn for everything to fall into place, perfectly. But, these peak performances are as rare as they are exquisite. Often, things don’t work out exactly as we have dreamed. We lose the performance date we wanted. We have to switch collaborators at the last moment. We grapple with the difficulties that allergies, exhaustion, and life present to our vocal abilities. We are imperfectly human. 

This inability to control my vocal and professional fate sometimes throws me into a fit of frustration. When the image of perfection in my mind is not reflected in my abilities or the situation I am presented with, I spiral into a cyclone of an internal temper tantrum. I want things my own way. I want my performance career to be in my control. I want the dream I had envisioned.

However, if I have learned one thing from my years as a musician, it’s that things are seldom in our control. We have to follow the vision of the director, even if it doesn’t quite match our interpretation. We have to be gracious with the number and size of the roles we are offered. We have to be grateful for the chance to perform–wherever or whenever that occurs. In short, we have to be flexible with our performance ideals and make the most of every experience we are given. No one wants to work with an unbendingly demanding prima donna. When you fight the natural cooperation and give-and-take that happens on the stage, you diminish the experience of your fellow performers, your audience members, and you…You’re also not likely to be called back for future performances any time soon. 

All opportunities are a chance for growth, even if it isn’t in the way we had initially expected. Everything happens for a reason and we can always learn from the challenges we are facing. When you are understanding and gracious with your fellow cast mates, stage hands, costumers, and directors, they notice. Adaptability is the key to success in any performance situation. So, do what you can, be prepared, but then have the flexibility to adjust with unexpected changes and new opportunities. You’ll enjoy the process so much more if you do.  

#backtobackbends challenge day 1: warrior 1. Some days, when I am feeling weak, when the world is bearing down upon me, and I feel like hiding under my bed in the fetal position, I unroll my mat and step into the warrior series. I find my strength to open my body back up. I begin to embody my inner warrior. Life has its ebbs and flows, but we must meet the highs and lows head on rather than cowering in the corner. Step onto your mat and find your strength.

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