Another Unarchived Post that was originally not available to the at-large public. I am making it available now.

Tune-up


So I went with my friend to a Lee Harris Energy Tune-Up. I'll Bullet Point some things to get the story across.

-I am a massive skeptic of people who feel like the world won't accept their message from their mind and their mind alone. Therefore I went into this experience with a large reserve of my own judgement for Lee and his "channeling." I don't understand why a person feels like no one would accept their message if the wisdom was just in their own heads and why they feel like people will accept it if they say "hey, beings from another plane told me this."
-However, I ALSO understand that people EAT THAT JUNK UP. So maybe it is something that happens as a savvy business person where you say, "I have wisdom, they want wisdom. I have the ability to tell the story they want to hear, I'll just tell them that story."
-Hell, for all I know there ARE beings from another plane telling him this stuff. I am not a one-way skeptic.

-I firmly believe that one person can learn something from any other person.
-Even if what you learn from that person is how NOT to do a thing.

-Lee Harris said something that caused me to have a major mind explosion of thought and feelings on the subject he mentioned.
-I didn't even have to be annoyed at how it came through because he wasn't "channeling" when he said it but rather using an Intuitive approach to reading audience questions and answering. I can get into Intuitive reading, it isn't Hot or Cold reading but rather the person kind based on reception to what the person  is doing as you speak to them. I know that's a thing. Verbal and non-verbal cues, etc.- are real things I can pinpoint.

-I made a video of my responsive thoughts and feelings based on what Lee said. It ended up being a 13min video almost. I've been meaning to post things like this for years, people say they enjoy listening to me just express myself about things that come up in my head and I've ALWAYS enjoyed writing about stuff. But sometimes I just have a block. So I thought I would try speaking about it.

This is an Unarchived Post that wasn't previously available to the public. I am making it available to you now.





(Forewarned is forearmed) I believe in God but you can absolutely 100% read and understand this with no concept of the Christian God, or any god, as a reality…

You know those times when you have heard something so many times it stopped being meaningful or making sense and then all of a sudden, you have a breakthrough?

*cue that time right now*

Throughout my life, I've heard the Bible verse, Matthew 6:25-34 preached to me over and over again. You can read it at the bottom of this, I copied it for your ease of finding.
People have preached or taught to me over and over again that we SHOULDN'T be afraid and we SHOULDN'T worry, and that being anxious is not what God wants for us. Over and over again I've heard this to the point that I've kinda grown hard to it.
Because I know that if God really didn't want me to be anxious or fearful and if he's really All Powerful, then he could just take it away. Miraculously.
So yeah yeah, God wants me to trust him and he wants me to not be afraid. Ok, cool.

Well, this weekend I was at a Women's Ministry Retreat that I go to every year and I saw that this passage was the focus for the weekend and I just sorta started to roll my eyes and got into a mindset of "well here we go again."
But I know the speaker personally, and she's a wonderful person, and I wanted to trust that she knew what she was doing by bringing this up again.
So I decided I would actually listen instead of just glossing over the whole thing and going home while pretending it was pleasant.

And she said something I'd never heard before. She finally said something that sounds more reasonable to me as an explanation for why this was written down- than anyone has ever explained it before.
She told us that we are absolutely, 100% allowed to feel fear. That fear was created to be felt by us and isn't inherently bad. That fear can help us do miraculous things in extraordinary settings and that a measure of anxiety can give us awareness of our situation to prevent and help us prepare for certain things.

But that we're not to live in fear, because every single day we're given by God exactly the things we need to get through that day. We're not given them before that day, and possibly the same things that we were given today will not work tomorrow. But every day we are given exactly what we need to get through the day.
Because at the end of the day, as long as we're alive, we've had everything we need. And if we're dead, well, everyone dies. God makes no one immortal.

We are to only think about the things that are right in front of us, we are only to think about "What am I dealing with today and just today?" We are only meant to be waiting on the day in front of us. Because God gives us everything we need to equip ourselves for every day on its own. All we have to do are the things given to us to do (keep an appointment we made, go to work, avail ourselves of modern medicine if we are infirm, eat our food, give change to a homeless person we see, breathe the air, go to sleep) each day and the rest of it is not our concern. Our concern is not what the homeless man does with our change or what the doctor will say in six months when we return, or what we're going to eat next week when everyone has to be someplace different at dinner time… just exactly what is happening today.

Essentially the things she said over two days come down to this quote that she gave us at the end of our booklets…

"... a large part of faith ... consists of just refusing anxious thoughts .. . refusing to think about worrying things, refusing to think of the future in that wrong sense. The devil and all adverse circumstances will do their utmost to make me do so, but having faith means that I shall say: ‘No; I refuse to be worried. I have done my reasonable service; I have done what I believed to be right and legitimate, and beyond that I will not think at all.’ That is faith, and it is particularly true with regard to the future. When the devil comes with his insinuations, injecting them into you—all the fiery darts of the evil one—say, ‘No; I am not interested. The God whom I am trusting for today, I will trust for tomorrow. I refuse to listen; I will not think your thoughts.’ Faith is refusing to be burdened because we have cast our burden upon the Lord. May He, in His infinite grace, give us wisdom and grace to implement these simple principles and thereby rejoice in Him day by day."
 (D. Martyn Lloyd Jones)

So, and now especially when I've spent so much time railing endlessly  about my troubles. About medical insurance, about steady and gainful employment, about relationship anxieties and on and on and on…
Sufficient for today are the troubles for today. Tomorrow's troubles can wait until tomorrow. What do I need to do today? Today I need to sleep. Tomorrow I need to make a plan but I don't need to anticipate that plan tonight, I don't have everything I need to make it tonight. I'll get everything I need in the morning.

I am only equipped to deal with the things in front of me today. No amount of anxiety will change the future. The future will come and when it is the present, I will be uniquely equipped to handle it that day.

Matthew 6- 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I am introducing a new series based around small thoughts I have that I feel like sharing. Hence- Thought Bites. Not exactly a Sound Bite, but about the same size.

Why is it that when we're growing up, no matter who teaches us how to make the bed (mom, dad, aunt, grandparents, whomever) no one who TEACHES us, knows how to do it like we later find out how to do it on our own?

I learned how to make my bed from my mom, and she taught me to do a good job. She taught me that the easiest way to put on a fitted sheet is diagonal corners at a time, she taught me how to put a pillow case on the bed, stuff like that. But I'm later coming to find out that she didn't teach me to make the bed like SHE makes a bed.

As an adult, on my own, I've learned how to:

-Put the pillow tag down into the pillow case so it doesn't hang out, or crap, how to remove the tag if you really want to.
-Make hospital corners on the flat sheet (I learned that one for a Stage Play where I had to make up an actual hospital bed for every show.)

-Put the printed side of the flat sheet facing down so that when you open the sheets, both printed sides are together and it looks nicer when folded back. (See Photo)
-Put the open ends of the pillow cases facing in toward the center of the bed so they don't hang all over the place.

Who even KNEW?

Now don't get fooled by this picture and don't get me wrong, I usually just sleep in a nest of blankets and a fitted sheet but sometimes I make the bed. I'm currently trying out bed making on a regular basis on a new Queen Mattress Set and new Bed in a Bag from Wal-Mart. So far, it is glorious but who knows how long that will last. :)

But there's my thoughts on that.

(Lightly Edited from a Rare Public Facebook Post)

She didn't convert me, but I'm going to do something I never thought I would do. Use positive adjectives regarding Lady Gaga. Seriously positive adjectives.

I usually have zero truck with Lady Gaga. She and I exist in the same universe and go about our business on neutral or wtf terms...

YA'LL... What was this amazingness?


She live sang I would say 90% of that 13mins. Live sang it and stayed on pitch, in tune, and in her range. She didn't get super winded and proved without equivocation that she's massively talented.

Gaga has been on the "No Makeup" Bandwagon (also known as the thing I do nearly every day) but obviously stage makeup for the Super Bowl. But this was totally understated by her standards and she even got further minimal as it went along. Her hair was styled but not anything like what she's done in the past.

Her body was just the realest. And since she pretty much has my body (except I want her skin and, let's face it, her boobs) it was nice to see it all out there. Thin with a couple of tummy rolls and thick thighs... yeah. She even had backup dude carrying her around, she's just hanging out there. Not a Spanx in sight.

And EVEN THOUGH some of the technical aspects made me sad in a really real way (that wire work was terrrrrrrible you guys) let me reiterate:
-She was talented and understated (for her, anyway)
-She was clothed and for the most part not provocative. She was evocative.
-She was a REAL human being playing a role, not a role playing a human being as I've called her in the past.
-She was not inappropriate, she was not divisive. She made Art, and even if it was palatable Art, for a minute we could all breathe and look around and say "wow... look at that."



Let's just not get me started about the Falcons though. This isn't that kind of blog. *anger, rage*
Further expansion on these thoughts below the video...



**********

Ok just a little further expansion because leaving with no paragraph seems bare.

I really intend to do this. People are going to get left behind, projects will be changed and directions will be overhauled.

If you want to come with me, do. If you don't, get out of my way.

Meaningful 2017


Little bit of a deviation here, I'll tell a personal story from my *gasp* Teenage Years!!

When I was in 4th grade, I stopped being able to see the blackboard at school. Between 4th and 5th grade, I got some pretty daggum thick glasses. It didn't really ding my confidence in myself, because I could see again, but they were UGLY, ugly clear, plastic, giant glasses (thanks mom!) and I started to realise that around about 8th grade.

My mom let me get gold-framed, smaller lens, glasses sometime in 8th grade and while I went about my business transitioning to high school still fairly confident in myself- the glasses were starting to hurt my friendships.

Peers outright made comments about them. I found out the boy I really liked said he would never ask me out if I had disgusting glasses. My life became one huge contentious piece of cow turd because of my glasses. I literally could not get further in life socially because of them.

Somewhere around the time I was 13-14, some of the kids at my Youth Group (yes, a church-related organization) stole my purse. In my purse, I had some things that a 13 year old Me thought she needed, but they were admittedly weird out of context. But here's a small list and quick explanation:
-Like 50 Chick-Fil-A Salt Packets (school cafeteria didn't have any salt and I am ADDICTED to salt, less so twenty years later than I was then but… yeah, addict. Me.)
-A Photocopied picture of the boy I had a crush on. (I'd taken it down off of a bulletin board in the Sunday School Room and slapped it on the Xerox machine in the church hallway. I just wanted a picture of him.)
-Some cheap, Avon Jewelry (My Sunday School teacher at the time sold Avon and she would give me catalogs and I would use my allowance to order things.)

When my purse was returned to me, DAYS later, the following things had taken place:
-All of the jewelry boxes had been opened, rifled through and dumped unceremoniously back into my purse.
-The salt packets had all been thrown away.
-The photocopied picture had been dirtied, creased, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEPEOPLE WHO TOOK MY PURSE had signed their full name and written some nasty comment. 8 signatures and nasty comments ranging from "What's up with the salt, weirdo?" "Nice Glasses" and "Stalker" to "We're going to tell him about this." No one was punished for this, they were "spoken to" about it.

That Memorial Day (not too long after the Purse Theft) I decided to try not wearing my glasses. I claimed they were broken. I was spending time at a Youth Group Function and I walked right into a screen door because I couldn't see that it was closed. Those same people mocked me and brought up the Purse Theft again.

It wasn't as if I sat around all day wishing for Laser Surgery or contacts or better glasses. I wore my gold rimmed glasses and openly scorned anyone who talked poorly about me. I went scorched Earth on everyone. Come at me with a Level 1 Insult about my glasses? I fired back at Level 10. I made sure that if I didn't have any friend because of my glasses, it was because my glasses had turned me into a huge and unwieldy bitch.

15th Birthday, I get a Birthday Card written on Lisa Frank Sationary (hoo buddy we're old) from one of the girls who participated in the Purse Theft. She's an "Abercrombie Girl" and was known for not being able to make an overnight trip without the largest suitcase known to man.
Excerpts from this note that I can't remember in detail include outright lies about how much she loved spending time with me (we never did outside of large group functions and within those had never had a conversation) and how glad she was that we were friends (we were barely acquaintances.)
Excerpts that I CAN remember from the note were, as follows, "You are so pretty without your glasses. I would love to do your make up and get you some contacts."

Apparently even on my Birthday I needed to be reminded that I am not good enough the way I am. I need to be changed before anyone will like me.


I stopped hanging out with those people very much, as people graduated high school and moved away, the Youth Group was no longer a thing.

Fast Forward to my 17th year of life. In the summer between my Junior and Senior year of high school, I got contacts. NO MORE GLASSES!! I went back to the way I remembered my face looking before I had all the hideous string of clear plastic and gold, metal round frames across my face.

I showed up to school for Open House and almost literally no one recognized me. To continue with a theme- this was me walking into my SECOND year of Chorus/Drama with the same people as last year… it'd only been two months.


AND I'D LOVE to say that my life changed from then on… that I was suddenly popular and had lots of friends etc, etc… but no.
I still had just the same friends I'd had before. I still sat at the end of the Special Education Class lunch table (honestly ya'll, they used to yell at us when THEIR friends wanted to sit with them. The Special Education Class, who really didn't know how to be purposefully mean most of them… would pull a "you can't sit with us" on me at school) and I still was accused of turning in the class drug dealer, or maybe THAT one was me.

So, Moral of the Story: An outer transformation doesn't always earn you the adoration of Freddie Prinze Jr, but honestly, have you seen FPJr lately? He's still KINDA fly but mostly just Dad Fly and so… SMG can have him.

Now, let's dance!!


via GIPHY



I'm only a little sorry that this has turned into such an epic story, back to the original topic of the - the previous entry - (which you should read to get up to speed…) my trouble with finding a dance class.

This past week, I was feeling fat, out of shape, stiff and flabby and wanted to go to a dance class. I am far away from the Ballet class that I have been attending for nearly ten years… depression was setting in. So I looked around me for a class I could go to. I found one option for that day- an Adult Hip-hop class at a local studio.
The following things took place after I found the listing:
-I looked up the studio and I was immediately wary. It is a Competition-Based Studio (I could write another whole post on how I feel about those… I probably will at some point) and generally aimed at starting children young and keeping them until they go to college. The studio also has Voice and Acting Lessons… *sigh*. Again, I could write volumes.
-I looked up the Adult Class Listings in General. They have Two Levels of Adult Clogging, this Hip-Hop Class, Adult Jazz, Adult Modern & Contemporary and Adult "Ballet Stretch and Tone." Every Class description except the Clogging was "All Ages & Levels Encouraged."
-I looked up the Instructor. She's 19 years old, has only really danced with that particular studio and is currently enrolled at the local university. Her aspirations are to graduate and move to LA to be a "writer, director, producer, editor…" … … …

So. Many. Flags. So many flags for me. However, I COULD be wrong. And, if you know me, you know one of my Life Mottos is:

"You can learn anything from anyone, even if all you learn is how not to do a thing."


Cherry on Top? First Class Free. Heck to yeah ya'll. I'm nothing if not broke so why in God's name not? I signed up.

**********

Fast forward a couple of hours (I signed up last minute, again, why not?) and I get to the studio. Yet more flags:

-The studio floors are not sprung. I'm pretty certain they were just a layer of roll-out marley over concrete floors. I'm 33 years old you guys, I can't be dancing high impact over a concrete floor with my knees.
-The studio floors were FILTHY. And I mean, filthy. I knew I was going to have to wear my street shoes to the class (because I'm travelling and not fully prepared) so before I left I cleaned the soles of my shoes really well and then didn't wear them to the class. So I had clean-soled shoes. Despite them being street shoes. But the floor of this studio was covered in Glitter, Dirt, Hairballs (ugh, human hair) and torn floor tape. I didn't really want to sit on the floor when I walked in and I definitely was feeling like if I got sweaty I would NOT want to be on the floor.
-The studio is located on the corner of a strip mall and this particular front studio had two walls entirely made of windows. The windows were tinted, but in such a way that when it is dark outside and the lights are on inside (like almost every day of the winter when a dance studio is open) the windows are just as transparent as if they weren't tinted at all.

Let me explain why these things are BAD. In one more bullet point corresponding to each bullet point above:

-Injuries. Especially for young children who are leaping/turning. Especially for dancers, who have a short shelf life anyway. I'd like to be able to walk when I'm 60.
-I don't mind a little dirt but how hard is it to run a broom over the studio floor? This class was at 7:30 on a Tuesday. The studio opened at 4 that day and if there was THAT much dirt accumulated over 3.5 hours… gross. It was clearly a few days' worth of dirt. Obviously someone doesn't care enough about the studio to make certain it is swept at the beginning or end of every evening.
-Need I tell you why windows out into a strip mall that are easily observable is a bad thing, with children (mostly girls) in leotards stretching and dancing for hours on end? Much teenagers, adult women, etc.? I mean, they don't let the parents sit in on the classes, except they do because all you have to do is walk right outside and any Rando can see into the front studio.

***********

Now for the class itself. I've already got my hackles up but like I said above, I'm willing to try.

*All Ages and Levels Encouraged*
A Sticky subject. I've been in All Levels Classes with Beginners, and it is fine. My Ballet Class that I've attended for ten years is All Levels and I thrive there.

The key to *All Ages and Levels Encouraged* is to NOT teach to the lowest Beginner Denominator. Nor do you teach to the most Advanced Denominator. You have to teach to an Intermediate Student and offer both a more difficult and more simple modifier to accommodate the above and below levels. That is the most successful way to teach an *All Ages and Levels Encouraged* Class.

This was not the way this class was taught. Myself, three other girls who appeared to be college aged and were clearly dancers and another girl who looked also college aged but identified herself as "an absolute beginner who is horrible" (#shewasnot) made up the class. All of us looked anywhere from 5-10 years older than the Instructor (and me, a whopping 14 years older) and all ready to go. All of us except the "absolute beginner" were first time attendees.

I am not going to make any further comment on the Instructor, other than to say that she was not a correct fit for any sort of Hip-Hop Class that I need to be taking. She taught a class appropriate for Absolute Beginners and it is the fault of the Studio for listing it as *All Ages and Levels Encouraged.* Any good studio owner (not necessarily any 19 year old instructor) should know who their classes are appropriate for.

20 minutes into the class, one of the other girls suddenly blurted out (in an unconvincing manner) "I just remembered I have to leave early, I'm sorry!" and fled the room. I'm pretty certain she didn't have anywhere to be, but she might've.
The other two girls, the Beginner and I stuck it out for the whole class. We followed the exercises, we did what we were asked, and behind the instructor's back the other two girls kept trying to up the difficulty level.

**********

Free Class, I can learn something from any teacher… this time I learned going forward to be more forthcoming about the Levels of my Class.
From now on, I'll be advertising my Classes as "Class Taught at Intermediate Level, Modifications Available for Beginner/Advanced Students." Or, ya know, apply appropriate Levels in appropriate places. It might mean fewer people walk in the door, but it will also mean no one leaves super disappointed because they didn't even break a sweat.

However, this still leaves me trying to find my own Dance Class that I can attend. I think there are two more options around here, where I am now. Hopefully they too, are First Class Free. We'll see what happens.
Find a Dance Class



If you haven't read my previous post that can be found - here - I'd recommend reading it so you know what kind of struggles I am having Professionally, before jumping into the problems I am having Personally. The reason I say this is because well, they're compounded. Not even compounded- they're codependent, interconnected and damn good friends, my problems.

Moving onto the topic of this post: Finding a Great Dance Class. I find this task IMPOSSIBLE. So when I find a class I like, I tend to stick with it, even if no one understands the reasons why. Bullet Points Ahead: plunge forward my friends!

-I am at an odd level of ability as a Dancer; I am far better than "Student" but less proficient than "Master." I fall somewhere between Intermediate and Advanced in most any type of dance that I've pursued seriously. Let's look at the Big Four Styles
*Ballet- Intermediate (my technique and flexibility have always been a little poor, but my comprehension and retention of the steps is awesome.)
*Tap- Intermediate (due to lack of being able to find classes as an adult that could keep my skill set challenged.)
*Jazz- Advanced (again, my flexibility is poor but other than that and a healthy aversion to multiple turns, I'm golden.)
*Modern- Advanced (flexibility problems as indicated before but this is truly probably where I shine most in the Big Four.)
And those are just the ones that people could easily quantifiably judge me on. There's also the ones I've not pursued seriously that I'm solidly Intermediate in (belly dance) and those areas that I hit somewhere between Beginner and Intermediate (hip-hop, anything in heels, and Ballroom dances.)

-Where I truly Excel, and where I choose to Teach, is the realm of hybrid styles of dance. Where I can always find something too easy and always find something too difficult. Burlesque, Musical Theatre Dance, Go-Go, Chair Dance, these are the things that make my heart sing, my body work its best and everything just to make sense.
When I nailed those Theatre Conference Workshops last Fall, I was ecstatic because I knew I'd just FOUND my place as a Professional. Whenever I absolutely crush an Adult Dance Class that I'm teaching, I soar with purpose. Every single time I take the stage, shining and  nearly naked… I just get it.
There are always things that are going to be too difficult for me (fouetté turns, ha!) and always things that will be too simple for me, but in a world where the vocabulary pulls from everything, I have a far better chance of finding more things I am capable of doing. Need to do a turn here in a Burlesque routine? I have 15thousand (exaggeration obviously) types of turns I can choose from. Especially as the choreographer or instructor of a class. With a mixed-style dance I can gauge the talent pool in front of me and I can pull from anything I choose to make it work for those people- and no single move ever has to stand out as "woah, that’s not Ballet" in the middle of a dance. I like that.

So there's the basic premise of my status as a performer. I'm a mish-mash at an Intermediate/Advanced stage who can always find something too easy and always find something too challenging in the right settings. I prefer to flounder most of the time than to find things too easy. I WANT to try to be better, constantly.

**********

A few months ago I took a Master Class with Brian Brooks. It was aimed at a dance school for children and I was easily old enough to be every other participant's mother. But I was there in one of a few teacher spots they'd opened and I was NOT going to pass up something like that.
I spoke with him after the Class and he said to me some of the best words I've ever heard. He said to me "you still look good out there." He didn't say "you should be doing what I do!" Because that would've been unqualified bullshit and we both would've known it. He didn't say  "You're too good for the place you're in" because that's probably not true either.
What he said was "you still look good out there." Which, to me anyway, means the following:
-He didn't mind watching me.
-He didn't have any criticisms about the way I danced his choreo to any extent that he felt the need to make corrections.
-He said "good" not "like you're having fun" or "like you enjoy it" which could be taken in multiple ways. He said "good."
-I am doing exactly what I should be doing, where I should be doing it, and my constant desire to improve is serving me well.
-Reassurance can come from unexpected, but highly needed places.

This concludes Part 1 of my 2 Part Saga of Dance Classes and why finding the correct class is so difficult for me. Part 2 is on its way.
     


     
Performing Professional


     It is always so hard to me to define the word 'Professional' as it applies to myself. What's the dictionary definition of 'Professional'? Relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill. So "A Professional" would simply be someone who participates in a job that requires special education, training or skill.

     But we've come to only equate Professional with "Monkeymaking." So despite 10 years in Professional Theatre, I don't always think of myself, or the Theatre that I work in, as "Professional." I mean, my Theatre is a Non-Profit Entity. My Troupe is a Not-For-Profit entity. So now much money do I see in these ventures? Approximately none. So how hard is it for me to remember that these are, in fact, Professional Endeavours and not Community Theatre/Performance Groups? EXTREMELY Difficult To Remember.

     So whenever anyone tries to include me in Professional-Level Theatre Happenings, I swear I must look like I'm lying about how long I've been doing this. I have tons of information, I am completely knowledgeable and can communicate confidently and effectively- but my recognition of my position is almost non-existent. I have to be reminded that I can do these things, otherwise they just stay locked in my head. It translates to strangers, I'm sure, and it most likely translates as just a general reluctance to discuss my "jobs" or "positions" within my organization. It's infuriating that I can't seem to get past it.

     Since when did we equate Professionalism purely with what we get out of it? I am a part of raising thousands of dollars for charity every year. I help a Non-Profit Business stay afloat, now into its tenth year. It doesn't buy me a house in the suburbs and a nice hybrid SUV, but it is fulfilling, I am working in my field and occasionally I make a connection that helps me move up in the world.
It makes me angry that because people can't see the monetary benefit that I get from my endeavours, they make me feel like I'm just playing around, just playacting in a Theatre. I worked hard and earned a degree in my field (I technically earned two degrees since at my University I had to take a full load of Communications classes along with the Theatre Concentration- hello extra useful!) and I am putting it to use.

     So the other weekend when I was participating in a Statewide Theatre Conference and a guy I'd just met said "You'll be at the Professional Division Meeting tomorrow, right?" I was in just a little bit of shock before I creaked out (you should hear my creaky voice when I'm at a loss for words) "Um yeah, sure I was planning on it. Absolutely." Not having ANY idea that there even WAS a Professional Division Meeting I had to DIVE for my Program when I got through with my day and carve out a space for it. I'd FORGOTTEN I was a Professional. Despite also being a Guest Instructor at the Conference.
I showed up to the Meeting the next day and it turned out only myself, that guy (who was the Chair it turns out) and another guy were the only three who made it. So I basically admitted to them, "This is a Deep End Bath for me, ya'll" and just listened to them, offered information when asked questions about my Theatre Company's needs and strengths and basically just for the FIRST TIME EVER felt like an actual Theatre Professional.

     Basically my point here is this, I can't be the only person who doesn't feel like a Professional in their own field. For whatever reason, no matter what that field might be. It isn't an Imposter Syndrome feeling, it is a literal lack of awareness of the fact that we're "There." Like, "I'm here, I AM a Professional, I do the job every day. I'm not still trying to get there, I AM there."
Because when I realise I'm there, I'm competent and fulfilled and whatever else it is that REALLY makes me know that this is what I'm supposed to do. But I'm always there, whether I realise it or not, and if I were just to reach out and understand that, I could be all those things all the time.

     For anyone else who works for less money, or no money, or works for less notoriety, or no notoriety- compared to others in your field- hear me out. I guarantee writing this blog won't entirely fix my problem. I'll need to be reminded constantly for a while that I am a Professional. But as it stands right now, this is YOUR reminder that you are a Professional. Come back and read this any time you need to, the entire post or just this last paragraph. You're doing it, you're there. Keep reminding yourself that even if you don't see a dime from it, if it is making money for someone, you're not a hobbyist. You are a Professional, and you rock.