21 August 2014

Lights, Camera....

Two years in Holly Springs MS. Yesterday was the official two-year mark.

I arrived with a dream -- but no plan. And the dream fizzled.

I might describe my experience here as a "sluggish adventure." Random House defines "adventure" as "an exciting or unusual experience" ('unusual' fits...), "a bold, usually risky, undertaking...of uncertain outcome," and, when used as a verb, "taking a chance."

I did not know -- and, of course, still don't know -- how long I will be here. As an improv artist and inveterate sojourner, "not knowing" is the operative premise for my existence. All that is certain is that something will happen, wherever I am.

Now Brazil beckons. Every day brings a new development in my...planning. I use the term insecurely. Although the present intention is vacation and reconnaissance, my experience in Holly Springs has led to a more cautious approach to traveling to new places. Not speaking the language here, for example, has proven to be a formidable obstacle; I am diligently studying Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language in advance of my trip to Brazil.

The opportunity to move to Holly Springs arose as someone else's bright, shiny idea. I was lured by the gleam and began to spin my own dreams from it. Several bright and shiny Brazilian ideas have shown up in the last few weeks. I greet them with some reserve.

Reserve but not resistance. It's a fine balance. What I'm striving for is an attitude of curiosity and willingness. I am open. And asking questions. Learning what I can about everything so that, when I finally say "Yes" and step onto the plane, when I finally reach Sao Paulo, the surprises that threaten spiritual and physical well-being are minimized and I am ready to dance with those that offer personal expansion.

This is the way we approach improv performance as well. A great deal of study and practice precedes the soaring improvised saxophone solo or the thrilling comedic riffs the late Robin Williams was known for. You pay your dues, hone your chops; observe and experiment and polish the essential fundamental tools...  And then the curtain goes up and the lights come on. You take stage and the show, of Life, begins.