Today I want to take the time to share one of my biggest vulnerabilities with you. Ever since I can remember, I was amazed by the beauty of movement and the way music creates emotions and makes us dance. During our trip I got confronted with all these amazing people, immersing myself in different stories, backgrounds and visions. Even though I started handbalancing with the intent of becoming better at the skill itself, it has become clearer and clearer over the course of 2019 that what my body longs for is way more.
On our flight from the Handstand Factory Retreat in Turkey to Miguel Santana’s Retreat in Thailand back in October, I watched the movie “Mary Shelley”. It tells the story of the author of the famous “Frankenstein – or the modern Prometheus”. Back then in the 1800’s women weren’t allowed to publish themselves as authors. The movie touched me and stuck with me eversince. Mary loses her baby and depends on her husband who cheats on her with her sister. But in that pain and in her repression she still stands strong. They visit Lord Byron in Geneva where they spend time, telling eachother ghost stories. One day Byron comes up with the idea that each one of them should contribute a ghost story and the best one wins. After days of sitting in front of white paper, Mary finally has this dream where she sees this artificial creature coming to life. She creates Frankenstein in her mind and writes one of the most famous stories ever written.
I don’t know if this is a realistic display of how things happened back then. But as I was watching the movie the beautiful music and the emotions went under my skin. It took 7 months until I had the courage to put out what I had in my head and heart. I kept listening to this song when I was riding the bus and putting movements together in my head. I pretty much had a complete act in my head, before I even got started on doing anything.
In February, just a few weeks after I got started with my online coaching with Emmet Louis, he gave us an act assignment. It should be 3-4 min long and we should create a character. Of course it would have been a no-brainer to just get started on this thing that I had been dreaming about. But it felt risky. In my head it was this big and spectacular thing and my emotions towards it were very real. So on the one hand I was scared of coming out with shear dissapointment and on the other hand it was super scary to expose my real self in this way. So I put it aside.
2 months later I wasn’t getting anywhere with my act assignment. I got to a point where I started to feel like a bipolar person, going from “come on, just do “Mary Shelley” and get over with it. You can do this!” to “shut up, you scrub… you’re not good enough”. Until I decided I would experiment with it. No pressure. No need to show it to anybody. And so I did.
I finally came out with this first version of something I want to develop into a bigger act. Sharing this gives me the jitters. I don’t think it’s good yet and it’s the first time I really made something where I feel like this isn’t just putting movements together, but I’m allowing myself to be this innocent monster, who is coming to life in Mary’s dream and discovering that it is alive. It’s not yet finished, but it’s an honest take of where I am right now.
After making this I showed it to a selected group of people. One of them being Mauricio Jara. And he said such a valuable thing to me, that I’m trying to manifest: “It’s so easy to critisize an act. It just takes a few words. But it’s disproportionally hard to create one and show it in a real and authentic way. Look at us. We even critisize acts of incredible handbalancers who have been working on their art all their lives. We say things like “it’s too technical” or “it’s boring after 2 minutes”. We easily forget about the hard work and the meaning it has to the person who came up with it in the first place. So if you want to become good at creating, you have to expose what you have and develop your critique filter. Learn to listen to what YOU find usefull and let go of non-productive feedback.”
So here I am, exposing this little glimps I came up with, in the hopes of becoming better at what I deep deep down love doing. I hope you enjoy 🙂