I am standing on stage with a crowd of 100 people staring back at me. I feel the book in my hand, which houses my script I will be reading from.
Its pages crisp under my fingers as I am queued to step into the light and make my way onto the stage to my standing position. My hands start to shake, my heart beats fast and all I want to do is yawn due to the lack of oxygen in my lungs.
A month ago I was asked if I would like to be part of a performing arts festival here in Brisbane hosted at the Powerhouse called MELT.
Now mind you I have no formal acting training nor have I performed on stage in any capacity in the last 15 years.
My first reaction was… Hell no! Then I thought, why not? Why shouldn’t I?
Every coaching session I have with my clients, I push them out of their comfort zone and into the realm of possibility. The experience of doing something that makes you uncomfortable, to allow growth of yourself as a person, is an extraordinary process.
With this conviction I knew I had to go along with it. There was no option to say NO.
I was excited, nervous; this energy I was experiencing was electric. I knew if I told others around me there would be no backing out so I did this to make sure I would deliver on my commitment.
Then Monday came and it was time to start rehearsals!!!
The cast was made up of some of Australia’s leading actors and raw talent. The way the team came together and made a show work in less than 3 days was amazing. We all learnt from each other and bounced ideas and experience around as we prepared for opening night.
GAYBIES PRESENTED BY BRISBANE POWERHOUSE
Hotly political and deeply personal, Gaybies shares the intimate real-life stories of children from same-sex parents, surrogate mums, donor dads, co-parents and guardians.
Directed by Kris Stewart (Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director) and written by Dean Bryant, you’ll see a cast of local performers and community members bring to life this funny, charming, heart-warming and inspiring show. This is for everyone who cares for our greatest asset: children.
We are thrilled to announce the amazing cast for Gaybies:
Barbara Lowing, Actor
Bec Zanetti, Actor
Blair Martin, Queer Commentator, 4zzz
Brad Rush, The Arts Centre Gold Coast
Brittany Francis, Actor
Christopher Wayne, Celebrity Magician
David Berthold, Brisbane Festival Artistic Director
Emily Gilhome, Actor
Gordon Hamilton, Artistic Director Australian Voices
Kurt Phelan, Actor
Libby Anstis, Brisbane Powerhouse Board Member
Lizzie Moore, Actor & Cabaret Star
Margi Brown Ash, Actor & Mental Health Advocate
Pam Barker, Leadership Coach / Gay & Lesbian Business Network
Pat O’Neil, Labor Candidate for Brisbane
Rebecca McIntosh, Sex TV Host & Personality
Xanthe Coward, Journalist
This event is part of MELT: A Celebration of Queer Arts and Culture 2016.
I learnt some powerful lessons about what it takes to stand on that stage and act a part. It is amazing how your mind generates energy and one’s ability to expel that energy to then be able to communicate another’s story effectively.
The mind and body don’t always work together. I found that the body takes on a energy of its own and you can become unaware of your behaviour.
I also found that while I am comfortable standing on stage and speaking in front of a large crowd it is the expectation you place on yourself to get it right that gets in the way of your success.
We get in our own way of success!!! What would it be like if we could step aside and allow for our successful selves to be unleashed?
How many times has an amazing idea died due to our own opinion or ego getting in the way? I was given some coaching by one of the amazing Directors, Joe. His wise advice was to imagine I was a rocket ship and the dust that falls away is the nervous energy that falls back to the ground and is absorbed into the earth.
I think in life instead of grounding this energy we listen to it and make decisions based on how we are feeling.
I hear people say things like
It feels like bad timing or My gut tells me it is a bad idea!!!
I believe there is never a good time for anything. It sounds absurd to base a decision on a gut feeling, right? However lots of people use this as a marker to confirm something is not “right” and therefore make a decision based on that.
In life there are people who run the race and there are others who stand still and hope life carries them to the destination.
I knew when I took on this role in the Gaybies play that I was seizing the opportunity against all bodily feelings / signs.
Experiencing this opportunity has given me more self-awareness and it has shown me what I am capable of, if I put my mind to it.
This opportunity is not normally one that is offered to someone who is not involved in the arts. In reality it was offered to ME!
Yes me, the girl who has no formal training! Why because I took advantage of multiple opportunities in the last year that lead me to places I would never had gone otherwise. I met people I wouldn’t have normally met which lead to opportunities would never have been offered to me.
It is like that Sliding Doors moment.
Do you remember the 90’s movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, Sliding Doors?
Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow) gets fired from her Public Relations job. As she leaves the building she drops an earring in the lift – a man retrieves it for her. She rushes for her train on the London Underground and misses it. The plot then splits into two parallel universes, the other detailing the separate path her life would have taken had she caught that train.
In the timeline in which she boards the train, she sits alongside James (John Hannah) (the man in the lift) on the Underground and they strike up a conversation. She gets home in time to catch her boyfriend, Gerry (John Lynch), in bed with his American ex-girlfriend, Lydia.
Opportunity presents itself in a way that doesn’t always make sense. The difference is that some people take that opportunity while others don’t.
I encourage you today – look for the opportunities around you and take them up.
They are everywhere.
5 Ways to be expectant of opportunity:
Open your eyes and allow yourself to see what is in front of you
Remove your judgement of situations, yourself and others
Walk expectantly into opportunity and believe you are worthy
Proclaim what you want and let go of what it should look like
Say YES more than you say NO, regardless of whether it terrifies you
So as my week comes to a close and my adventure of being an actor ends, I realise I have learnt so much about myself and how much opportunity can create amazing things in your life if you let it.
Go forward into opportunity this week and expect great things.