Dandlion at BAC: Elimination #1 (posted a week late)

Today we have our first showing of the individual pieces each ensemble member has been working on, and the first elimination. Two of the pieces will be voted out of the competition for what is performed in our culminating show.

Once again, what we all came up with together as a structure, and what we saw as a skillful means towards accessing our feelings about competition, has turned into a high-stakes contest. I guess that means our plan is working. But we always seem to forget how scary this aspect of competition can be.

Ensemble members started reporting feeling anxiety about the upcoming elimination, feeling stuck in their creative process, worry about whether they’d be able to make their pieces into something, and more.

I view these kind of emotional obstacles as necessary steps along a creative path. Of course it’s a little different each time, but it seems to me that creativity is born out of being stuck in some way. Creativity is an enlivening response to a limitation or block. Without something to push up against, or through, or around, or in the opposite direction of, our creativity isn’t as important. And I believe that creativity is one of the most important things there is.

Many people say, “I’m not really creative.” Or, “That person is so creative.” I think this is based on an illusion. Creativity is our birthright. It’s a meeting of our authentic self and everything else around us. What we wear each day, how we drive moment to moment, every word we say, every action we do is a creative act. It’s not that some people are more creative than others, it’s that we are all creative, and we all have a unique path to follow to access greater and greater amounts of that creativity.

I’m so curious to see what creative breakthroughs might occur today in the crucible of competition. Each ensemble member has had 3 sessions to work on their individual pieces. And each ensemble member is in three other pieces. They all get a final 30 minutes this morning, and then we perform them for each other, in whatever shape they’re in and vote. We’ll vote off two of the eight pieces. Monday we vote off two more. Tuesday we vote off a final one, and then we are left with the three pieces that will compete against each other in the first half of our residency performance, judged by our celebrity judge panel.

The stakes are rising.

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