A week ago, I closed my latest show. It will also likely be my last. After almost a decade of professional stage management, I’m stepping away. It’s not out of anger or resentment. It’s because I felt it was time to practice exactly what it is I teach.
In creating The Average Yogi, I wanted to cultivate a philosophy of joy, acceptance, and stepping into your own power. To put it in a more “me” way, I want you to enjoy the shit out of your life and your body, I want to come to my class and my website and walk away an inch taller and a step closer to loving themselves. I want to build a supportive space where the offbeat is honored, and we run towards the things that make us happy instead of labeling them as guilty pleasures.
For the last 2 decades, I have been involved in theater in one way or another. I started acting at 1-, and whenever I thought it was time to “grow up” or “move on”, something pulled me back in. I interned in Stage Management straight out of college, and by the skin of my teeth I kept working. I PA’d, ASM’s, and eventually turned equity and started Stage Managing. I pursued what I loved.
Here’s the thing. After a while, it started to feel like it didn’t love me back. Stage Management is, well, management. Making notes, writing up blocking, creating schedules, and hourly reports, and following all the rules of the theater you’re working in. It’s about making sure the designers know what the director wants, that the actors go where they’re supposed to, and when. It is the absolutely vital backbone to support everyone’s creative process. Everyone’s but your own.
After a while, my own creative voice got quieter. I justified it, saying that I was working with incredible talent.I worked best as a quiet part in the background. My voice wasn’t important. It didn’t matter.
Eventually, I looked up and realized that I was missing something, Here were these phenomenal designers, actors, and playwrights, all passionately creating something. I wanted that. I wanted to CREATE. And theater wasn’t the avenue where I could do that.
So I’m taking a great leap towards yoga. I’m shining a light on the place where I feel creative. I’m shaking up the etch-a-sketch and starting over. I don’t expect it to be easy, and I won’t close the door on theater permanently. I still love it, but my relationship with the arts will be one where I don’t rely on theater to survive.
From here on out, I’m supporting people, supporting women in their work. And I’m supporting myself. When people ask what I do, now I get to say:
I’m a yoga teacher.
I help people find their voice.
And I’m finding my own.