I’m finally able to process in small bits my performance from the weekend.
Those of you who do not know me well may be surprised to know that I have long since had an insecurity complex about my expectations in performances. Since I started performing pole, I was constantly bombarded by darkness…”the people performing around me are so much more talented” “who do I think I am” “what if I’m not good enough.” Same ticker tape rolling through many people’s heads when daring to be vulnerable. I’ve been working endlessly on this for the last 2 years with my amazing friend and energy worker, Daniela DeMarchi.
The first major testing point was performing at the BC Pole Championships in 2013 as a guest performer. First time ever performing in front of an audience who knew pole, it’s potential, and the athletes present were the best in the province. I wore a necklace stamped “I am enough” right until I stepped on stage to keep me from turning back.
The next year was full of more trials through performances, each with their own lessons. The next was claiming my “bad girl.” I had spent so many years living through other people’s expectations and I was this walking dichotomy between staying boxed into those expectations and wanting to break free. The result? My Shades of Grey performance for Carla Cakes show.It had to be a sexy piece and one I had to claim ownership over in front of people, no longer hiding her away in the studio or my basement.
Stepping forward to my water piece for Vertical Theatre last year. It nearly tore my body apart trying to apply the craziest moves I knew to that routine, while wet. I was in constant pain, and emotionally drained. My lesson…….share your love of water. Stop fighting it, let it flow. I grew up around water and it is such a happy place for me. I left behind the most difficult tricks I knew and replaced them with ones that fit the concept instead. That routine left me in an emotional void. Stripped down until finally I had no ability to worry about any expectations or pressure. I was tired.
Next challenge? Stepping on stage surrounded by pole super stars such as Karol Helms, Phoenix Kazree, and Heidi Coker. I was literally slated to perform right in the middle of them. This challenge was a mental one. Again all the thoughts returned of “who am I to be doing this” “I don’t have all the crazy tricks that these ladies do” “I am not good enough to be here.” These thoughts stifled my creativity to the point where the routine was not ready until 7 days before I flew out. Then Daniela asked me, “What is the original purpose behind this routine?” It took me nearly 5 dead minutes to remember why I created this particular theme. Share my love of pole. And that I did. I did not flip like Heidi or fly like Phoenix, but I was me.
The tipping point of all this work came to a beautiful melting point last weekend at our FOR THE LOVE showcase. I had asked a friend of mine if he would be willing to sing a song live for me to perform to, a song that rocked my soul a few years back. He agreed. I only had 4 practice to create a new routine, I was falling into the hole of feeling unprepared and therefor falling short of expectation. I tried to hide by slating a different performer to close the show. Then a dear friend reminded me that what we do really has very little to do with us at all. We need to work hard to develop our craft, be educated and conditioned enough, but at the end of the day, we are all just vessels, pliable space in which the universe can sit, breathe, and move. It was in this reminder that I let it all go. My only focus was on allowing Andrew Christopher’s voice and the energy of the song to move my body the way it heard and felt the music, lyrics, anger and peace.
I have never felt more free in my life. I am strong, powerful, vulnerable, and at peace with who I am right now. My heart is wide open and I can’t wait to see what the universe will deliver next. I write this not for people to post encouragement about my skills or “how good I am” at what I do, but to share my journey hopefully to inspire others. To let you know that you are not alone. Thank you to everyone who shared in this long process, supported and loved me, some of you aren’t even aware of how you’ve inspired me.