Small Dances Week 10: Just Do It

January 20, 2014

You might know Ralph, my father-in-law, who is awesome and very Business Man in every way. We were recently sitting down for a meeting, when he said "Those Nike people have it right: Just Do It!" I have no idea what we were specifically talking about, but his point remains the same: it's all about just taking action!

Notice that in no part of "Take action!" is the word "perfectly". I am a person who dearly loves the idea of doing things neatly, of picking the just-right time, and of always being in control. For instance, I had this very fantastical idea of clearing my schedule and turning all of my energy towards this Small Dances project, taking just a few minor client projects on the side. I pictured that the producing of the show would easily fall into place, because I would have carefully crafted systems. Ha. Has this really worked for anyone? I have doubts...

Life has its own kind of time line-- the kind of timeline that has you opening a show February 13, and closing on a house February 14; the timeline that has other projects come up unexpectedly. Like I said to my awesome stage manger Zoe: "If I waited for the perfect time, I'd be waiting for forever."It's true. So I'm thinking about embracing imperfection. This takes a certain amount of letting pride go, and avoiding freaking out. As in: my emails are late, my house is dirty, my dance is under-rehearsed, but onward we go, and I'll continue to show up and do my best. I know I'm not alone in this. In fact, one of the many great things I gained from working on BLUEPRINT was watching Candy Simmons be ever-the-pro. I knew she had a million things on her plate, but she showed up to rehearsal smiling, made great work, and didn't waste time lamenting time, or being behind her dream schedule.

This brings to mind many great life lessons, which certainly aren't limited to artists:
Do it-- not perfectly, but mindfully; show up, and don't wish for perfect circumstances; learn from mistakes, and don't confuse the work with you. And, when everything pushes you towards freaking out, "don't move the way that fear makes you move." (Rumi)

Also: by all means do go to the gym, take a nap, and drink a beer. Does anyone who works all the time do great work? Hell no.

[iphone photos from Ben, while recording text in his office today.]


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