REFLECT. CREATE. RECHARGE.
a life on the road, with a head in the clouds
When I was in graduate school, one of the classes that impacted me the most was Business of the Opera Business. Not only because we talked about the logistics and practicalities of this very confusing and abstract business, and not just because I look up to the professor a great deal (you know who you are, and thank you), but because we were challenged to write a mission statement for ourselves; for our individual businesses. In other words, we are the CEOs of our own companies, meaning no one else is our boss and we are the ones running our own operatic career. Anyone we hire, such as a manager or agent is our employee. We also talked about how we should all have people on our Board. A few close people in our lives (friends, mentors, former teachers, etc.) that we trust will tell us the absolute truth, even if it's not what we want to hear, and help us make tough decisions. On top of that, we should think about our brand and what we can offer; what our weaknesses are, and how we can best offer ourselves to the art form. These concepts may not be anything new to some people, but at the time I took this class, they were fairly new to most of us. Perhaps we had put a little thought into how to market ourselves, but we had never dug as deep. And these were intimidating things to think about as a second year graduate student about to take the performance world head on. But I'm eternally grateful of the work we did as a group and individually, because these ideas have stuck with me ever since (okay, it's only been 2 and a half years, but I think on it almost daily). I remember this professor coaching us on what a mission statement should be: a few sentences that define who we are and what feeds our soul. Not what we want to be or what jobs we want to have, but what we want to live our life by. Things that truly fulfill us, both personally and in a career. This type of psychological challenge is my absolute favorite, because I'm a huge nerd ..... I am continuously analyzing humans, our brains, how we communicate, how we fit together as a society, etc. I almost switched my major to psychology or sociology many times......Well, it took awhile, but the mission statement that I came back to class with after a few days of reflection was: "I serve the greater whole, by creating in some way." There are many written lines that follow that statement explaining the exact ways I carry out this goal, but I'll keep all of that 'woo woo train' business to myself. I will say, throughout the years, I've realized just how important it is to create. We are all creators, with a divine light in us. And when I am not creating something - anything - I have a tendency to become depressed, feel worthless, feel a bit manic, etc. In those moments or days or weeks I find myself constantly questioning things and feeling down, until I remember how important creation is for all of us. So, I'll jump to it. I'll either create music, create movement, create a connection with someone, create something with my mind (like I am right now), or actually create something with my hands. And BOOM, I'm back to being my silly, chipper, dorky and sarcastic self.
I believe our creativity is stifled and suffocated when we aren't able to get outside. Either we are too busy with work or it's the dead of winter and it doesn't matter how much free time we have because a winter storm is preventing us from leaving the house (I'm looking at you, Winter Storm Grayson..... ). Being inside with a ceiling literally puts a lid on where our hearts, minds and souls can travel, and therefore creating can be more of a challenge. More still, how can we recharge when one of our biggest sources of life-energy is blocked by ceilings and buildings? Maybe no one else resonates with this idea, but I heard it spoken in a similar way on a podcast called Eschaton and it blew my mind how much I identified with the idea. It has helped me reconcile with the unfortunate truth that I am SO much happier in warmer, sunnier climates. Yes, I'm quite literally Solar Powered. When it's cold and miserable outside, obviously we're going to spend less time out there (unless you're a big skier and don't get me wrong... I love going up the mountain, but it's mostly for the views and the beer). On top of that, we all know how much less sunlight exists in the winter. I have moved a lot and lived in many different types of places, and I'm finally realizing how important sunshine and being outside doing something active are to me, in order to be my best self. And in order to create something honestly that means something and hopefully helps to serve the greater whole in some way, I should place high priority on striving to be my best self, eh?!? ;)
If the Mission Statement challenge is a new concept to anyone out there that has a heartbeat- not just artists and certainly not just singers - I would encourage you to reflect a bit and consider what your Mission Statement could be. If it's not a new concept because you took a similar or the same exact class as me, And if you already have one but it's been a sec since you've glanced at it, I reassure you how comforting it's been to reacquaint myself. I would also mention that it's still relevant..... perhaps more now than ever.
Alright, on that note: Stay Sunny.
Thanks for chillin. I hope this has meant something to someone. And if it's been completely meaningless, feel free to ignore me and it won't hurt my feelings at all :) In the meantime, I'll continue to reflect, create, recharge, share my thoughts, and hopefully inspire something within someone here on #SolarPoweredMezzo.
Facebook: Tascha Jean (personal) // Tascha Anderson (artist page)