A Special Thank You to the Missouri Thespians

I just wanted to say thank you again to the Missouri Thespians for last weekend.  I get to teach and perform at a lot of the state thespian festivals all across the country thanks to the International Thespian Society.  And it’s always amazing. Honestly. You guys will always hold a special place in my heart. But I did want to say thank for making this past festival in Kansas City, MO really amazing.

I teach a class called Your [Naked] Body as a Costume. It’s an exploration into how we all walk, move, and carry ourselves differently.  How there are 5 places we all lead from when we move through space (head, chest/shoulders, stomach, hips/pelvis, and heart). And then what our physicality and what we lead with out of those 5 things- what all that says about us, individually.

I use it as an acting class, but also to really to dive into our own human psyche. And with the students. we really explore the idea that we really are communicating so much information with just with our bodies and our physicality, and we’re not even aware of it.

On the surface it’s an acting class. (and a good one I might add ;-) But if the class is willing to go on the journey, we go somewhere deep. And we almost always go somewhere deep. Because the thespians are the most fearless students I’ve ever encountered… But this weekend at Missouri Thespians, not only did we go somewhere deep. We went somewhere profound. Somewhere where it was ok to be exactly what we are. We are all dynamic, powerful, multifaceted, multidimensional, amazing human beings. Those are the types of characters we as actors are trying to create. Because THOSE are the types of people we all are.

And all of this other stuff we were dealing with. That’s all it was. Just stuff.

It wasn’t who we are.

And we believed it.

And for a brief moment. We went there.

For a brief moment. We lead with hearts.

And it was powerful.

And for the first time I’ve ever experienced in my years of teaching that class.

People cried.

Because we all witnessed something profoundly beautiful happen.

In the duration of an hour.

In an empty carpeted room with cheap lighting.

Because that’s the power of theatre.

Because THAT’s the power of humanity.

And that’s what we do in theatre. Reflect humanity back onto itself.

So thank you.

Thank you for your courage.

And for sharing that with me.

I will always hold that in my heart.

-Jason-

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