So far this show has been a blast for me. Tintinabula is adorable and has a fun role of staying in costume for the entire 2.5 hour show! Over 30 shows later and she continues to grow but there have still been a variety of mistakes. Stemming from costume malfunctions to stuck turns, missed entrances, you name it. Each one is just as embarrassing as the other but each is a learning lesson of how to make tomorrows show better than today!
How I am able to keep this mindset is through some short little steps that keep me on my game and keep my experience as positive as can be.
- Forgive Yourself- Mistakes happen. Especially in live theater where you are not able to go back and start again. Like life we have to adjust and move with the flow of the mistake we just made and try not to do it again. First show ever with an audience my heel got caught in my harem pant and I fell flat on my ass. No lie. What did I do? Well had to adjust and knowing that my heel was most likely still stuck in my pants I rolled over backward and stood up smoothly. It hurt not only my ego but also my back, but after some back and forth with costuming we figured out to fix the pants by making them elastic and the problem was solved. Also, sometimes mistakes are too be had so that a bigger problem does not happen later
- Focus- This was something a fellow actor taught me. She explained that sometimes when little mistakes it happens because of a loss of focus. Each moment on stage requires massive amounts of focus even if you think you have done the show so many times. This has helped me once I enter the stage I know its time to work and since this talk I have grown stronger as an actor and my focus continues throughout the whole show.
- Relax- 6 breaths in 6 breaths out. This is one of my pre performance rituals. It connects my breath and keeps me relaxed. I am a nervous person. I get so nervous before getting on stage and when I take the time to breathe and stay calm, even when little or big things go wrong I am able to adapt better
- Move On- Dwelling on a mistake can drive you mad. I have been guilty of holding onto my mistakes for far too long. One time in college I fell on stage during Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and basically hid in a parking garage for 4 hours…drama…I know… Now Many years later after some of my falls I will feel embarrassed and try to get up as fast as possible, but also moving on and transitioning into my next step or scene quicker is my main goal. Dwelling on and replaying the mistake I had made only hurts myself and is a rabbit hole that I am no longer interested in holding onto.
- Get Back on The Horse- Shit happens. Literally. Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes can be bigger than others, but if this is the profession that I signed up for and this is the thing that I love the most I have to get back out there and try again. My career has been filled with so many ups and downs, highs and lows and each month week or year contains so many different challenges. Although, I do know if I never got up and tried again after each mistake I would not have had the opportunities that I have had.
Overall, learning to go with the flow and move on as quickly as you can after making a mistake has helped me grow the fastest. I have never had a perfect show. There is always something to strive to make better and this is why I truly love and find my love of dance to be so satisfying!