Zen of Performance class ~ Fri 6/30~10:20 a.m.

by Administrator on June 28, 2017

At the Asheville Percussion Festival

I am teaching a class to fine tune the intensive students going in to their performance Saturday night.

~Points for optimizing on stage experience~

  1. fun exercises to get really present and have fun performing
  2. how to know you are prepared- what to work on now-
  3. what is your part- what are you responsible for
  4. letting go and allowing yourself to have the best experience -versus just self preoccupation- so the audience does as well
  5. how to check yourself before you go on
  6. have a checklist and a healthy way of reviewing the performance and inspiring take-aways to move forward with
3 solids from the above
  1. Integration space for the material
  2. Grooming for any personal questions and concerns
  3. Suggestions for how to review the show with a solid way to move forward

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Completing with the blame cycle

Held hostage by a man

Since the Women’s March, and the dream of my mother, a memory came into focus. One that I rarely if ever spoke about it. I was 18, and traveling in Brazil by myself, on a multi city ticket. I had flown from Rio to Fortaleza, where I didn’t know anyone. I went to a market, and while walking around, I met a man with his 3 daughters. He invited me to stay with them at their house on the beach. A day into it, after the girls and I had had some beach time, he started acting very bizarre. He said he needed to go out, and would be back in a few hours. I wanted to go to the beach, but every door was locked! We were locked in. Fuck. How creepy. Encouraged by his housekeeper who knew where his keys were to the garage and his dune buggy, she sent the three girls and I off to the mercado. Flying over the sand dunes in his dune buggy on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Morro Branco, the feeling I had was of awe and beauty, as well as kinda terrifying.

At the market I met the pilot of the flight I had taken to Fortaleza. He invited me to hang with him, have some lunch, then take a flight to Recife. On the flight I sat in the cockpit with him. He and I became good friends. Once back in Rio, I traveled a bit with his wife and 2 little boys.

Held hostage again

This time I was 20. Without shame I can write about this topic, as many sisters have gone through the same. I had agreed to go on a date with a guy, whom I was basically pretty lukewarm about. He didn’t attend the University I went to, but played in the band at a party my roommates and I had at the end of the school year, and had hounded me to go out with him. We went to see the movie, Flashdance. Afterwards, he invited me to his place encouraging me to sing with him. So I went. We sat down at the piano, blah blah blah, blah blah blah.. A lot of hot air. But when he got up and went and locked the front door, then started to approach me, I knew instantly I had little time. I started to speak up, being very strong mentally,  about this being the only way he could have his way with me. The psychology worked briefly, but his brute strength won out. Date raped. A term I didn’t know until two weeks later, when Time or Newsweek had cover story about it.

All I knew was that I had no idea where I was. I felt i had to accept a ride home from him. Was completely unable to speak. Confusion setting in. Not knowing what to say or do. I treated him kindly on the drive, and listened to him tell me he wanted to see me again. UGGGGGH.

No voice. To make matters worse, on some level I began excusing him. It was ingrained so deeply. That was the worst of it. Much worse than the incident itself was not being able to hold this guy accountable. Inside of myself even. Who was wrong? Did I turn on my self? Is that a female thing?

I met Jonathan Kaplan in my late 20’s, as he directed quite a few music videos for John Mellencamp. He was the director of the movie Accused, with Jodie Foster. Who doesn’t remember that movie. I told him how much I appreciated that he made it. That he chose to tell a very difficult story. That endlessly this issue would twist the scenario and the woman would be to blame. My perpetrator wasn’t a good old boy, though. He was as disenfranchised as I was, just differently. It was a real mind fuck. If I had reported him, given the color of his skin, he likely would have been toast.

Depends on how you look at it

The last video shoot I did with the band that Jonathan Kaplan directed, had me in the back seat of a limo…as an older woman. Ha! I was all of 29, with two young high school boys fawning all over me. I think I was eventually down to my bra, and decked in diamonds. These boys were in heaven. Aka Ava Gardner, with her boy toys, from Night of the Iguana.

Jonathan wasn’t crazy about this scene. It actually was cut by MTV. Too much they said. This was before Madonna’s Truth or Dare, which changed things for MTV. He and I spoke after the scene. He said that I deserved better than that. What a great guy. It might have even been his suggestion that I get paid for it. Mellencamp was way into that particular scene and wanted me to play it, as my husband and I were splitting up. He said I had the power in the scene. That’s how he thought.

I did feel somewhat degraded. But I shook it off, as it was an acting roll. It was a character. I took the money from the shoot and went directly to buy my airline ticket to NYC. I was going to check out acting schools.

We no longer need permission from Daddy… Gloria Steinem

Or anyone for that matter. I feel like I was conditioned to excuse men. By writing that, I’m not saying it was wrong to do that. It was the way it was for my particular lineage at that time. I’m not making myself wrong. No, I’ve done quite enough of that.  These stories are a way of connecting some dots. Period.

Acting school saved me, putting me in touch with my spirit. It gave me a creative outlet that I desperately needed.

Here it is 2017. I write, because it’s time for some transparency. Maybe it is helpful for someone else.

I spoke to a girlfriend today who said, maybe the time really is now. To completely come out of hiding as powerful women,  as powerful people who express themselves. Total decency.

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