Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finding Center

So I love the film Center Stage. Yes I know it's cheesy, corny, and the acting can sometimes be questionable, but I love it anyway. It's one of those films that makes me stop whatever I am doing and sit down and watch.  No matter what, I will watch this film if it is on TV.

One of my favorite scenes, besides all of the dance sequences, comes at the end of the film. Eva, who's bad attitude at the beginning of the film put her on bad terms with the artistic director, is alone practicing.  She's frustrated because she didn't get the big part, that her director hates her, that she'll never get a job. Then enters her teacher, Juliette Simone.  Eva complains and Juliette tells her something important. A good dancer will always come back to the barre. Other dancers will complain, they didn't like, I should have gotten this, but good dancers come back practice because it is one more time they get to dance.

I love this scene, it can be corny but I love it because I feel that's how you need to describe yourself as an artist. No matter what you return to your art.  You get a bad review, you come back to the blank word document. A CP doesn't like something, you re-evaluate and try to see what they see. An agent sends you a form rejection, you take it and write another day.

I'm not saying it won't hurt like hell, because I can tell you it feels like a punch to the gut.  It feels like you might be a failure.  It feels bad.  And no one likes to feel bad about a piece of their soul.

The important thing is to come back. Nothing should keep you from opening that word document, scrivener, celtx, finaldraft.  Not anyone's comments because believe it or not, you wrote something and it was probably really good in some spots and probably could have been better in others (yes, we must admit our failings).

When I studied physical theater in undergrad, they always focused on the importance of your center of gravity. For women, it's right above the hips. If you focus on this spot while trying to balance, it makes balancing easier.  For me the freedom of a new project is just like finding my center. No matter the stuff I've dealt with that's tipped me over, or made me lose focus, I can center myself again by focusing on a new story, a new set of words. My writing life is not built around others reactions to my work, although I love to get the good reviews, but there are also the critiques of what I need to work on.  So find your center, your barre, your blank page, the one thing that makes you focus back to your writer and makes it easier to deal with all of the crazy stuff.

Do you have a center point for your creative self? Something that helps you deal with all of the crazy stuff? Tell me about it, leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Gretchen! I think I need to develop a center point - not sure that I have one! Something to work on. But I LOVE Center Stage, it's one of my all-time favorite movies, I must have watched it a million times when I was a kid! :D