Ellyzabeth shared a video with the cast a few weeks ago - a silent film comprised of myriad images and scenes inspired by the story of Ethereal Abandonment. In one particularly special shot, we see feet clad in heels descending a set of stairs. The foot steps are slow and deliberate and a tad unsteady. We see the ankle and foot muscles and bones at work, keeping the actress balanced as she makes her move. At rehearsal that day, Nelia (the actress to whom those feet belong) made a comment about how wobbly her steps were. To that Ellyzabeth replied, "Wobbly is OK."
That got me thinking of how important vulnerability is in theatre and performance. Actors and dancers in rehearsal and on stage are called on to take risks. Through opening ourselves up to the work we knowingly expose ourselves to failure, judgment and embarrassment (to only name a few). But this is when the magic happens. Those nerve-wracking tasks of being open and taking risks are what enable us to create moments in performance that are truthful and unique.
So this week as we begin tech rehearsals, I pose a challenge to myself and the cast to work with a sense of vulnerability. As the technical elements begin to build a strong skeleton for the show, let us continue to strengthen the malleable muscle, the beating heart of Ethereal Abandonment, remembering that vulnerability is powerful and yeah, wobbly is OK.