The close of a show is always an experience. Each production provides a different rush. Like its own roller coaster, with highs and lows that are never predictable and unique to only that performance. So, "8 Piece Legs and Thighs" has closed at the Hollywood Fringe, and I find myself in a mess of emotions as I was left with a somewhat anti-climatic ending.
I love this show. It is by far the show in which I have invested the most of myself and my understanding of the human experience. I also love performing the show. Each performance is a pure treat because of the amazing dancers I work with. They inspire me and push me to be a better dance and each show is like a party where we get to hang out and have fun dancing. But performing in an ensemble is more than just having fun, it is sharing the dance experience as a whole with people you love and respect deeply.
Erin Riddle, Karissa Smith, Geneva De Palma and Elyse Villa are not just dancers, they are they type of people who make my creative, artistic experience worthwhile and meaningful. I cannot express what a blessing it is to have such an amazingly talented, sensitive and generous group of dancers with which to work.
But, with all these positive aspects to the show, or perhaps due to these wonderful aspects of the performance and the performing experience, I could not help but feel sadness when we performed night after night for a smattering of audience members (although wonderful and appreciative and greatly appreciated by me and the girls!). The challenges of making a piece of art are so great. Each venture demands you lay your heart out on the line, that you open yourself to the world and risk everything you value as an artist. Having spent over a year on this project, I admit that in the deepest corner of my heart I had hoped to see our audience numbers grow into something reflective of both the high performance quality of the performance as well as the work and passion we put into the show.
Especially with a performing art, the audience response is inherently important, and I was admittedly crushed when even our final house was less than half filled. But, I cried the tears, mourned the close of this experience. The grief marked the end of a rocky chapter. But my tears were also, spilled out of relief. My efforts are spent, I am exhausted of these particular set of challenges. This roller coaster ride has come back into the station. And, now I will take moment to breathe and gather myself up before I get in line for the next ride.
And, knowing my relentless love for making dances, there will be a next one. And, again, I will willingly open myself up to the risks of heartbreak and greatness in turn. Because, being an artist is first and foremost about making the art.
I make dances. I tell stories. I reveal what I know of the world and I will continue to do so, true to the blessing and curse of being an artist.