What it's about.
Heather comes from a line of mediators and musicians. She brings to life her childhood and grieves the death of her family members.
Before the play began, Heather reminded the crowd that the show would be almost two hours long without intermission. She made hints about ghosts being in the theater and the "extended blackout." "If you start to feel uncomfortable, I suggest you sit at the edges and we'll escort you out with a flashlight." With those words on my mind, I befriended the woman next to me, in hopes that someone could relate to the anxiety I felt bubbling up inside of me.
"I felt anxious too, but then I thought 'Well, movies are two hours long, I guess I could handle it.'"
I gasped, "You're so right! That was really helpful, thank you!" I was just about to share with her my observation on the instruments and how seeing them made me hopeful that most of the set would be music. I knew I'd be able to endure the show if there was music. But then it was time for the show to begin.
Heather shared about how music was important in her life in getting rid of scary poltergists. I related to her because music is what always calms me down too. I thought about the years I spent being a vocal student. I wondered what my voice would sound like if I had continued to put in the time. Would I still be a shy singer? Would I be able to sing in a crowd like this? I know we all share our emotions in our our way, my mode of expression happens to be through memoir writing and Heather's happens to be music; but in a way I wondered if I was hiding from my vulnerability by choosing to silently write verses not outwardly singing.
I felt like Heather wasn't presenting a character, but herself. The way she told her story felt like she was having a conversation with us rather than a rehearsed dialogue. Sometimes when she got choked up by the emotions, I wondered if I was being fooled into believing this was her true self or if it truly was a character she was playing? Is she just a good actress? Am I the gulliable one?
I wanted to believe it was her true self because it made me think of my own art practice. Whether I'm doing video, photography, textiles or writing, I always refer to my family. One doubt I've been having about my senior project is if the audience would understand why I love my family the way I do. Do I have the ability to create intimacy for a person you don't even know?
In seeing Animal Wisdom, it eased away that fear. If Heather was able to build such emotions within me about her family, then there is a chance that I could do the same with my project. Maybe I was just downplaying the importance of family and of my project.
Seeing this show revived parts of me that I felt had numbed away. I had been so distant from my spiritual side, but when I left I felt vibration jumping from my arms to my chest. I felt the energy buzzing inside me wanting to be free. Heather said the audience brought 36 ghosts with them at night and I thought about my grandfather and my cat. Were they in the room?
It has been two years since I've seen signs from the spiritual realm and I wondered if the buzzing inside me was me reconnecting to that world. That's the thing about music, it goes deeper into my soul than any other experience.
There are abandoned parts of me that I miss a lot and I grieved for them last night.
But I do not think they are dead.
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