"So, you are a dancer?" Usually, the same.
"Nope, actor by trade. I run a dance and theater company. We currently have five shows on a rotating tour."
"Oh." And silence. I then quickly hustle the conversation to the other parent.
Because in all honesty, it is a difficult question to answer.
It happened to me at least three times last week in the playground, at a bookstore, on a play date. Even some of my closest friends seem lost in the mystery. What is it that I do?
When I was younger I wanted to be a jazz musician. I listened to John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald. They were my soul sculptors. I named my favorite blue bellied lizards in their honor. By the time I reached High School I may have been immersed in theater, in writing, but my thoughts were like ragtime itself. Syncopated. Ragged. I was envisioning the rhythm of my future.
|Myself and my mom, by the river. Close to where I used to catch lizards.|
|Myself in High School.|
My job as an artistic director is as a composer for the bigger song. I wear different hats, my leadership hat, my development hat, my artistic hat, I riff and descend through my tasks and back to the through line again. I never let the company linger too far from my thoughts. I am always organizing the key notes, alternating between instruments.
And this, this job is sometimes, like the music, too complicated to explain.