Thursday, July 24, 2014

David Harrower: Secret Revealed

Daunting. Unfathomable. Overwhelming. Unattainable.

As our season of master classes draws to a close, these adjectives lingered in the back of my mind, the part one is not allowed to speak of due to the pessimistic thoughts living there. But in fact, after meeting so many spectacular and brilliant individuals I find myself feeling increasingly like a grain of sand on a very, very vast beach. The success of each professional who has so graciously come in to mentor our Pepperdine troupe has dazzled us and stoked our creative embers. However, some part of their capability leaves me a little frightened at how far along they are and how far I have yet to go; which is precisely why David Harrower's honest and personal acknowledgement of the moments of self-doubt that all artists face was a breath of fresh air.

Mr. Harrower first shared how he has come to be the successful theatre and TV writer he is. Unencumbered, he also shared some of his more challenging and 'uninspiring' career moments, both past and present. Oddly this was more inspiring and refreshing than I could have imagined. It was as if my soul let out a deep sigh knowing it was not alone.

In fact, he approached us students as equals in the creative process of devising. He allowed us to develop improved scenes based on one of his unfinished/unpublished plays. Each group brought material to the table that Mr. Harrower watched, commented on, and drew his own ideas from. It was inspiring to be able to collaborate with such a brilliant and knowledgeable individual.

Today's master class was a mile marker for me in terms of how I deal with the voices that try to discourage me as an artist. The ones that will awaken you in the middle of the night and whisper that you are not enough--not good enough, not trained enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough, not talented enough. Those thoughts are isolating, and steal the artist's creativity, but David Harrower had the courage to be real, and break the segregating power they have. I feel my artist's soul refreshed and ready to create, now--ironically--unafraid of my own fear.

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