On August 2016, I pulled into a dusty parking lot in Ithaca, N.Y., not knowing what to expect. I still remember the twinge of excitement dancing in my fingertips – my breaths were low and deep as I imagined what a lighting and audio warehouse could possibly hold in my future.
Something to note: I did not study audio or technical theater in college.
Talk about uncomfortable; hired for a job with the minimal skills required three weeks before the first gig and training until the show (Cue the stress, please?). But as I walked through the steely doors of my next chapter, I found that my journey was more than buttons to push and building poles to hang fixtures to. By the time week one was finished I was a semi pro – then Dr. Bill Thomas and the rest of the ChangingAging Tour team asked me to start preparing to perform.
Joining the ChangingAging Tour was like joining the X-Men; they’re not a traditional family, but they’re your family of highly skilled individuals in a vast array of subjects… who also like to be daring and push one another to do things he or she has not done before (ex. like make a singer light a stage or a string player play the trumpet). Training week was my ‘danger room’ into this new culture of uncomfortableness, working all over the country was my ‘mission’ as the Lucy Pearl (our beloved tour bus) drove from city to city, and changing people’s perspective about aging became a way of life.
Now what does it mean to live a life that change’s perception? It is a decision to always live in a state of flux, of uncomfortability (there’s that word again), of asking yourself and those around you to look at all aspects of the world with fresh eyes, to search deeper and then ask, “Is there more?” I have always believed in conquests for truth; that ‘what we see’ and ‘what we are’ are only placeholders for what could be. Now, I strive to find the answers to our ‘what if’s’ by creating a world where possibility is the only reality. How wonderful it is to find a tribe of folks who are doing just the same.
Living in such a way requires me to be open to growth, pruning and discovery. It makes you grateful for the person you are, the person you once were and who you can be. It allows you to enjoy community and the connections with others as you give room for people to teach you as you teach them. It is a cyclical culture, a nurturing system that welcomes anyone willing to partake. The only thing about this environment, is that not many know of it’s existence. The ChangingAging Tour is the vehicle in which we inspire this way of living.
As the newest member of this special team, I couldn’t be more excited to challenge you to live dangerously. If I can do it… well, you know the ending phrase, don’t you?