Passive Participation in Life is My Sworn Enemy.
You’re here because you have a lust for life, a yearning for daily wild adventure and you are ready to DO this. Grab my hand and let’s go…
The most important step on our journey is:
1. Know Your Story.
I believe that life is made up of two things:
1. Our Stories.
2. Our Connections to Each Other.
I love stories and storytellers.
I have waited on line in the freezing cold for two hours on a sidewalk in the city to get into The Moth.
I did a confessional “phone booth” at an art party I performed at recently, where guests could pick up a phone and tell me their story or anything they wanted about themselves without judgement.
If you’ve ever taken one of my classes – you know I have a question fetish.
Let me interrogate you.
In order to be able to be the people we wanna be and get everything we want in life…we must first know who we are now and what we want to achieve. This sounds simple. But seriously…how many people do you know that “go with the flow” of life and never find their own thing? Life used to push me this way and that, until I figured out what I wanted to do, gathered up some wild courage and finally sat behind the wheel of my own course. Well, perhaps “sat” behind the wheel seems too easy. Because it wasn’t easy. My fingers were clawing into the wheel, holding onto dear life.
I started to own my story.
But before I started my own story, I had to be comfortable in writing it. I had to ask myself:
- When I’m 90 years old, and I’m sitting around telling stories of what I did in my life, what do I want those stories to be?
- In an ideal situation, five years from now, if I were to overhear someone talking about me positively to someone else, what would they be gushing about?
When I got to New York, I wanted to be a performer. I found Burlesque icons Jo Weldon and Dirty Martini and World Famous Bob and wanted to be them. I wanted to do it. But I had my own fear battle to wage with myself. My own self-doubts. Honestly, it took me a few years and a wake-up call in the form of a rottweiler attacking my face to get on the damn stage. But once I did it, it was an exhilarating high like none other. I was hooked. I still had my “day” job to support me, but would do burlesque for fun on the weekends.
Two things started to happen:
- I was happier than ever before. I was taking a chance and doing something that scared me. I wanted burlesque to be a part of my story. Even if I only did it one time, I could one day say in a rocking chair at 90 on my front porch: “Well, back in my day, I once shimmied on the stage of the world famous Slipper Room in New York City. How ’bout that, Young-ins?”
- I was passionate about something and it started to draw others to me. The girls at my day job loved hearing the stories of my weekends. They wanted to know what costumes I came up with, what happened, what new numbers I was doing. They wanted me to bring my feather fans in and show them how to do them. In other words, after being a girl who just filed their papers and was looked over for years, I suddenly and unexpectedly was the hit of lunch hour. I had something interesting and intriguing to share for once – and I was passionate about it. Wild about it. And that drew people to me.
As a result of the above things – I slowly started growing my self-confidence. It helped in everything. I kept working on my story and writing my story. Where did I want to go from here?
I wanted to do burlesque full time. I wanted to make my living performing. I wanted to see the world. And most importantly, I told this story to everyone I knew. Even people I barely knew.
When that dreaded “So what do you do?” question came up, that I was used to answering to dead eye stares, I would say – “Well, I just started performing classic burlesque – with feather fans and wings. I’m obsessed with the vintage style costumes and the mood of the music. I love interacting with the audience and having fun. I’m looking to go around the world with it…”
People’s eyes would light up because MY EYES were lighting up. Sure, I was working a boring office job during the week – but did they want to hear about that? No. I told them what I was starting to do, what I was dreaming of becoming, and how much I loved it, instead of repeating an old boring story of what I didn’t want.
Then all these people started to see me that way. Opportunities started coming up. I stirred them up with my story of who I wanted to be and my story started to unfold into reality.
Here’s some homework questions to stir up your story:
- If you viewed your life as a character in a story or the lead role in a film…how would you describe yourself?
- What are some obstacles you’ve already overcome – big or small?
- What do you want to put out there to the world?
- How would a person who adores you describe you?
- What things in life make your heart race and your eyes light up?
Make sure to also answer the three questions toward the top of this post. And I’ll be back next Tuesday to reveal the second step of how to get everything you ever wanted….
Because I’m a tease.
Let’s support each other in the comments with our story by answering the 90 year old question for all to see. Imagine this:
You’re on a front porch.
We’re all gathered around you waiting to hear the wild stories of your life.
Tell me what you want to say. Tell me what you want your life to be.
Start it with “Back in my day…..” and let your imagination run wild as you re-tell the fabulous life you’ve lived.