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Old 11-17-03, 04:46 PM   #1
Michele/Columbina/Stupina
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Hey! Special thanks, long overdue

It has taken me years to get on this list, and I figured this was the place to make my first post, as it was MotionFest that informed me of its existence.

Just finished MotionFest 6. I have attended all of the East Coast events. I recently described attending this event as “dipping my emotional pen into the creative font of joy.” Sounds very artsy, I know, but to be frank, or even just me, it’s the truth.

I am still exhausted, having run on about 3-4 hours of sleep each night, but wanting to stay even longer each night, knowing that it won’t last forever. What has MotionFest offered me? Networking, getting feedback on my work, giving feedback on others work, learning about WHO they are, knowing I am not alone, stretching myself both physically and artistically, waking up my business brain, knowing my limits and setting out to break them, a respect for others in the performing fields. At the end of each event, I am always pleased to hear a few of the new attendees from all disciplines commenting, “Wow, I thought this was just going to be like a juggling convention. I had no idea how much I could get from this!” On the first evening, I see mostly old timers offering up work for the critique sessions. The second night, it is filled with new attendees who are thrilled after participating in the Thursday session and want to see what can be offered to them. There is so much support and care. Many think that the performing world is all about “Me” and “What can I get for myself.” But at MotionFest, it is about the community of creators and how we can help each other and support one another, no matter what field of specialization. Jugglers, magicians, mimes, whip acts, contortionists, mask performers, musicians, balloon artists, clowns, stilt walkers, and countless other variety artists find themselves having far more in common with the others specialties than they realized. Often, I would find myself in a group discussion on performance, to discover that I am speaking the same language with a group that includes a magician, a Frisbee artist, a clown, a mime, and a juggler. WHAT we do isn’t important, WHO we are is. Who we are is what shapes what we offer and how we share.

I go to MotionFest to become rejuvenated. To be reminded of why I want to perform, why I need to perform, why I am terrified to even think of ever having to give it up. I have met, spoken, and, more importantly, studied with artists and performers who were icons to me. Laughs and creative ideas are everywhere. I have learned that though I have not been able to make the jump to this full time, my work is worthwhile and should continue to be encouraged to grow. I have learned that I can see things in a slightly different light than others and my eye can catch subtleties in movement and character that has hopefully helped others grow over the years. I know that I can trust my instincts in my own work and I have grown to respond more organically. I am constantly reminded that I can always go farther, do better, reach for something new, and stretch my boundaries. I have met others who are simultaneously humble in their art and gifted beyond words and have shared wisdoms and philosophies with them. I have learned that face value is not what is inside, but, if the inside is filled, the face has more value (just made that up, but I like it). I have learned to be practical, how to protect myself in the business, how to make the next steps to promote myself. I spent my first MotionFest feeling awkward and not feeling worthy, and have slowly grown to realize that I have an artistic voice that should be shared. I take deep pride in my work, even when I fail, because I tried and learned from it. I have discovered that I can make those I honor laugh. I have met many more who I honor now, because of their knowledge, talent, heart, willingness, and joy. I feel blessed every time I go and deeply regretful when the experience is over.

The Staff and support of MotionFest, Michael Rosman, Todd Strong, Philip DePalo, Will Alyn, Robert Nelson, and Robert Strong work tirelessly making sure that each subtle need is addressed, even making sure that the presenters feel supported. I can’t ever thank them enough for what they have done for me as a person and a performer. Though I have not been able to travel coasts to attend all events, I wouldn’t think of NOT attending the Baltimore events and keep hoping I will be able to participate in a West Coast one. Thank you to all who put their hearts and energy into helping all the rest of us, from the bottom of my creative font…
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Michele
TaskMaskers, Inc.
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