Have you ever thought about making a one person show where you are the one person?
Yeah, it’s a terrifying idea. I guess you have to be a performer to think it’s even slightly compelling. Or not. Recently, I had this idea that everyone should have some version of a one person show where they get to organize the underlying intention of their lives and put it into a format of words or music or dance or powerpoint or paintings or cartoons or poetry or storytelling. Some way to show and integrate themselves that feels….REAL, organic, and surprising. I say this because every person is SO amazing when you get to focus on their victories, their mistakes, their significant relationships, the careers they’ve had, their spiritual journeys (or not) etc. It’s fascinating! People are so resilient and distinctive.
My new show is called Don’t Be a Dick, an Evening of Insights with Rythea Lee. It’s about choices.
In the show, I talk about how our choices are part of how we take responsibility as people, to be loving, to be authentic, to be powerful. I use myself as an example of how this choice led to that choice and how the domino effect of those choices created the life I have. I talk people through it step by step in relation to the idea that- we truly are the masters of our fate, we truly DO have an impact moment to moment on ourselves, our loved ones, our communities. We can pass down our parent’s wounds. Or not. We can make that process conscious because we do, each of us, matter.
I talk, sing, dance, share, about therapy, falling in love, trying to get pregnant, being an artist, a therapist, a survivor of childhood abuse. I weave it together using the miraculous tools of IRONY, SARCASM, INSIGHT, and BASIC HONESTY. I bare my soul, as they say, get down and dirty, sing at full volume and hold nothing back- I even rap. BUT I keep it a bigger conversation. It’s not just about me, it’s about EVERY SINGLE PERSON in some way. That message becomes clearer as the show goes along.
So what is my report on doing this project? Well, it’s very intense. Kind of nauseating and thrilling. It feels similar to having open heart surgery in front of strangers and friends, my guts just hanging out. I love and hate it. I feel SO SEEN and I both love and hate that. I feel SO EXPOSED and I love and hate that. I feel incredibly alive, proficient, courageous and VULNERABLE. Yuck, wow.
What makes it feel powerful and important is the feedback I am getting both during and after performance. I experience the show as a HUGE CONVERSATION and an EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AND FEELING as I am doing it. I feel the SHIFTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS that come from various people in the audience as I talk and share on certain topics. I see people’s faces change or their body posture open. I notice friends and couples looking at each other at certain moments or leaning into each other. The biggest ABSOLUTE THRILL is the LAUGHTER. SO much laughter in this show!!! People laugh their asses off. There are moments I have to stand there for a long time while people finish the sustained laughter about something we can all relate to. It means so much to me, this conversation. It is the best medium I have so far for raising consciousness through emotional and creative means. It’s a direct expression of meaning and values that come through the right brain as well as the left. I believe people don’t always know what they have learned in words but they can FEEL that something transformational has happened. Laughing at ourselves is a wonderfully sneaky way to learn.
I highly recommend doing something like a one person show in the modality that fits your lifestyle, even if it’s pasting together images from a magazine or doing handprints on a wall with a few key words. How do we sum up who we are??? How do we share? I KNOW it matters because I can feel how scattered our world makes us and I can feel the IMPACT of CRAFTING WHO WE ARE INTO SOMETHING TANGIBLE. You don’t have to be an artist to formulate ANYTHING into SOMETHING. You don’t even have to know what you are doing. Just begin with the intention of making a THING that holds the ESSENCE of who you are. Start there. And don’t expect it to be all roses. Try the mantra, yuck and wow.
Photo by Beth Fairservis