Hats. Each one worn has the potential to change the next path we take, the way our lives might go. This weekend, as I showed my first short film, Stealing Zen, at the Durango Independent Film Festival, I donned my screenwriter and actress hats with other incredibly talented and lovely filmmakers, producers, performers, and creators. Without yet knowing how much of an impact spending this time in the company of such high quality and inspired people will have on my life, I feel changed again, a theme that continues to run through the current of my recent days and months.
Flying home, I worked on a new opera that I have the pleasure of workshopping as a really complex character this week, I edited some of the audio for the next episode of my continuing podcast, The Peace of Persistence, and I thought about my next steps for the biographical documentary I'm directing this spring. When I arrived home, I cried a little, like I often do when I have to "leave camp." As a child, I went to camp for a week every summer. I felt so nervous that first time, but it turned out that making new meaningful friendships was my jam. It still is.
After the incredible weekend I've had in Colorado with some truly special and open-hearted people, I'm not surprised I felt a tinge of the same sadness at having left. Then I remembered all of the connections I continue to make, interviewing incredible people for The Peace of Persistence and the documentary, volunteering once a week at an amazing co-working space for artists in NYC called The Artist Co-Op, and singing for a new opera with the New York Foundation for the Arts. To connect with my already beloved friends, I'm back in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera in a few weeks, I've got a gig coming up this May with the Mid-Columbia Symphony with some amazing people I haven't seen in several years, and I'll be singing in the opera at Bard Summerscape again this summer.
Honestly, I'm thrilled to have these opportunities to connect and expand my skills and abilities, and my goal in life is to do exactly what I'm doing: to participate in and create meaningful art that has the potential to make an impact. It is, however, a roller coaster, and all of these different hats sometimes confuse even I who have chosen to follow some paths I never expected at all. With all of the choices and so many different directions to go, I sometimes feel scared that I will get lost.
When I do wander too far, I can smile, knowing that my parents raised me to always find my way home - knowing that my natural intuition will eventually lead me in the right direction. Sitting with some incredible filmmakers, composers, and actors on the Women in Film panel at Durango this weekend, I remembered that whichever paths I traverse, I have stories to tell in countless ways for which I need never apologize. Although it seems my goals and interests are many, I have one job: to keep creating and never quit.