As Artistic Director, I had already mapped out a detailed and comprehensive 5-year artistic plan. Now I needed to go back to the drawing board with all these new givens. Nothing was as it was. And all previously held assumptions were now rubble. I thought long and hard. And in the first month of the lockdown I quietly introspected and gave myself space to be in deep thought and deep reflection. I closed my eyes and I prayed.
Then I had a memory of my Dad.
Refraction. The word winked at me like dancing light, like the sweetest childhood memory. The first time I encountered the word refraction was when I was 14. I started having headaches during class in high school at the Colegio de San Agustin. I mentioned it to Dad and he said, “I think you might need a refraction”.
“A refra-whaa?” I asked. “For your eyes”, he said. Dad was right. (As he always was.)
Went to the doctor for a refraction (essentially a vision test) and left with a prescription for eyeglasses.
Chose my first pair of glasses. The process was thrilling. Decisions, decisions. In the end, I went for classic, elegant and simple black metal frames. Armed with my new lens, I saw the world in a new light. Everything was sharper and clearer.
I recount this beautiful personal memory because in the midst of the lockdown, coffee mug in hand, I looked out the window, and thought to myself: we need a refraction, we need a new lens. There is a new reality. And we need to see everything sharper and clearer.
In refraction, light travels and changes direction from one medium to another medium.
One medium…..to another medium.
We needed to pivot.
So here we are. In our pivot to digital.
From one medium (onstage) to another medium (online). Reflection led to refraction.
And both are possible because of the presence of light.
As a creative endeavor, the pivot, though surrounded with its own set of challenges, was more joyous than I had anticipated. We made a lot of people happy. And that makes me happy. Although still in the process of feeling our way through–and so out of our comfort zone of theatrical productions–the journey has been imbued with a palpable sense of adventure and the rush of adrenaline that comes with forging ahead into new territory. There is also this refreshing almost childlike quality of intellectual curiosity that taps into a well of creativity, leading us to new discoveries, and connecting us deeply to the core of why we want to create in the first place.Why do we create? Why do we want to create? Why this creative impulse? WHY?
Every pivot needs a fulcrum. And that fulcrum is LOVE.