I once sat through a meeting where an art organization was trying to measure the significance of the work they were doing with students. They were trying to find ways to measure how acting was impacting students. I understand their point, the need to have numbers so they could get grants and prove that the money being spent was worth it. It is a problem I face myself, of trying to convince people that what I do has value and worth. And some days it is hard to convince even myself of the worth of what I spend my time doing.
Yet there are so many parts of life that are hard to measure. I may know they are good, but they may not provide the same joy for everyone. I have a lot of friends who love playing games - card games, board games, etc. I see the value of the games. I envy the fun that people are having. Yet, as much as I've tried I don't find joy in playing those sorts of games. But, just because I don't find joy in playing games doesn't negate the benefits it can provide. Yet, how often do we dismiss skills and parts of the world because we don't understand them or don't see a specific value connected to it.
I was a quiet child. But I loved stories, of all sorts. And when I discovered acting and movement I found a part of the world that opened doors for me. Acting gave me words when I didn't have words to say. And movement gave me an outlet for all the deep feelings I had about the world around me. I watched this video recently and I keep thinking about it. Because it says so clearly how I felt about what acting and movement has done for me. It said what I've never been able to articulate about why I need acting and movement.
I don't think acting is for everyone. But I do think that it has a place in the world. And for some of us it has been a skill that has brought immeasurable value to our lives. At the end of the meeting, I shared with the man in charge of gathering the data, something my Dad says. That when we share a skill with someone, it is a gift. A gift that can help them learn other skills. A gift that can give them confidence that they can try something new. Those students may never act again. But they will have practiced how to be in front of people, how to speak clearly, how to empathize. All skills that can translate into many areas of life. Building blocks to help them learn about the world around them.
Acting is one of the parts of this world that has been such a gift to me. And it helps me see that there are other things in this world that may do the same for someone else. Today I watched this video, the reminder that teaching and sharing what you love may be a gift to someone else. A gift to help them see the beauty in the world. A gift that may help them become more of who they are meant to be.
If there is something we love, something we have learned, there is a chance that sharing that could be a gift to someone else. A gift and way to learn to be in the world. I'm grateful for those who have taught me about acting and movement. It has been a skill that has been a gift that has brought my life such beauty. And when I see these kids sharing their joy at a new skill learned, I am reminded that there is value in sharing what we love with the world. That we may never know who may need that skill to give them a voice in the world.