Bleeding Heart


Yesterday I sat in an Apple Store for a few hours while my computer got worked on.  (And this is my huge plug for a great costumer experience!  Everyone who worked with me was wonderful and really good at explaining what they were doing. And my computer is all better! ) 

During my time there, one of the employees learned that I had started a performance company -  Amiche.  "Ah" he said. "Performers, you go on stage and bleed your heart out."  I was taken aback. Because here's the rub,  I spend most of my life trying to figure out how to explain to people what I do.  Because it doesn't fit this clear cut category.  I make things.  I act.  I tell stories.  I create.  I...  But in one sentence he got to the core of what I try to do. 

I've been told numerous times in my life that I'm too sensitive.  That I need to develop a thicker skin.  Yet, the more I perform the more I realize that I can't listen to this advice.  In fact I have to run in the opposite direction, towards the sensitivity.  Because my 'super power' as a performer is the ability to be vulnerable.  The ability to go on stage and give my heart.  To bleed out all the feelings of life into a story.  And maybe just maybe if I can do that I can infuse the story with meaning and direction that will reach the audience and help them feel through their own stories or others stories with more empathy. 

If I was a super hero I would a be a big walking heart roaming the world.  And I would be a mess - bleeding everywhere.  

And though I wanted to do a little dance and high five the employee helping me - I calmly said - "You got it."  Because he really did.  And it's nice when you feel like someone understands what you are trying to do.  And to be encouraged that I can embrace this walking heart with everything it brings - strengths and weaknesses - even if it is a rather messy business.