collaboration: a physically exhausting, knock-down, dragged-out story of mutually beneficial greatness
When I think of collaboration I think of being vulnerable. Putting your “thought-babies” out to be either integrated or dismissed. Having courage to express what is truly yours and being willing for it to be misinterpreted, revised, edited to unrecognizable dimension... allowing it to no longer be “yours” but to be “ours.” I think of having to walk through, speak, sing or dance things I'm not really into, but to do it in a way that honors exploration and greatness as opposed to honoring my judgment or bruised ego.
I think back to all of those failed attempts at group projects in middle school; where either no one wanted to do their part, and someone was left dragging the dead weight across the finish line… or there was that one kid who wanted to control it all so no one COULD do their part, in fear of “doing it wrong.”
I think of the struggle of control. How to guide as opposed to instruct. How to follow and trust.
Letting go of needing to be “right.” Reveling in being “wrong.” Learning how to take criticism less personally, to keep my ears open when my ego is bruised. Allowing you to be “wrong” too, because you are my teacher, you are a human being, and it is so fun to watch us stumble into “right.” How to let go of the result, but still aim for something specific… allowing for happy accidents beyond my wildest dreams, but still heading toward a common destination.
I think of being generous… Seeing, discussing, trying something I could never think of on my own... having a gift given to the group, feeling it come alive in your own body in the way that only it could come alive in you. Or watching someone else connect the missing dot, and make it into a complete idea out of the original inkling. Being supportive and adventurous; understanding that everyone around me is doing this for the first time too. Collaboration is unique to space and time.
And that moment of collaborating is not about making Kirstin feel good, it is about creating something that IS good, or rather GREAT, and thus making me feel good about being an artist. And that means sacrifice, that means standing up and participating, that means being vulnerable and expressive. That means trust. That means doing my own work before i show up so we can do our work together.
I think of friction, only my belly grows through being comfortable and complacent. I like my raw, untrained edges, but I want to be polished by rubbing up against the things that scare me, the things that inspire me. I want to refine by chipping away at what i can see and what i know to reveal something that i had no idea was under the surface. And I need YOU to do that. I need you to be honest, and strong and vulnerable and present for us to do this together. I promise to do the same. The alchemy is unique and fortifying. Forever changed by each time I say yes.