Celebrate The Journey

So it is five days since returning home from Hong Kong, Jet Lag over and life returning back to normal.

At Yoga class this morning I was reflecting on the special experience of meeting so many passionate playback practitioners and found myself feeling teary eyed and the warmth of this still very near to my heart.

It was a truly wonderful experience to be in the middle of the bigger picture and to see your calling to your art. Isn't that what we all want as artists, to make great art.

When I started my journey in playback in 2002 I wanted to change the world with art. Over the next few years I was like a sponge soaking up every opportunity to grow my artistry in playback.

Then I had the pleasure of joining The Playback Theatre Summer School at Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast in 2006, international training in playback led by Bev Hosking and Christian Penny. Thanks to Christian this was the pinnacle of change in my life. I was called to attention to let my artistry grow that I had outgrown Dunedin and it was time to change or my talent would flounder.

Playback Summer School 2006  Photo 1: Me on break  Photo 2: Chris, Ralph, Michele  Photo 3: Group practicing Traditional Maori dance

Playback Summer School 2006

Photo 1: Me on break

Photo 2: Chris, Ralph, Michele

Photo 3: Group practicing Traditional Maori dance

I took to this like a bull charging at red cloth, within three weeks I had made the decision to move to Wellington and start the new life, time to refuel and live up to my potential.

This was scary transition for my family to let me fly on my own, the furthest away from the humble Central Southland countryside I was raised in. I rather love rising to a challenge, so I was well and truly ready.

I joined Wellington Playback a month after arriving and dived in again to my art. Growing with further opportunities at Summer School in 2009 and 2010. What Bev and Christian did for the practitioners of New Zealand was really a gift for all that they have inspired in the participants and the greatness that has come from this uplifting time. It is profound when I look back to the dynamic work that has effected so many people and practitioners over the years.

This is where I first met Michele Chung and she is now the President of International Playback Theatre Network (IPTN) and Gerry Orkin from Woolongong Playback Theatre Company and he is a leader of playback form and methodology in Australia and like me always keen to grow and impart knowledge. Alongside many other bright faces that hearten my memory.

So many years later I rejoin my friends at Asia Pacific Playback Theatre Conference (APPTC) This time I am a teacher of playback, I have 14 years' experience, I have been every role in the company for at least two to three years a turn and I have great vision for the future, I am eager to see playback in Asia and how loved it is, our differences and our strengths.

What a blessing it was to exchange knowledge and to be inspired by fellow leaders and the youth surging up with a passionate voice. If they as determined as I was when I started this journey then the rest is history in the making and I look forward to standing alongside them in a few years to celebrate the journey.