Updated: Oct 19
"Community is much more than belonging to something;
it’s about doing something together which makes belonging matter"
~ Brian Solis
I've just run a Scene Study Retreat with 8 beautiful actors. I asked them if they wanted to split off and work on their scenes independently for a bit or if they wanted to work pair by pair.
They genuinely looked sad that I'd asked the question.
"I want to see everyone else work!" says one.
"Me too! Otherwise it's just like every other class out there." Says another.
"I agree, so much of my learning is from watching everyone else."
"And I love seeing everyone else do their thing!!"
I don't know if I can put into words how that moment felt for me.
I've had some hard and painful relationships in this industry over the years, where ego has caused damaging friction. Where I've wanted to abandon the industry altogether because I didn't know if someone like me had a place here. Where I could care deeply about the people and my work and not get destroyed.
The reality is, I could never leave this industry, it's where my heart belongs. But I knew I needed to find a way to be in it safely. So over the years of building Both Feet I've been really specific about who trains with us, because alongside being serious about their career and craft, I needed them to be kind and generous humans. The type of humans who support, share and shout from the side-lines for their fellow people.
Recently in the Both Feet Community I've witnessed:
- Picking up someone they hadn't even met yet to support someone else's show
- Sharing each others work
- Taking family members to support someone else's work
- Sending casting opportunities to each other
- Make someone a website (looking good Rae!)
- Getting together for drinks
- Celebrating each others birthdays (who doesn't love an adult soft play?!)
- Traveling together
- Co-creating (too many to mention!)
- Overcoming many fears together
- Opening up homes so people have a bed to sleep in
- So many tears have been shed in support of someone else's journey and achievements
... the list goes on and on and on...
And that doesn't even begin to cover the support and holding I witness in class and on retreats.
This is the dream. That Both Feet is a community, a family who opens and embraces, who cares. Humans who are able to care for themselves (really important) whilst also seeing beyond themselves.
A community where ego isn't harmful.
And where love overpowers envy.
Going through a few of the words people have sent me recently I know it's as important to those around me as it is to me...
"Coming here reminds me I am not alone."
"Finally, after years of searching and nearly giving up, I've found my tribe."
"I feel with this support I could do anything..."
"We grow together..."
"I didn't know I needed the support everyone gave me."
"It is you Steph, and it's also the people you draw in who make this so special."
I am profoundly grateful for this growing community.
Keep showing up you lot, we are better together.