The most remarkable thing happened at the studio today: Verity, 9, is working on something I can only describe as a cartwheel with rond de jambe en l’air. She was struggling with it, and being her clever self and also knowing all about my obsession with performance recently, she said, “I’m having trouble PERFORMING this!” and I responded, “Well, then, perform the role of someone who CAN do it.” She looked at my photograph of Martha Graham and asked, “Could Martha Graham do this?” Now, none of the books I have read on Martha Graham mention her doing cartwheels, but I said “I’m sure she could.” So Verity said decisively, “Ok, I’ll perform Martha Graham.” I knew something would be different because her face changed, and she tried it and did it perfectly. I was astonished! She exclaimed, “I did it!” and I said teasingly, “Well…Martha Graham did!” Verity’s response gave me goosebumps and I had to write it down: “Well I had to do it as Martha Graham to get it, but now I know what it feels like.” This cuts straight to the core of my recent work: we have no identity except our performances and in performing, we create ourselves. So, if your SELF doubts itself or tells you it can’t do it or is used to being hard on yourself, simply perform a different self–take on a different role! Once you understand that we’re always on the stage and we can play whatever role we want, our performances/selves are truly limitless. Forget what you think you ARE, and PERFORM what you desire to be!

Verity, age 9