The Mattanna community is a diverse one. I meet a variety of people who are on fascinating journeys, and each one of us has a different relationship with the performing arts. I’d like to share the stories of three people I’ve met who would benefit from working with Mattanna in different ways and for different reasons.
Meet a woman from Canada whom I’ll call Natalie here (all names have been changed to protect privacy). She said my online event was a fun Date Night for her and her husband. They laughed together several times during a game that involves hand claps and finger snaps, plus the scavenger hunt/show-and-tell segment.
Natalie does not consider herself a performer and is not interested in any of the arts we engage with, but she enjoyed herself and experienced a boost in energy. That’s exactly what I set out to accomplish with my Sunburst Energizer event.
She fits in the Mattanna community just like Jessica, a dancer and choreographer who’s appeared on Broadway, productions at Disney World, and has been teaching children since she retired 30 years ago. How is that so?
Jessica doesn’t get a chance to collaborate with adults, especially older ones who don’t move the way they used to. In Mattanna, she can find a partner to present a dance routine that matches their current scope of ability and highlights their best steps and movement styles.
If Natalie and Jessica ever shared the stage, they would both have a cool story to share about their unique duo
and they would each
gain a new friend.
I can’t help but think of the character Cassie from the musical A Chorus Line. This veteran dancer stated bitterly that the last thing she wanted to do was to teach someone else how to do what she should be doing, and she sings, “God, I’m a dancer, a dancer dances!”
The makes me wonder: Does Jessica ever feel that way? If so, I have a solution to her problem.
Gretchen rounds out these three examples. She exclaimed, partly in jest, “There should be a support group for frustrated performers!” Why did she say that?
It’s because she played the role of Anita in the musical West Side story on two occasions: at the ages of 18 and 28. Twenty years later, she auditioned for a community theater production while her husband was in the audience. His jaw dropped when his wife delivered a compelling and passionate performance that he’d never imagined was possible.
The roles of Anita and many others were still inside of Gretchen, but she kept them locked away so that she could focus on a career in the healthcare field.
Gretchen didn’t want to be a “starving artist” and was afraid of being viewed as aimless, unprofessional or irresponsible to her circle of family and friends by pursuing her talent.
As much as she poured her creative and artistic energy into her career and entrepreneurship, she admitted to sometimes being frustrated.
Mattanna is here to alleviate any negative feelings that come from suppressing our authentic inner artist. We focus on supplementing our full time jobs with splashes of fun gigs that do not require a lot of rehearsal time. Our operative word is AND, not OR.
Do you relate to any of these case studies? Tell me about it! Let’s have a conversation about living without compromise by indulging in free flowing creative expression, partnership, and comraderie with like-minded people who are looking for something more out of life.