I’m Only Here for the Experience

Guggenheim, New York City, summer 2019

Dear Reader,

Have you ever been part of a big production, like for theater, a workshop, or an exhibition? These sorts of projects are similar in that they usually involve a team, a lot of prep work, and months of planning for a relatively short event. When you work on such a project it usually starts out slow. Then, gradually more little parts are integrated and work becomes regular. Towards the end of the process, there are many moving pieces that often depend on each other, the work becomes overwhelming, and the event is the only thing on the agenda. Finally, the big day comes and everything is crazy, but also good and exciting! Then, in the blink of an eye— you wake up. It’s over, a new day with that life behind you.

When you work on such a project, it is easy to develop a sort of camaraderie between teammates. Perhaps late work nights turn into dinner and drinks, or awkward small talk actually turns into real conversation. The change from the formal ‘you’ to the familiar one is subtle and gradual. Your relationships at the start of an all-consuming project will shift by the end of the process. When all is said and done, this project and these people touched your life in some meaningful way.

I used to do an after-school musical theater program. My first year, we did a musical rendition of “The Chronicles of Narnia.” This was my first musical. Everything—dance numbers, set design, costumes, and all-day rehearsals—were new and wondrous, kind of like Narnia itself. However, underneath the shimmer of a pretty production, there is the heart of the project. There are the long hours of practice, memorization, and coordination. There are the actors, the crew, the instructors, designers, musicians, and many more. However, the most important thing is how everything comes together. A theatrical production like many other things is a whole greater than the sum of any one of its parts.

Seeing the way things come together is a truly magical experience. We have so much to offer each other when we come together. I feel really good about the project I just completed. I don’t know if you have experienced anything similar, Dear Reader, but if not, I hope this warm and fuzzy feeling will touch you too.

Love,

Raven

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