Monday, July 6, 2015


Today some of the threads of this past week were woven together.  Not a bad image as I sit here in Guatemala where weaving is a significant part of the indigenous culture.
Last Tuesday I led the first session of the Notre Dame Summer camp and when Magis starts with young actors we always teach the three tools (body, voice, imagination) and the three commandments:
Be seen
Be heard
Today, our first full day in Guatemala began with attending the opening of a new arts center “La Casa.”  Our friends from Caja Ludica, an extraordinary arts collective, kicked things off with a lively parade of circus like magical figures going around the streets of the neighborhood where La Casa is located. 
Julia Escobar, one of the founders of Caja Ludica, has an impressive smile and an arresting presence.  Seeing her proclaim the opening of La Casa to the crowd  she commanded people in the plaza near the park.  Her presence was magnetic and she was absolutely committed to the magical belief that in the world of this parade she WAS magic, the kind of magic that inspires, that calls people to do their best, that provides for it to happen. Later on at our planning meeting I heard from her some of the extreme challenges of is past year:  losing a space that they had just renovated, dealing with huge unknown factors regarding their funding, and any number of other things that could drive a director of a company mad.  I said to her “and always surviving with a smile!” She replied, “if I didn’t have that…”
It spoke volumes to me how if we can commit to our situation, if we can Be-lieve then that magic that comes through her smile can make it all happen in spite of the pitfalls along the way.  That is the kind of belief, commitment and magic that people come to the theatre to see.