5 Little Things
My name is Willa Eigo. I performed in She Kills Monsters this summer, but I knew of Brelby long before then.
Currently, I’m living roughly 3,000 miles away in Boston, MA, attending Boston University to study acting. I love where I am now and what I’m doing, but the cross-country transition is definitely a hard one. My journey has, thankfully, been made easier by taking with me the advice those at Brelby (and many others in the theatre community in Arizona) have given me. Here are the things I’ve learned and wish to pass on…
1) Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
I find it far too easy to fall into the trap of believing that theatre is somehow serious business, when really, it’s just the grown up version of make believe. For me, coming to Brelby reminded me that this can be fun. I found the freedom to play around so enjoyable and relaxing all at the same time.
2) Here is Where You Are Now
This one is most difficult for me to grasp, but I think that Shelby embodies this idea the best out of anyone I know. Here, in this moment, is where you are. Appreciate this moment. Appreciate the people in it, the project you are working on, the things you are saying, the story that’s being told. Take it all in, remember it, experience it. I so often get caught up in planning for the future, that I miss the moments that are happening right in front of me. Shelby is a living reminder that I should appreciate where I am.
3) Tighten Your Core
Who else could teach this better than Mat Vansen? No one. But I’m not just talking about literally tightening your core (although that’s important too), I’m talking about building up your strength, whether that be physical or mental. Being part of SKM challenged and pushed me in more than one way, but the process was well worth it. The people that make up Brelby absolutely teach you to take the strength and power that is inside you and translate it into action onstage.
4) Keep It Positive
If this didn’t make you think of Legally Blonde: The Musical, then you need to do some research before reading further. Positive thinking and positive living are an essential part to creating not only a successful show, but also a thriving community. Brelby has this one in the bag. Brian and Shelby have worked hard to create a place that’s loving and open. It’s the kind of theatre that you stumble upon once in a lifetime, fall in love with, and continue to go back to time and time again.
5) Go After What You Love
I feel strongly about this point. Technically, a friend of mine and Shelby’s named Mike Van Liew introduced this concept to me a while back, but I think it applies here. Brelby is a prime example of going after what you love. When I worked there I saw new ideas, stories, and creations arise everyday. The people that work at Brelby are the doers. They’re the ones who chase their dreams and follow what they love. I’m extremely lucky to know them and have their support in going after what I love also.