For the rest of November, every day, the Brelby Buzz will be bringing you the second installment of the November Blogathon. Thirty days, thirty original posts from Brelby’s Company Members and collaborative artists of Season 8. Each post will revolve around a word that artist considers to be integral to what art and Brelby means to them.
By Jessie Tully
His name was Jaymie.
He was a former Company Member and a close friend of mine. I found my way to Brelby when Jaymie passed away a few years ago; it was my way of staying close to him even after he was gone. When I was asked to pick a word that best describes what Brelby means to me,it was a no brainer. I would of course choose the same word Jaymie had, “Freedom”. I didn’t put much thought it to it other than that. Using his word made sense and felt right.
But when I was asked to write this blog about my word I was really forced to think about it. How does the word “freedom” apply to my journey at Brelby? Does it even apply to me at all besides the sentimental attachment?
This blog is all I’ve thought about for the past few weeks and I was sure I had picked the wrong word. But then I was having a conversation with another Company Member, an honest conversation about life and our art and in that moment, it hit me. I finally feel the freedom to be myself. No walls. No filters. I can be me around these people. I’m not scared anymore. If I fail it’s ok because I have a group of artists behind me to catch me when I fall. This year alone I’ve grown into a different artist, a better artist. At Brelby there is no thinking outside of the box because there is no box. I’m guilty of building my own personal box and forcing myself to stay inside of it. I was a Makeup Designer and an Assistant Stage Manager. I was ok with being only that. I was comfortable not stretching myself and not testing my limits.
But then Fangirl happened.
I was originally the ASM. Then our SM got a wonderful opportunity in another state she had to go explore. I was so happy for her and then I realized what it meant: if she was not the SM that means I was the SM. And I freaked out. I’m not the leader, I’m the right hand man, the sidekick, the personal assistant. Luckily I was gifted with some of the most kind and hard working actors and designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. And I didn’t die! I called a show and the building never burned down. I lead the troops and we made it out alive on the other side. I was slowly but surely freeing myself from the box I had put myself in.
I joined the Summer Production Intensive and I directed a one act by the amazing Megan O’Connor. I was asked to be a Company Member and I accepted. If Brian and Shelby didn’t place me in a box, why was I so set on staying in one? I finally have the confidence and the freedom to explore other areas of theatre. I’m Assistant Directing and helping to write a show next season. I’m surrounded by people that want me to grow, succeed and really believe in me. I’ve finally broke down the walls I built and Brelby has had a huge hand in helping me do so.
I truly understand now why Jaymie picked “Freedom.” It will always be his word. But it’s mine now too.