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 Devon Mahon
“Purpose.” That’s my Brelby word. And with the exception of right now, I will not be mentioning the song from Avenue Q (though it can be quite applicable). When I initially chose my word way back when, I was only focused on the meaning reflecting one’s reason for existing. I wanted theatre (and experiences with Brelby) to be my purpose. I wanted it to be something that I live for, something that I enjoy, and something that I feel I was born to do – to create art.
I have since changed that perspective.
I find it incredibly daunting to figure out one’s “purpose.” What if theatre is, in fact, NOT what I’m meant to do? A mysterious book could arrive tomorrow with every person’s name and their true purpose. Mine could end up being to revolutionize the highlighter industry with a brown highlighter (gives the page a nice pop, but still keeps your words neutral). I digress. But if theatre ended up not being my purpose, I wouldn’t enjoy it any less. You can bet I’d still find myself watching every show I could and getting involved whenever possible. But enough about finding my purpose; there’s way too much pressure to figure that business out. Instead, I have shifted the focus of my “purpose.” I do theatre ON purpose.
I do theatre WITH purpose. It’s now a deliberate action regardless of whether or not it is my calling in life.
At Brelby we have a collection of artists who find their way through our doors and help us to imagine, create, and inspire everyday. And they do it with good purpose. Theatre is a commitment – nightly rehearsals, sleepless tech weeks, and booked weekends. I miss out on some of life’s events, but I have different experiences. With all of these artists intentionally committing their time to foster and create art together I gain friendships, understanding, growth in my craft, and joy. So much sheer joy from just sitting on an empty set.
So why does Brelby truly embody my refocused definition of purpose? Because Brian and Shelby created Brelby on purpose. They wanted to foster new works, great theatre, and the artists that come with that journey. They chose to stay in Arizona. On purpose. They see what the Arizona theatre scene can become. They chose to put down roots in Glendale. On purpose. The West Valley needs more art, specifically in Glendale where we can further enrich a community that comes to life with festivals downtown. I can continue to microscope further and further, but truly everything at Brelby is done with a purpose – with good purpose. (“Say purpose again”) Purpose.
*Hops on box of moderately priced soaps* So think not…about what your life’s purpose may be! Think instead…about what you would want it to be! What do you want to do and be…on purpose!