It’s become a tradition at Brelby to spend the month of November reflecting on our artform and how it impacts us through our annual Blogathon. This year, in honor of our 10th Season, our Blogathon participants will be sharing lists of 10 things that have impacted them, whether they be lessons or memories…or are looking ahead towards future goals.
Today’s blogger, Falin Ossipinsky, made her Brelby debut in our Season 9 production of Heathers: the Musical. She has gone on to dazzle us in our recent Miscast Concert and teasing Season 11 with her pointe skills.
Below, Falin reflects on 10 lessons she has learned from being an artist.
Being an artist is incredibly rewarding as well as incredibly challenging. Like anything in life, there are always ups and downs! Working in an arts field can be competitive and cut throat, but within this field you’ll experience so many wonderful things, meet so many beautiful people, and constantly be learning something new.
A little background about me. I’ve been performing since the age of five, a tiny dancer! Since then, I trained in many styles of dance (and still currently do), found a passion, met some lifelong friends, and learned to move my body in ways I didn’t think possible. Through dance, I found theatre. I found a home in many theatres, more wonderful friends, and discovered amazing support systems. At 16, I began volunteering with youth performers to teach and choreograph dances for their workshops. Currently at 19, I was offered a job choreographing for a youth performance group, Confetti. I’ve had jobs choreographing multiple shows and performances, as well! All though I was terrified to take on all of these tasks initially, I’ve found myself in such a wonderful place. To be able to work, love what you’re doing, and have it not feel like ‘work’ is such a gratifying feeling.
Throughout my still ongoing course as an artist, I’ve learned so many important things. Definitely too many to name. So, here are 10 things that I have learned from being an artist!
Patience in this field is so incredibly important. Whether it’s being patient while waiting for a cast list, waiting for a director to orchestrate something you’re not involved in, or simply having patience with the people around you. Working with youth performers from the ages 5-16 for multiple years, you definitely learn to have some patience!
I think the arts field holds some of the most passionate and dedicated people. In order to take so much rejection, negative feedback, and stress, you must be passionate about what you do. Whether it’s directors, designers, performers, teachers, or everyone in between. I have seen passion within every single one of the people I have had the pleasure of working with.
So important. So very important. In any situation or field really. Loving yourself has to often come first. It’s hard to not compare yourself to other performers, and then drag yourself down in comparison. I have learned (through some special people helping me) to love myself, and love what I do. It makes everything so much easier when you allow yourself to feel proud of what you’ve done and say “Hey, I did something pretty great.”.
I have heard the phrase “Confidence is key” through out my career countless times. It definitely isn’t wrong! It takes so much confidence to get up on a stage and perform, direct a show, design a show, or even tech a show. Having confidence in yourself as a performer is one of the most vital lessons I have learned. It goes even farther than just having confidence in yourself too. You need to find confidence in your peers and directors during shows as well!
I think understanding comes into play often. I have learned to understand that everyone is different. Everyone learns differently, everyone teaches differently, and everyone has different visions of things. One of the most important things that I learned is understanding that everyone starts somewhere.
Being flexible doesn’t just apply to having the highest kicks. I’ve learned to go with the flow and bend all different ways in this fast-paced field. Things are constantly changing, jobs and shows come and go, and sometimes, things don’t work out the way you planned. Sometimes you get pulled in for something that you’re not used to. Like a ballet dancer who hasn’t acted before being asked to play a challenging role. I feel that you can learn so much more if you’re flexible and confident with what goes on around you!
Yet another important life lesson. You meet people, you make mistakes, people around you make mistakes. It’s important to forgive the people around you. This isn’t my personal story, but years ago one of my close friends played the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz. Someone forgot to bring on the bucket of water to ‘melt’ her, and she and Dorothy had to improvise with a sword! So, you’ve got to forgive him for forgetting the bucket eventually, right?
I’ve learned that nobody is the best. Not that everyone is exactly equals, but hey, we’re all just out here loving being artists. It’s important not to put yourself up on a pedestal, and be humble about everything that comes your way. I learned to see everything as an opportunity, an opportunity to learn and grow, whether it’s a positive or negative experience!
Respecting the process is important. Whether it’s a long rehearsal process, or the process of learning. Respecting everyone’s thoughts and ideas, everyone’s different passions.
Love is one of the most profound things I have found in this field. Everyone has a love and passion for what they’re doing. The theater world holds some of the biggest hearts I know too. I think it’s admirable how much love and dedication goes into this art. I have learned to love so many people around me, to love so many different aspects of learning, teaching and performing, and to endlessly love what I do.