For this week’s blog Filament would like to give thanks… Below is text that has been provided by the voices of many within the community that is Filament and given to you as a poem of thanks. We have united our voices as one and to you, on this day, we give thanks…

I am thankful for a community of courageous collaborators who are willing to take risks and continue to explore how to connect with today’s audience.

“The telling of a tale links you with everyone who has told it before. There are no new tales, only new tellers in their own way, and if you listen closely you can hear the voice of everyone who ever told the tale.”

-William Brooke

I am thankful for the stories, the people who came before, the teachers, the books, the Chicago community that supports new attempts.

KnowledgeI am grateful for the knowledge…  I am not content to re-create what was successful in Shakespeare’s day, or even what was successful just 10 years ago.

I am thankful for the people who take what they have learned and apply it to our current climate.

I am thankful for the people who are motivated to connect with the community around them, and work toward the greater goal of creating something that is needed…

In my life, this pursuit has brought me to Filament, so, to be concise: I am thankful for Filament.

Though it frequently seems that the world is falling into a dire state, I am continually thankful for the ingenuity and resourcefulness of my artistic community.  We meet a faltering community with imagination and bravery.  We meet apathy with passion and despair with joy.

I am thankful for the ever changing nature of the world, whose winds will always fill the sails of those who believe in good things, and whose waters will always rise up to quench the thirsty. 

I am thankful for the bounty of the Earth, and thankful for those who still fight to protect her against the careless greed of our global systems.

I am thankful for the Sun that allows our plants to grow, and for the farmers who dedicate their lives to scratching in the noble dirt that we may fill our plates. 

I am thankful for all of the astonishing beauty in the world: the way brick catches the setting sun, and the shuffling steps of old women.

Most of all, I am thankful for the love of our families, friends and lovers, without which everything else would seem useless, dull and grey.

I would have to say that I am so thankful for all of the teachers that have helped guide me on my journey as an artist.

I have truly been blessed with so many amazing, wise, thoughtful teachers…

I would like to thank…

…Cookie, my preschool teacher, who shared with me a love of circles and forming them with friends, the magic of rhythm and song, and the power of an ensemble.

…Mrs. Cooney, my elementary school teacher, who taught me that even though my mom was the head of the school, and that I was truly sorry, I should still take responsibility for curiously tangling and cutting the strings of her Newton’s Cradle during recess. If we make a mess (of a teaching tool or our planet’s environment), simply taping the strings back together is not enough.

…the directors of The Guyer Opera House, who taught me that even an ancient theatre in one of the smallest of farm towns in America can house the streets of 19th century London and the little town of Bethlehem on the same splintery stage. Theatre can happen in the most unexpected places.

…Mrs. Chahraur, who taught me during a trip to Ecuador that a shared experience can teach you so much more than a text book ever can.

…Mr. Abineri, my high school Calculus and Physics teacher, who taught me that having the right answer is not the most important thing in life. The creation of a work is worth just as many points as the final product (if not more).

…Patty Flannigan, my high school theatre teacher, who, despite advising me that “if there’s ANYTHING that you love more than theatre, you should do that instead”, is one of the main reasons I am an artist today. Her love of theatre was absolutely contagious.

…Ann Woodworth, who taught me that the lessons of theatre go beyond the stage and into our every day lives.

…and my parents, who showed me that with the support of others, we can truly accomplish anything.

As an artist I am thankful for other artists.
I  am thankful for the artists whose visions overlap just enough with mine to make our artistic home a vibrant one.
As an emerging theatre artist, I have found that having such a home, whether it’s a theatre ensemble like Filament, or an improv group that meets once a week, is invaluable.
Living in a city where many groups like Filament can thrive is also a joy and an inspiration.  I am excited to be alive today when it seems that ideas have more power in their independence than they have ever had.
I hope that independent and original ideas will continue to be heard, and that they will help us to steer our lives, communities, governments, and world in a more informed and constructive way.

I am thankful to be an artist. Making art a player in my day-to-day life continually awakens me, amuses me, and guides me through my path. I do not want to live stagnantly; I want my spirit to never fall asleep.

I have an urge to play in situations where I am constantly challenged, but this can be at times very painful and dark; it goes against our natural grain to be habitual and keep out of dangers way.

I am a chameleon and I can adapt (maybe not always gracefully but always with a fervor) to many different types of situations. In my life I choose to swim upstream, being full aware that most of the time people may not listen or care what I want to create but that is the least important part to me.

Having the ability to create allows me to peek into the many peepholes of the universe. There are so many jewels to be uncovered all around us and I am thankful to be able to do this. I think it brings me closer to my true purpose on this earth and I want to die knowing that I used my hands and voice to create connections where there may not have been any.

I am thankful to be alive at this time in the world because I know that I have wonderful opportunities available to me (I just have to look around), and I am thankful that I am of sound mind and able body to work in and for this world.

When I have been extinguished and made permently into the memory of faded pages I will be thankful to have breathed the same air as the great whales out roaming.

I am thankful for the arms in which I have slept the night, the music that has passed my lips and passed my ears, the very music that has left me smiling and crying all the while we danced.

I am thankful for the conversations that have lasted all through the night.

I am thankful for the tears of joy and pain in the creation of a day.

I am thankful for the blessed earth, the gift to us all.

I am thankful for skies full of stars and fathers and mothers.

I am thankful, for you…

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