I think I am a theatre director because I am a good listener. I love a good story. If you want to tell me a long story let me know. I’m all yours. I will sit with you all day and drink in your words, conjuring visions in my mind. I love rehearsals because I get to live in stories, and make them come true for people to see and hear in performance.
Even when I was little, I loved to hear grown-ups tell stories. I think I liked to listen to stories more than I liked to make my own stories.
I would rather listen to someone tell a story than to share a story myself. I can’t tell a joke. I fail with words. I hear them, I feel them, I see them, but I can’t remember them.
The fact that I am daring to speak any Kiswahili aloud is a minor miracle; I struggle with retaining language, and I need things repeated again and again and again before they are slightly retained. I have cultivated a new daring and joy in attempting to communicate in Kiswahili, and I am having a blast.
After I see a film I can never remember a line of dialogue. I’m not one of those people who can quote films 20 years later. Or even 5 minutes later. But I could tell you minute details about what I saw, about the placement of a hand, or a look, or the way an action made me feel, but I will paraphrase and be inaccurate if I try to capture exact words.
I am a visual learner and thinker. I remember details visually, I learn visually, and as a theatre director I love making work that speaks visually. I have a good sense of direction. If I go somewhere once I can return to that place for the rest of my life after one visit. I drink in visual information. I feel what I see.
In the rehearsal room I would rather say ‘show me what you mean’ than ‘tell me what you mean.’ I understand what I see. I am observant. I listen with my eyes.
Writing an observation, or discovery, or lesson, or memory every day for the past 42 days without fail has been a great exercise in using language, in trying to say what I see, to share through words. It has been a great assignment, as I have not written publicly before.
Thank you for reading my words. I hope they help you see what I see, and feel what I feel, while I am in miraculous Kenya. I am grateful that you are a part of my journey, that you are listening and seeing. Thank you very much. Asante sana.