When I was about 14, I went on a week-long school band camp. I loved going to it every year as we just focused on playing, practising and performing to schools. One day a strange thing happened to me.. I was talking to some friends when I became aware of being alive – it was, like an out-of-body experience as if I was watching myself talking and listening to them. Like a visitor from another world who had chanced upon them and it really scared me. It carried on and suddenly I fainted. After a few seconds I came round and they helped me up and then it all began again with a sense of distancing that wasn’t social! This time I was terrified because I really didn’t know how to deal with it – distant again from what was happening – I fainted again.
But I solved it. When I came round again I told myself – this is my world, those are my friends. Just breathe. Breathe. Believe in this world. Believe in this world – and I was alright. It was a shock at the time and it has stayed in my head but strangely it has helped me.
It has given me a more intense sense of life – of the ordinary things we do every day. It doesn’t make me special in any way and it never happened again but it made feel so privileged to be alive. It made me appreciate a little more what life is and that I shouldn’t waste it. I’ve since met people who have described similar experiences. I know one thing though – it woke me up to the world. So, while my Russian friend needed to pour a bucket of cold water over his head every morning – I had my own built-in sense of wakefulness.
Being truly present is an essential quality for theatre work. For 28 years Theatretrain Performing Arts Schools have been providing superior quality classes in acting, singing and dancing to 4 –18-year-olds. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, Theatretrain is now offering all young people between the ages of 4 -18 years of age who love to dance, act and sing the chance to take our online and virtual lessons for FREE. Click here to register.