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10 Ways Theatre Proves We're Capable of Anything

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 25/02/2016 Amy Oestreicher

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou 2016-02-25-1456367123-7226847-TakenbytheTide.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-02-25-1456367123-7226847-TakenbytheTide.jpg
 
I don't have a story you hear every day.  For a while, it was a story I didn't understand.
My life felt out of control, like the plot of a sick, psychological thriller.
I called a therapist.  She calmly replied,
"You have to tell your story."
What?  Tell my story?
I hung up and never talked to her again.
Months went by and I pretended everything was fine.  But it wasn't.  Then I thought what the heck, I'll just say it.
But I couldn't speak.
At that moment, I knew the therapist was right. Until I could put into words what had happened to me, I couldn't fully heal.
Tree-Gifts-20-x-20-IMG_0493 © Provided by The Huffington Post Tree-Gifts-20-x-20-IMG_0493
As actors, we tell stories constantly.  I first told mine over four years ago.  Not only to myself, but to complete strangers and New York theatregoers.   Fresh out of my 27th surgery, I performed words from journal entries I wrote years ago as a way to pass the time between the endless series of medical interventions.  Every time I "perform" what happened to me, I find myself somehow transformed in the process.
Theatre has the power to change lives, both for those directly involved and those who watch. Theatre teaches us we're capable of anything - and usually tells us this at times we need it most.
10 Ways Theatre Proves We're Capable of Anything

  1. Wishing we were someone else is okay sometimes - It plants a seed for what we can ultimately become, if we keep wishing.
  2. When others believe in you, you feel capable of anything.
  3. Getting to learn about other people's stories is inspiring and empowering.  It makes us realize what we can be capable of.
  4. You are capable of making an impact on even those who have impacted you.  Don't get intimidated by those you admire.  You just may have something to teach them!
  5. When others believe in you, you feel capable of anything.
  6. Don't be afraid to speak up, be aggressive or to ask for what you ned..  You are capable of making an impact, so flaunt what you've got and know you're capable of being amazing!
  7. My show talks about my life, but it's not a show about me.  It's about us, our stories, keeping hope alive, and staying healthy in our minds as well as our bodies.  That's why I couldn't be prouder to be able to help others.
  8. You're always capable of making a comeback.  Just come back.
  9. It's okay to take a break, but don't give up.  You're capable of a second wind that lasts.
  10. Think no one can relate to your problems?   No matter how "unique" your detour is, you're not alone.
IMG_0064 © Provided by The Huffington Post IMG_0064
Performing theatre showed me what I'm capable of, but more importantly, that we are all capable of understanding each other.  That's how theatre creates empathy, fights stigma, and creates a world based on compassion
Now get out there, see a show, do a dance, and make your mark on this world. Finding-My-Way-Home © Provided by The Huffington Post Finding-My-Way-Home Amy will be performing Gutless & Grateful, her one woman musical on March 11th, 9pm in New York City in the New Works Series.  All artwork was created by Amy. Learn about her mental health advocacy programs for students, and find out how to take part in the #LoveMyDetour movement, striving to create compassion through stories.

OPERA © KateJoanna via Getty Images OPERA

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