Rediscovering Purpose in the Massiveness of Texas

It is very easy within training and rehearsing to become too introspective, inward-thinking, and self-analyzing that you forget why you do what you do. This week, I was thrown out of my self-oriented world and into a world that is looking outward - outward at purpose and fulfillment.

I say all this to write about my week on tour with Ballet Austin's Second Company around the greater Austin area. We went to three different venues in four days. We went to Bastrop, Glen Rose, and Steiner Ranch. We performed for school children from as young as kindergarten to as old as 5th grade. We did four shows in two days at Bastrop and then stayed overnight in Glen Rose before doing two shows the following day. We finished the tour in Steiner Ranch with two more shows. The average crowd was about 200-300 students, but we had one show in Glen Rose that had 1,600 students in attendance! 

Most of the kids in attendance had never seen a live performance of any kind, let alone ballet. These youngsters were brought to another world of creation, imagination, and thought. You can only experience something for the first time once - and I was able to be apart of that moment for them. I was able to create that magical time where they escaped from school and their usual to go to a world that was unknown and different for them. 

That.

This.

All of it.

This is why I do what I do. 

I want people to experience something through my movement. I was able to bring them through a journey with the story of Peter and the Wolf which is perfect for any kid that age. I was able to meet with some of the students, and they love the wolf costume with the huge mask that I wear.

I am not a real wolf - I actually am a nice guy.

It is still Matthew under the mask!

Theatre in Glen Rose, TX

The kids swarmed me to get high-fives and ask me questions. I loved getting to talk with them and bring the performance to a personal level for them. I was able to talk to a few women in Glen Rose who are on the county's art council and they were the ones who helped organize the shows. In the conversation, they said how for most of the kids, this will be the only time some of them experience live theatre in their lives. 

Outside of the theatre in Bastrop, TX

But what is cool is that I was able to give some kids a once in a lifetime experience. Maybe they will hold on to this experience forever or maybe they already forgot about it - I will never know the magnitude of influence this performance had on each kid, but if I was able to inspire just one out of the thousands then I am filled.

I love what I do day in and day out. This tour was fun to travel, but it gave me an escape from myself and shifted my focus on the people and world around me.

But I did go to some places deep in Texas...

I think I experienced a different world.

First off-

Chick-fil-a has mouthwash in their bathrooms! Mouthwash dispensers! This is real! How cordial of them. 

AND 

I also experienced Buc-ee's. Wow- just wow. The BIGGEST gas station with the biggest store connected to the gas station. I have never seen so many urinals in a bathroom. I actually did not know that was possible. I was so overwhelmed by the bathroom alone, I didn't have to pee anymore... but I did have to take a photo of the bathroom because I have never seen anything like this in my life. The amount of food in this place will just blow your mind.

They do everything BIG in Texas... that might be an understatement.

They do everything MASSIVE in Texas.

This week has been one rediscovering purpose in my work and discovering a new side of Texas. I am excited for more adventures to Buc-ee's and other MASSIVE Texas experiences.