“Have you ever thought about doing this play on the Camino?”
This was the question posed to me by an audience member one night after a performance of Underneath the Lintel. My first reaction of What’s the Camino? was quickly followed with Have I ever thought of walking 500 miles in 33 days while attempting to perform a grueling one-man show as many times as possible along the route? No, no I have not! Has anyone ever thought that?
Little did I know that this encounter would ignite a passion and challenge within me that my stubborn side would not release. What would happen to my physical, emotional and spiritual self? How would my performances alter? Strengthen? Deteriorate? As I explored the possibilities thrown up by this challenge, more and more people told me I wouldn’t be able to do it. And the more determined I became in proving them wrong.
I saw the Camino as a physical challenge. By the time we were ready to embark on the adventure, we had arranged that I would walk the Camino de Frances – the full 500 miles, from Saint Jean Pied du Port to Santiago de Compostela – in 35 days. And I would prove to the doubters that I could perform the play as many times as possible. Yes, I had my doubts, but I wasn’t going to tell anyone that!
A team was assembled to support me along the way: a car, my props and nearly forty fellow pilgrims. As I walked and performed, it quickly became clear that the physical element was the smallest part of my journey. The spiritual and emotional sides were preeminent. My thoughts turned to life, my life, passions and fears. Rules. That word kept bugging me, R U L E S. Why do we have so many and who imposes them upon us? Have I done this to myself? Did my parents teach me correctly? What is the correct way? Who is God and why have I never questioned the existence of one? I have always been told there is a God but never questioned it. So, I did.
The most important thing in life is now. The present moment. We can worry a little bit about the past and future; but whatever I am doing at this very moment, that is the most important moment of my life. I love the word “present” as it also means a gift. The moment we are in now is a gift.
Two years after the Camino and I am still trying to figure it all out. Figure what out? Life, all of it? Do you have the answers? There were many things the Camino taught me, but what influenced me the most was the people that I met and communicated with while on the way. Humans have a great imagination and hunger for thought. We love to expand our universe past just living, eating and sleeping. We ask questions and challenge each other.
Since the Camino I continue to do this, and my attitude toward theatre and my passion for acting has evolved and continues to do so. My drive from within is to impress, change, challenge and enlighten. Others? Yes, but primarily myself. I see myself as a sponge. I continue to grow and pass on what I am learning through my performances. We all love a good story, and I’ve got more than my fair share to tell. I have opinions but I am not opinionated, only those who want it will find themselves within earshot.
Open, unburdened, expanded, free hearts receive. Closed, sealed, folded ones will not. Which are you?
In the Notes From the Road section of my website I’d like to share some of those stories, thoughts, feelings and opinions. Remember, these are all my own that I have experienced through life. I am entitled to them all, but it doesn’t mean that I am right!