Marie Ellis is a recent addition to The Bish Bosh Bash cast, and her first performance with the company is this Friday. In this blog, she talks about her source of inspiration and how she's feeling about the nerves associated with getting back on the stage.
Right now, my 4-year-old son owns multiple factories, where he makes wings for everyone in their favourite colours. He doesn't need any himself, because his are built in, and he uses them to fly around at night and save the day. "But don't worry, mummy, I come back every night."
He also regularly consults with his "volcano friends," who he made, because he made the Earth, he tells me. His volcano friends aren't afraid of dinosaurs, but monsters are, which is why he will sneakily place little toy dinosaurs in my bed so they can protect me at night.
As a new member of The Bish Bosh Bash, I've taken a page out of my son's book and am relishing the simple joy of allowing my creativity to run free. My favourite part of rehearsals is the beginning, when we sit in a circle and do a check-in with each other about where we're at, how we're feeling, and what has inspired us in the last week.
Invariably, my source of inspiration has come from my son, whose imagination knows no bounds. He has been like a meditative practice for me over the past several years, and he is the perfect example of living in the moment.
We lose the knack for that in adulthood, with the stresses of bills, careers, and life choices on our shoulders. We have to relearn how to be present and how to really listen to the person in front of us.
The importance of listening and teamwork is the sweet stuff of improv. You don't have the luxury of being complacent or getting lost in your own mind. The only things that matter are the people in front of you in that very moment.
What's going to happen? Who knows? And that's what's so exciting and delightful about it. I've been a professional actor on and off since the age of 10, so you'd think I wouldn't feel any nerves about getting up on stage this Friday.
On the one hand, I don't have any lines to forget, so that takes the pressure off. But on the other hand, I don't have any lines! Because they haven't yet been written.
I can sense I'm nervous. As I write this, the smell coming from my underarms tells me so. What would my son do in this scenario? He'd probably stick his armpits in my face, ask (with a cheeky grin) if I can smell something, and then hop from chair to chair, yelling, "The floor is lava!!!!!!"
Minutes later, he'd move on to some other shenanigan, because the moment, which he was fully present for, had passed. Someday, he'll lose this natural gift of being fully immersed in the moment. He'll have to relearn it.
Luckily, I'm surrounded by amazing cast mates, who will enter the world of the unknown with me on Friday. What we will do together has never happened before, and it will never happen again. I hope you will join us in the moment. And if I fall on my face, don't worry. I've got a special pair of purple wings that a certain 4-year-old made just for me.
See Marie in The Bish Bosh Bash on Friday 7th June, 8pm. Doors and bar open from 7.15pm. Tickets are £10 and can be bought HERE.