COME DOWNSTAGE – Valuable Lessons in the Arts

Can you go back to a moment in your young adult life and pinpoint a valuable lesson? The truth is there is always a lesson to learn from any situation in life. Since theatre is a re-presentation of life, we know you can learn a great deal as you shape your artistry and explore the realms of theatre. As theatre students, actors, directors, playwrights, stage managers, tech crew, the list goes on; there is always a teachable moment.

My brother in the arts, Matthew ‘Kupa’ Murrell, recently kicked up the vibes with me in our conversation for the ‘Come Downstage with Jae’ podcast. We’ve had countless conversations over the years, but this one allowed us to unpack some moments in his journey in the arts that have helped to shape him as an actor, informed his narrative as a playwright while attuning his artistic vision as a director. He cherishes one lesson from the late theatre Elder, Clairmonte Taitt, on being intentional as an actor. Listen as relives this moment.

We can all recount the moment we met an idol or mentor. Though Matthew wasn’t quite sure who Clairmonte was in their initial meeting, gems were dropped. Let’s rewind the clock for just over a decade to recount the first time they met. You could hear the joy being expressed in Matthew’s voice as he went back to his young adult days. “I first met Clairmonte when I was about 17 or 18 at BCC and I didn’t quite know who he was… but he came with a whole set of recordings of plays he acted in. He taught me the importance of documentation of plays in Barbados.” This is one aspect we are still trying to perfect.

Another valuable lesson came when Matthew’s studies in the Theatre Arts programme at BCC were cut short. Of course, you have to listen to the full episode of the podcast for that tea. Looking back at his brief stint there, we can sum it up as him not fully prepared for the world of tertiary education at that stage of his life. This is another story that we will dive deeper into at another time. For now, what valuable lessons in the arts have you learned? Drop a line below.

~ Jae is a passionate Theatre Practitioner and Educator with a Masters in Arts – Creative Arts and the Creativist of Theatre Convos. Find her via @theatreconvos

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