Years ago at the College of Marin, where I first got serious about learning harp, I took a Physical Education class from a teacher whose name I wish I could remember.

She was talking about swimming when said that every activity has two parts:  the effort and the glide.  And if you’re not riding on that glide, you’re not fully engaging in the activity.

I constantly ask myself: where is the glide in what I’m doing?

And I’m often frustrated that I think I’m missing the connection, focusing too much on effort,  inhibiting my glide.

Then just this morning, writing my weekly e-newsletter, I was explaining that I often do things to push me past my comfort zone, as a way of expanding as a performer. I found myself writing this:

I’m constantly trying to figure out how to engage more with my work or my instrument … So I’m constantly pushing myself — often into situations where I’m way out of my depth.

This pushing all happens off-stage, kind of like the flurry of pushing you give to a scooter or a skateboard … and the glide is what happens on stage.

BOOM!  Eureka!!!  I never knew that!  But I always knew that!

I always knew that the place I feel most free is between the opening note and the final applause of a show, but until this very moment, I didn’t know that that is my glide.

And while that doesn’t explain why I was recently inspired to wear a bathing cap on stage — it does explain I’m so driven to keep making that push.


My next show is Sat. Apr. 21, 2012 at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA. Click for more info or just go straight to buy tix.

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