headshot-jeila-smallTHIS IS A GUEST BLOG FROM Jeila Irdmusa.  Jeila is the featured soprano in the 2014 concert of my song cycles at Boston University,  “Mythic Women.”  You can read more about that project in this blog: Help Wanted! Concert Name.


index-DHC-TCAN-2014-v1-wDHC’s annual “Lose Your Blues” show is on Sat. Jan. 11th at 8pm at The Center of Arts in Natick, MA. This is a show that she raves about, and it always sells out. (Get your tix! )

As her new Artist Liaison, I went to the TCAN website to do some research, and I was blown away by their artistic mission…. Here’s my favorite part:

“We believe the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community.”

Only one sentence in, I had to stop and soak in the weight of what I’d read. I realized these two points answer a question I’ve never had a codified answer for: Why do we need LIVE art?

We need art in order to have a “complete human experience.”

And we need to experience it live because WE are alive. Art makes us experience something, whether it be an insight, a feeling, or a sense of connection to something larger than ourselves.

Live theater, especially, is immediate and imperfect. It’s not like television, where a gazillion people have seen it, and it’s all cleaned up – you’re seeing something real and raw. The beautiful, imperfect ‘mistake’ that takes your breath away- the one that would be removed if the work were editable – is still there.

You can crawl through that imperfect, real crack in expectation, to find your own inspiration. It’s there for you. Because live art is risky, and risks are thrilling for performers and audience members alike.

Risks are human. Live art is human.

We need art to “create a vibrant, healthy community.”

Art breeds connection. In being with our community and watching something together, there’s a tribal experience – no matter how dressed-up and civilized we may be. Theater is a reason to be together and feel together.

When communities meet in our community performance space, our experience of seeing real people make real art is heightened- this is something we can forget in movie theaters, online or on TV. It reminds us of how alike we are – It reminds us of our own need to create.

Artist Hugh MacLeod wrote, “…when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.'”

We are all children asking for our crayons back. SO, let’s take them back! Let’s make some art! Let’s see some art! Let’s get inspired.

One thing I hear over and over from people who come to DHC’s shows, or take her online courses, is that they come away inspired.  They don’t just come away saying, “Wow, I saw a great artist,” they come away saying, “I want to get my guitar out again!  I want to write again!  I want to do it myself!”

Mass culture is great and tuning into YouTube is great – but live theater is BEING THERE in the moment when inspiration sparks and hits.  It’s putting yourself right in that line of fire and letting yourself blaze from that spark.  

The Center for Arts in Natick, MA

The Center for Arts in Natick, MA

I hope you all take the opportunity to CONNECT with your community and get inspired at Deborah Henson-Conant’s “Lose Your Blues” Show at The Center for Arts in Natick, MA on Sat. Jan. 11th at 8pm.

Click for tix! And Join the Facebook Event!

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