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the dancer

I have learned that sharing personal experiences can help others find their own way, I hope this helps. Just one thing, before you read, imagine confidence and self esteem as a deep ocean you are swimming in.

As a child I learned how to protect myself from predators (conscious and unconscious) by sharing what I knew to be true (learned behavioral responses) in a way that challenged a predators belief system. My confidence and self esteem grew from this experience. After some years, eventually the strength in knowing myself diminished; it took many years of hard work to recover. The safety I learned from being silent in my young adult years crippled me in my early twenties. Then I got lucky at twenty-five. I fell into the best job ever – working on the stage as a tech (10 years). I was terrified of my first show call, sweating, eye twitching, shakey, all of it,… until a mouthy Brit belted me on headset. I stopped, took a breath, and used logic to change my behavioral response from imagined threat to stepping into a world of magic I dreamed about. A second win!

Years later I made my way to training as a ground rigger with the lead rigger (all males, almost no female presence in this department). August 2007 Matisyahu 311 show – a ground rigger is responsible for securing points to the grid (in the roof) by managing the stage (ground) activity and protecting the climbers (walking steel). A bright smile and a pair of lungs to halt the stage in one blow gave me passage to double and triple check load bearing weight. I was not in Kansas anymore, this was serious work! The training was going well. By lunch I saw an opportunity to run truss spot (sitting 40ft. above the audience to run a spotlight) I was thrilled! ADHD impulses kick in (many years before diagnosis) – I have climbed truss before to higher points, no problem. I am standing on the sub in the house, the audience is raging, I start climbing, the audience screams die! die!, I get to the truss, I need to lift my body up and over, right arm locks up – real tight, but inside, the crowd got to me – I had to come down – the tricky thing is, climbing that high means the only way to come down is by fall arrest, meaning I have to look like I am falling – I did it – the crowd roared, I stopped the headliner 3 minutes, I lost my chance at being a ground rigger. Within seconds I had to choose how I carried this fault. I came down strong, passed on the ladder, took a moment in the crew room, filed the paperwork – and by the end of the show I was back to lead ground rigger in training, shaken, alive, smiling, and stern with my voice on stage. There were death stares and the humility was real, I made a mistake and I owned it. A guy from the crew came up to me, close, held me with his eye and a grin, ‘you turned that around real good’ the crew respected you even after the fall. At the end, the lead rigger worked with me on a trauma followup – I am sharing this with you because you asked, how do you find yourself – I find myself over and over again by failing with courage, trusting what I know to be true and making adjustments from there.