photo via Joe Foley
We were able to play with the airbrushes this weekend, and the results were pretty damn lovely.
Being in a directorial position (I am AD for the troupe out here) has been an eye-opening experience: instead of focusing on my own experiences and feelings as I step back into Gaia's slippers, my eyes have been turned outward towards the fledgling faeries just finding their footing in the world. There were times in the beginning of the rehearsal process when this served to separate me from myself, to divide my brain in half so that I couldn't feel truly present in either role. But, in the last few weeks I have started to really feel like "Mom Faery" to them, and Saturday afternoon was the most poignant example of that.
I should start by explaining that although my director and I painted everyone else, neither of us got painted (naturally!). I was also unable to put on any of my costume, as it is still being resized for me. So, as we set out into the world late Saturday afternoon, I was the only member of the group that looked, for the most part, human. As we walked to a grassy area to center ourselves and start to play, I worried that this would make me feel less of a faery, especially as I looked out at the others in beautiful shades of pink and green and yellow and grey. We all stepped into our parts, and I took a deep breath of nature and tried to put my humanity aside.
At first, I struggled. I looked inside and kept feeling jarred by the thought of my clothes and bare face, wondering what observers thought seeing me amoung the colorful group. Then, I stopped thinking, stopped listening to that voice, and I looked out. I looked at my fae. I saw them crawl along the ground, flowing through the space gracefully with skin like painted porcelain. I saw them climbing the trees like the world was new, and this was their first time in it. And, I stepped into their moment, and felt Gaia come over me. I might not have been in costume or makeup, but just then I didn't feel like I needed them; I was in the character, in the moment. It was like watching a child on Christmas morning, and remembering what it felt like to be them; I was experiencing, for just a few moments, what it felt like to be a faery through the eyes of the others.
I am so excited for the season to start; we have such a wonderful group of faeries, and I cannot wait for them to experience what it means to be a Fantastickal in the eyes of the children who will come to play with them. And, I cannot wait to experience that too.