Sunday, February 22, 2015

Open Lab: Identity and Belonging

I'm so excited to be part of the upcoming production, Open Lab: Identity & Belonging, at Cal! The play will be about breaking the silence regarding issues such as immigration, mental health, sexuality, race, and class.

How much more *Berkeley* can we get, right?! :)

As a warm-up at one of our rehearsals last week, we had a writing exercise in which we had to answer these three questions (FYI this is raw & unedited writing) -

1)   When I look at myself in the mirror, I see...
2)   When I don’t have a mirror, I see...
3)   People often say I look…

1)   When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a young Armenian-American woman who is doing her best to make a difference in the world. I see confidence—though I am unsure of myself and the future at times. I see my Greek-Armenian grandfather’s big brown eyes, my mother’s eyebrows, my father’s smile, my Romanian-Armenian grandmother’s stubborn and prideful personality.
I see an artist, a deep-thinker, and a lover of all. I see a daughter of the 1.5 million who lost their lives during the Armenian genocide in 1915. I see a victim. I see a survivor. I see a daughter of God.

2)   When I don’t have a mirror, I see the world that is around me. On a good day, I see beauty, even in madness and uncertainty. I see different people and I appreciate their uniqueness. I see nature and appreciate her stillness. Though I don’t see the wind. I appreciate it, and as I feel the wind, I begin to consider the presence of God that is around me and I honor Him.

3)   People often say I look…People tend to say all kinds of things, and I am human, and words do mean something, so of course I will be affected by what people say. Some people say that I am beautiful, that I have beautiful eyes, beautiful hair—they compliment my physical attributes. Do they really mean it? Is that all they see when they look at me? I do think I am beautiful, but why am I surprised when others think so, too?
Other times, people will catch me in the moment and say I look like I am really concentrated, stressed out, or in deep thoughts. They’re usually right. You need to relax, they say, stop stressing. But what they don’t know is that they’ve just opened up a new jar of thoughts that will occupy my mind for the next few minutes, maybe hours. I can’t help it (at least not right now).

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