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Beginnings Pt10

Updated: Jan 13

I won’t get into the particulars, but let’s just say due to my upbringing I developed a personality that is very co-dependant with an “All In” mentality. This is only something that I have just recently come to understand about myself with the help of much therapy. As a result, I can now check myself when these tendencies kick in. Unfortunately in 2007 and 08 I was completely unaware of my unhealthy behaviour. In fact I thought that my overly committed, abandon all else in my life to help Edward, focus was a character trait that was not only appropriate but a sign of loyalty. Therefore, I zealously involved myself in making “The Insects” a successful show. I went shopping with Edward for costumes, altered costumes and even volunteered my unused Lululemon clothes to help with what could not be afforded. (My unworn, tags still on, Lululemon stock was embarrassingly substantial. Yes I was an addict. But in my defence, Lulu on eBay was much cheaper 15 years ago). I also offered to forego my salary if it put too much of a strain on the company finances. I offered my mother’s time share as a place to stay when in Florida so we didn’t have to pay hotel prices. I volunteered to hand out flyers, and send out invites to agents and performance industry people. I fully enmeshed myself into Tripsichore and forsook pursuing any other life outside of those parameters. I was an emotional, unhealthy maniac! And by this time I had no friends around me to check me and let me know that I was giving too much. I had centred my whole life around making the vision of Tripsichore that Edward and I talked about a reality. In truth I didn’t want to be checked by anyone because one; they wouldn’t understand, and two; all would be worth it in the end.

Unfortunately, even with all the effort that Edward and I put in making the Arts Depot show a success not many people attended the performance. Part of that was my fault. I made a big mistake and thus, learned a huge lesson. About a month before the show Toby had a group of 20 drama school friends who wanted to attend for half price discounted tickets. Edward wasn’t sure what to do about such a huge discount for so many people so he asked my advice. Having much success in marketing myself as a yoga teacher to studios and private clients without compromising on my price, I advised him against it. I remember telling him, "For one or two but not for twenty.” In my defence, I had never been to a Tripsichore performance before and got the impression from Edward that the full house David Sunshine delivered in Dallas was typical for Tripsichore Performances. But I was wrong in my assumption and as the performance date came closer we had only sold roughly 25 tickets. I greatly regretted advising Edward to reject Toby’s offer. As 20 more filled seats at whatever price is better than 20 empty seats when your on stage looking out at an almost empty auditorium. This experience revealed to me that not only did Tripsichore not have a substantial fan base, but also the success in Dallas was mainly due to David’s connections in the local art and yoga world. As a result we performed to to a crowd of about 30 people in the Arts Depot’s small theatre of 148 seats.

After the Arts Depot’s depressing turn out, I grasped that to make Tripsichore’s future shows the success we imagined, Edward and I needed to step up our game in marketing and promotion. Something I had no idea about and it seamed neither did Edward. Therefore, the weeks following the Arts Depot performance, I asked him about hiring help for the next show, and possibly for future workshops. He was very negative in his response, blaming the low turn out to being a misunderstood artist as opposed to not having a team of knowledgeable and capable people to handle the promotion and marketing. It was becoming clear that Edward not only did everything himself, but he wanted to do everything himself, regardless of his lack of skills in certain areas. And this was something that I would note over and over again during our relationship. I would be in conversations with him and enthusiastic supporters who saw the struggle of the company, wanted to help, saw where they could, offered their professional services gratis, and Edward would politely decline. Once, after turning down an offer for a free professional website design from an avid Tripsichore Yoga student in Boca Raton, I asked him “Why?” Because the website……….It needed it! To which he replied, “It wouldn’t be free for long. Just when they realise that we depend on them, then they will begin to charge astronomical prices that we can’t afford.” And I got it then, and still get it now, but I thought then, and still do now that being upfront and honest at the beginning about not being able to pay would mitigate that problem even if a contract or statement can be signed to that understanding. But, then I also thought that maybe I don’t know what I was talking about. So I stopped pushing and left it in Edwards hands .

It was a good time to realise that Tripsichore was a one man organisation, and always would be, but some how my emotionally damaged mind couldn’t see it. What I saw was that I needed to double down, and keep at it, and together, Edward and I could make it work and rise to the top of whatever ladder there was in my imagination. I had found a cause that I loved and believed in, and I felt useful. Codependency or Saviour Complex, I’m not sure which I was suffering from. Maybe a bit of both. And so I got used to performing for smaller and smaller crowds and in the end instead of admitting the truth that to grow we needed professional business help, I started to adopt Edwards excuses as my own. We were just misunderstood artists, ahead of our time, which is why we weren’t able to gain traction and start growing. But then didn’t they say that about the man who gave us the hit song "1999" in the year 1982? So, how the hell do we all know who the fuck Prince was?

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