Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

I’m sitting across the table from one of the Program Coordinators at a prestigious East Coast University. I know this programmer well as she has booked me every year for nearly a decade to perform LOVELAND and teach my Write Your Life Workshop. This year though, she says, “Ann, I’m so sorry, but you can’t perform LOVELAND here anymore. The last time you performed, you triggered several students.”

I feel as if I have just been sucker-punched. Trying to understand, I ask, “What part of the show triggered them?” but as soon as I ask, I realize it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to be allowed to perform on campus anymore. She goes on to say how much the university values my week-long Workshop program, where I teach the students to speak their truth on the page and stage. But my story will be silenced. The hypocrisy makes me cringe. I walk out of her office and head to the nearest bathroom to cry.

I think about all the times in which I have performed LOVELAND on that campus. Those performances were some of my favorites, as the college kids got every nuance of the show and many stayed after each performance to share with me their own stories of loss in our post-performance workshops. It reinforces how I love performing and sharing stories with young audiences; it broke my heart to be told No.

Three hours later I’m back at the hotel, numbing out with vending machine goodies and watching Dirty Dancing on TMC. I should turn it off as I’ve seen it at least a dozen times, but I wait for the moment where Patrick Swayze says to Jennifer Grey, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner,” and he clasps her hand, they take the stage, and the rest is history, happy ending complete.

As I’m watching this, I remember all the times I’ve been told No and how each time, it’s fueled me to take the stage in a new way. It usually doesn’t happen right away because I often treat myself to a fabulous pity party first. Then, eventually, an idea comes - a new idea born out of the No. This time, I play the Wouldn’t It Be Nice game (thank you Abraham-Hicks) and think…"Wouldn’t it be nice to have my own venue where I can do whatever I wanted, when I wanted and live there too…" 

And then voila! it happened. A beautiful venue on Kauai’s North shore was offered to me. I just signed the first lease for a property ever in my life. I can and will host retreats and perform year-round on this magical island with only one rule - Nobody puts anybody in a corner. The center will be liberating, free of censorship, and infused with Aloha. More details will come in the next newsletter, but if you have a project you are working on or want to create something new, keep this in mind -- In the midst of preparing for 2018’s Kauai schedule, I’m excited to offer something else new and different -- One on One time with me, in Kauai, at my new digs, and you can bring a friend(s), too!  If this sounds like exactly what you’ve been waiting for, then look at your calendar and let me know.  I would love for you to come create in paradise, and you’ll have me all to yourself.  

Ann Randolph3 Comments