We love to celebrate at Acting Manitou. We celebrate birthdays and holidays, and we also celebrate each other and the art we make here. We build relationships and community by celebrating the things that make us unique and different from one another, and also by celebrating those things that we have in common.
Celebrating each others’ victories (and failures), even seemingly small ones, is one of the things that makes Acting Manitou such a supportive, encouraging, and generous environment.
I remember my first summer as a camper in 2010. The moment I stepped off the bus I was met with cheers and excitement from the entire staff who were waiting with building anticipation for us to arrive. I knew that they were excited that we were there - I knew they were excited that I was there. That first night we celebrated the start of camp and I knew instantly that this place would be come my home, and these people would become my best friends. In my third summer as a camper, 2012, we celebrated at dinner on audition night when we found out that every single camper sang during the morning auditions. This might seem like a given at a theatre camp, but for many of these campers it was the first time they had ever sung in front of other people. They stepped out of their comfort zone and took a risk; they put themselves on the line, and trusted that we would be there to support them and to catch them if they fell. Celebrating each others’ victories (and failures), even seemingly small ones, is one of the things that makes Acting Manitou such a supportive, encouraging, and generous environment.
I hear over and over again, in the theatre communities I am a part of, phrases like “strong and wrong” and “sin boldly.” This mentality is exactly what we try to instill in our campers at Acting Manitou. We encourage our campers to make big choices in their creative processes, and we urge them to avoid censoring themselves for fear of being “wrong” or having an idea that they don’t think is good enough. Process is as important, if not more important, than product. Process is where we see our campers’ creativity flow and it is where we see them work and play with each other. At Acting Manitou, every idea is valued and considered, and our campers’ voices are present in all of the art we create throughout each session; and our theatre is unlike any other because of the unique perspectives of each and every one of our campers.
Process is as important, if not more important, than product.
As we move forward into the weekend, I encourage each of you to consider two things: first, where in your own life you find celebration? And second, how do you take risks in your own life? If you don’t take many risks, I challenge you to do one thing that scares you. You may fail, but you also may find that you succeed. Either way, at Acting Manitou we celebrate the risks you take and the mistakes you make, because without them we would not grow as performers and we certainly would not grow as people.