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The Artist’s Commitment

 

I promise to always remember my power, love, and intelligence as an artist,

and the vital role that artists have played in every culture and time.

I will never again invalidate any artist,

including myself, or any work of art, but rather ally myself with all artists to end our economic oppression,

and enthusiastically encourage the creativity of every human.

 Rational Island Publishers developed by the Re-evaluation Co-counseling Community

The next person to speak to this is noted storyteller, author and coach Jay O’Callahan. 

Jay O’Callahan has performed with acclaim at Lincoln Center, at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and other theatres around the world, at the Olympics, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and on National Public Radio. Time Magazine has called his work “genius.” NASA commissioned Mr. O’Callahan to create and perform a story to celebrate NASA’s 50th anniversary. He Performed the resulting work, Forged in the Stars at space centers across the country, in Cape Town, South Africa For the International Astronautical Congress, and in New Zealand. Michael Eastwood from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, “O’Callahan captured the soaring human spirit of our work.” Forged in the Stars was also broadcast nationally on PRI’s Living on Earth.

The National Endowment of the Arts awarded Jay a fellowship for solo performance excellence. In addition he has received awards for his performances, books, CDs and DVDs from the National Education Film Festival, Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals, Parents’Choice, NAPPA, New England Theater Conference and UNESCO. He leads creativity workshops for corporations, universities, law firms and private groups. www.ocallahan.com

On a personal note, I have known the work of Jay before I knew Jay.  It is hard to say what happens when Jay is working.  He knows the value of silence before sound so that sound is poignant.  He treats each performance with extra care so that he can be ready for the invitation of story.  Most of all, he is reflective not only of his work but really listens to others.  He knows the inherent value of always building from  where you are now and where you can be.  Most of all, he does all this with care and passion.  He is attuned to the story, audience,and the tale.   He is a true testament of what it means to be fully involved in the work of the telling and the joy that comes from when  you know it is done well.

Jay’s words:

Storytelling has been the work of my life. An artist explores life in any way that he or she can. My gift is creating stories to tell. That means I use sound, gestures, silence, movement, dance, song, all to create images and characters and scenes. When I was beginning I read one of the Noh Masters in Japanese theater who said he would rise each morning and work on a gesture. I admired the sense of commitment and have tried to follow suit. Each work is a new world and I stay with it until the story seems to be whole, and that can take a commitment of two or three years. So I’ve stayed with it and it’s been a great gift.

 

Feel free to leave a comment for others to read or send me your response to Jay’s message or your own commitment as an artist.

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