How a mentor can alter someone’s perceptions on life, translated…
I met J in October of 2011, I believed that October is the most romantic and saddening month of the entire year. Autumn, a lot of the loves started, and, there are, a lot of the loves that, came to an end. The year I’d met J, I was only, with me, not with anybody else, not entered into someone else’s life, nor, exited from someone else’s life, thinking back, I liked myself back then, just taking it slow, dealing with the future as it comes, filled up with expectations.
J is a very experienced dancer, in that collaboration, he worked as if he were, the director of the show, trained us like professional dancers, made us practice hard. He’d demanded a lot of us, expected us to perform up to perfection. And, when I wasn’t at my best, I’d felt awful, that there was, NO way I can ever reach his expectations, and when I’m at my best, I was shocked, to find so much potential in myself.
someone who leads you to find your way, not my art…
He’d spent a lot of time, observing our bodies, personalities, abilities, and, helped make our traits stand out on stage, even those possibilities we weren’t aware are available to us. Maybe, a real teacher should be like him, a guide, a discoverer, that helps the students walk toward the unknowns of the future. The unknown is actually, quite colorful, and, how to turn that fear of the unknown, into something beautiful is, an important part of education.
I’d asked J, “If one day, you’d stopped creating, what, will you do?”, us actors seemed to ask this sort of questions to each other a lot, like reminding ourselves, that there are still, many possibilities in life out there for us to discover, to not get beaten. The effects were as asking a child what s/he wants to be when s/he grows up, the entertainment values from imagining, is way HIGHER than the possibilities of we can really, achieve.
J thought a long time, then, lightly told, “If I don’t create anymore, I may not live to live.”
All of a sudden, I’d felt goosebumps all over me, J looked like he would go through with it, not like how I’d told, that if I’m not acting, I’ll open up a small café somewhere.
One weekend, I’d spent two hours, getting from the southern districts of Taipei, to the Yunmen Dance Group stages, to see J and his performances. He said, that because he didn’t have any kids, so, all the performers, the dancers at his performances, became his children, he’d needed to make sure that he was, a huge tree, growing tall and strong, to shelter his children from the storms. Although, we’d not had collaborations together these couple of years, but, he was, like he’d said, acted like an older family member, looked out, cared for me. I sat in the audience, saw the light, shine in the eyes of the dancers that belonged in his troupe, I’d recalled, that back in 2011, as I’d stepped, onto the larger-scale stages, there was, that hint of nervousness in all the excitement, but how come, it’d felt like, lifetimes ago now?
someone who helps you achieve your goals and dreams in life, not my picture still…
Afterwards, I’d, walked up to J, we’d not said a word to each other, but, hugged each other tight. His body felt electric for some reasons, passed through his clothes, and onto my body, slowly, lightly, stimulated my heart. I watched that big tree of Yunmen Dance Troupe outside that’s lighted, with that small, unknown star right by it. If there’s someone I can NEVER live without in life, J would surely be the one who fitted in that slot.
So, this man is a mentor to you, and, he lived up to the role of a mentor for this woman too, he’d not taught her about dance, of creation, but also, shared his values about life, and this woman felt, that she wouldn’t be who she is without this man in her life.