I asked this question on my Facebook Studio page and on Instagram this week. I am delving deeper into it in my own work, my life, my being.
Thank you for those of you who dared to engage and answer and share. It’s not an easy word.
Brene Brown defines it this way:
“To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect — and vulnerable. We have to believe that we are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are. I’ve learned that there is no better way to invite more grace, gratitude and joy into our lives than by mindfully practicing authenticity.”
So, authenticity is a doing; it is a being; it is a practice. So many layers, so many complexities, so many possibilities.
When you hear the word “authenticity” what comes to mind? What is the word association for you? Or the person? Or the behavior? What does it represent to you?
As many of you know, I have claimed for years, the hashtag #authenticvoice.
This is an association now to the work I continue to craft in the studio with my clients; the work I delve into with the blog; the presence I wish to create in the artistic community and beyond; the purpose of my own little corner and how it can matter there.
Authenticity creates safety, because there is integrity present.
Authenticity creates trust, because there is genuine compassion present.
In our business of theatre, we see the extremes - the truly authentic, the pretending to be authentic, and the phony. We see and experience truth, and we see and experience falsehood & ignorance.
I truly believe that the more we seek the authenticity of self, of craft, of our work, the more it reveals itself to us and through us.
As you are well aware, if you know me, work with me, have read the blog, you know I question, and I seek. I don’t believe anything is in statis if it’s real: it must constantly be evolving in order to meet the complexities it reveals.
Authenticity has that quality: it is a living, breathing, continuing to evolve process within each of us, as we continue to reveal what is real.
And so, I do not give you an absolute definition. I cannot tell you what your authenticity is. I can, however, offer you permission to keep exploring what it means to you; how it could reveal itself to you through your voice, your craft, your permission;
And, I can encourage you to keep seeking, discovering and evolving to live in whatever that authenticity is today, and how you choose to share it in YOUR corner.
And so I shall.
It’s not perfection. It’s the ability to be precisely where you are, and see it, and claim it.
Wherever you are, be there.
Whoever you are, BE THAT.
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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