Create Your Own Door, & Open It…

When one door closes, another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell

Thank you for the great quote Mr. Bell.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about those opening and closing doors. I’ve been thinking about the doors that have opened in my life and the doors that have been kept tightly closed. I’ve been thinking about some doors I should have maybe NOT gone through. And, some, I thankfully did go through.

As much as I can, and as much as I remember, I try to pay attention to any dusty lights suddenly extending my way from open doors. Sometimes, I’ve walked into doors, forced my way through doors, and found some doors just way too heavy to open. (I got my finger badly damaged in a closing door twice in my life because I was still trailing my hand as the door closed…hmmm… “don’t linger while the door is closing behind you”?)

Recently, I’ve watched others fall back in shock as doors have slammed in their faces just when they thought they were almost through. (Quick…look behind you! Maybe another door is waiting!!)

Can you relate?

Or, maybe it looks like there are so many doors open in front of you and you have to choose which one is seemingly the correct one. This can feel like playing Russian Roulette.

Sometimes, we wait too long for doors to open. We wait, and wait, and wait. Especially as actors, or people in the arts in need of others for their work to advance. We hope and wait. We get that audition and we wait. We get the call back and we wait. We wait for the jury to jury. We wait for the interview results. We wait for someone to tell us that we can practice our art.

Frustrating? I’ll say! You give power to someone you don’t even know in order to do the work you are destined for or are hungry to do.

A friend of mine who is also an Oscar winning actress was seeking work and wasn’t finding it. (Yes.. even winning an Oscar doesn’t guarantee you work!) Finally, she decided to create her own one-woman play. As she put it… she needed a job! A long story short, the show became a huge success and was requested everywhere. She had created her own door, and opened it wide. More attention eventually came her way and, of course, she was offered more of the work she had earlier been pursuing.

I look to the those imaginative pilgrims who boldly stride forth, and fling their own doors open and not passively wait for others to do so.

With some resistance, I was forced to open my own door several years ago because of a back operation. I had been doing work on film sets in costumes to help fund my theatrical thespian adventures, but after a long period of rehabilitation, and some permanent nerve damage, I knew I couldn’t costume supervise any longer.

So, I got entrepreneurial and started my own business – Hot Scarves ‘n Stuff, a special scarf with heat pads that I had created on a film set. I learned all the “businessy stuff”, and even did a business plan, but most importantly, I learned that you must love and be passionate about the work, which keeps you going through the tougher times.

Hot Scarves on Display
Hot Scarves on Display

Well, I didn’t love my “scarfy” venture enough. Try as I might, I just couldn’t sustain excitement for a fleece scarf. (What WAS I thinking?!!)

But, it did lead me to another venture that I do love- my buffoonery workshops. I had to open one door so I could get to the second door, which I managed to open on my own. (Thank goodness for those ideas that come in the shower!) I am hugely rewarded during my workshops when I get to watch others blossom in their “bouffoness” and become freer beings having fun!

Bouffons in Action!
Bouffons in Action!

The next heavy door I’ve created and I’m slowly pushing open, and I mean slowly, is a theatrical piece I’m writing for myself. Fear is the weighty material of this door, but I know I have to do this, especially as you are witnessing this statement!

What about YOU? May I ask you if this subject stirs some deep projects that have been brewing for some time or are you already boldly throwing doors open for us to watch? (I guess we all open doors at different speeds.) Do you perform work that feels extraordinarily satisfying?

What do think? What is the door you need to create for you? (…buying a canvas, going to a poetry slam, playing at an open mic?) Are you waiting for something? What doors do you want to fling open?

I think I used the word door way too many times in this post, but, there are not too many synonyms for “door”! Wishing you well!

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8 thoughts on “Create Your Own Door, & Open It…

  1. James

    I agree with you completely about just doing what you want to be doing. For me, the work is easy (children’s book, adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, a series of watercolors in a gallery, currently writing a one man show) but the next steps are harder to locate. How do I move the product? Ummm, I don’t now. LOL.

    Sometimes I am afraid to go through the open door, because I’ll have to address a different set of “opportunities.” I’m sure that passion is a factor. Am I passionate about being embraced or received? The truth is I create or collect because I like it. Promotion leads back to that rejection/confrontation/waiting dilemma like auditions.

    I welcome feedback.

  2. Dane B. McFadhen

    Mine’s revolving…

    Great metadoor er…metaphor, Trilby!
    The worst door is the Dutch door. Your lower half strides on (depending upon which half is open) while the brain is stumped and waiting to catch up.

    I prefer screen doors. You can see what’s out there but the flies don’t buzz you into distraction.

    Dane

  3. trilbyjeeves

    Thanks for the comments,

    Dane,
    Thanks for the giggle! ADOOR more door metaphors…sorry couldn’t resist!

    James..
    Thank you for reading & commenting!

    I totally understand the secondary dilemma and also welcome feedback from others regarding this stage.

    By the way, congratulations on your projects… they sound wonderful!! Very inspiring.

    I guess I ask the same: is it a question of the unknown doors that open or not open once we take that next step, is it that we get comfortable between doors knowing we at least went through one of them, or do we just find promotion boring and uncreative?

    I’m trying to find a way to promote my work so that my journey is more fun, and not a daunting task. That in itself is a challenge but I seem to be finding a path through some of the social networking avenues, and, this blog!

    Just making myself write here has eased me “out”. I did it for me… and lo’ & behold, some people are enjoying it…. cool!!

    This is definitely worthy of more discussion!

  4. Trilby, well done woman! I think our lives as creatives involve many, many doors … they open and shut randomly sometimes, but Mr Bell’s quote – also plagiarised by Oscar Hammerstein in the book of Sound of Music … remember the Mother Superior saying something like this to Maria? But I digress – is spot on. It is quite normal for this to happen. What we need to do is to be alert to opportunity when it arises. Being a self-starter helps too of course, and you are clearly that.

    My own creative life journey is at a new stage and other doors are opening for me. The one I’d planned on opening is just a wee crack at the moment. Something entirely unexpected just threw back a great big door and said, ‘Come on in – where have you been?’ That’s the other lovely thing about the journey – not just the doors, but the winding path. And on that note I’ll stop mixing metaphors.

    Break a leg, whatever you do!

  5. I’m curious to find out what blog system you are using?
    I’m experiencing some minor security issues with my latest site and I’d like to find something more secure.
    Do you have any suggestions?

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