I think that diversity is
important in any setting. To use a colloquial phrase: "variety is the
spice of life." More so, diversity yields different perspectives on issues
that we have not thought about or encountered ourselves. I endeavor to
bring people together and focus on our similarities. Though people may
come from varying backgrounds, what can be counted on is a shared human
experience. I believe that it is this notion- shared experience- that can
make the world a smaller place. I believe that empathetic understanding of
struggle and the overcoming of it are important to cultural growth.
In teaching or directing,
I try to bring the uniqueness of the individual into the work that they
are performing. I also try to frame the work in a historical context where
appropriate. I am a big believer in looking at works through both the
period eye- seeing them in the context in which they were created -
and in understanding where a work fits in modern perspective.
variations, diversity also includes differences in opinion. I like to
think of the arts as a place for people of all backgrounds to find their
own means of personal expression. I believe in freedom of conscience and
the right of an individual to express themselves freely. This is of
course, the embodiment of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Concurrent with this philosophy, however, is the inevitability of
conflicting views. That is to say, while one is free to express their
views, that does not make them immune from reproach, which is another
person expressing their views.
their personal views sacred. It is important in any form of criticism to
realize this- especially in the arts- people will often take things
very personally. It is also important both for the artist to
understand the effects and ramifications of their work and for the
audience to understand the effect of their reaction. Context is always
Finally, it is crucial to
understand that while not everyone may agree on everything or anything,
everyone has a right to express their opinion. Everyone's opinion has
inherit value. Everyone deserves to be respectfully heard.