To Learning to Chill Out

by Louise Hamill

I love lists.

I love making lists then crossing off lists then making a new list with the hold overs and newer items. I make lists of things to do at my day job, lists of things to do for my theatre company, lists for the grocery store and lists to make sure I remember to vacuum. If I had to create an all-encompassing life belief for myself it would probably be "If I write it down, it will happen." 

So what happens when you put such a Type A, "A+B=C" thinker in a room with a bunch of devised-theatre makers? I make a lot of faces and try to find the logic in everything, but I've also learned to chill the fuck out.

Since starting Project: Project with Jeff Mosser, I have received continuous inspiration to put down the pen and live in the moment. I've learned to think faster, to accept that feeling scared in improv exercises is not a bad thing, and that taking ye olde "yes and" attitude into all things makes all things better. 

I came into this company as an actor, and have emerged from our third show as... an actor. But between that I've ALSO written a monologue (what! I'm not a playwright!); researched the hell out of the Grimm Brothers and fugues (what! I'm not a dramaturg!); and created t-shirts and badges for our first show (whaaaat designing things!). Plus I think I've become a better collaborator and listener and art maker, so that's pretty cool too.

Isn't it great when you can see yourself as a very certain kind of person and then discover you can be that person and so much else too?