By Marcella Portugal, F13 Yr 1. Apprentice

When Alex said we were going to Boston, my mind was going a mile a minute. “My first touring show with Luna, What’s gonna happen? No pues – La muy fancy, Boston? What if I mess up?”  I remember having this discussion with myself on the Red Line. I thought about how much I wanted this to work and I did not want to fail. Then the train stopped short, I came back to reality, I took a breath and said to myself “shut up and get to work”. I remember asking Alex if she had any advice for the trip and she said the only way you’ll learn is to just do it. So here goes; My first trip with Luna.

PortugalHeadshotI am a paranoid flyer so I OVER PREPARE for EVERYTHING – I have always have been this way. I was so paranoid that instead of being a good colleague and taking the banners of the Latina women  for the Luna Unlaced set on the plane with me, I drove to Alex’s at 9:30pm the night before and dropped the off because  SOME HOW that was going to make my trip smoother, thus having a better performance the next day – Ay Marcellita :/

Kristiana and I would leave out of O’Hare at 8:30am. I got to the airport at 6:30am and stood in the security line. It took me a good 40 minutes to get through security but I finally made it through and arrived at my gate. Cool as a pepino.  20 minutes before the flight boards, Kristiana calls saying that she is not able to check in online and she is still sitting in traffic but she will be there soon. I am freaking out! I am looking at the clock thinking how am I going to delay the flight until she gets here without getting arrested. I can’t leave without Kristiana! I call her right as the flight was starting to board and she says she was past security and was on her way to the gate. Firstly, she made it through the line in 15 minutes – that’s amazing! Secondly, crisis averted. Gracias Virgencita!

We arrive in Boston. The reality of the situation settles and the nerves start to kick in. We take a cab and check into the hotel. I really want to enjoy Boston but I was having that internal struggle again. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that it was a big day for Luna. A show at Emerson College and it was going to be live streamed on HowlRound – No me Diga! I was focusing on all the factors that I have no control over.  I was running through my lines so much that I began to say the wrong lines to the wrong pieces. I was psyching myself out. As we were setting up to talk to the Arts Management class, I took a breath and told myself  “Shut up and get to work”. The only way I was going to get through this was by trusting these women that have entrusted me with these pieces. Instead of trying to control every possible outcome, I just allowed myself to trust in the work, the process, and each other. Be myself and do what I love. That is the only thing that Teatro Luna has ever asked. And I am lucky enough to say that is a first for me.

We got back to the hotel and I was getting ready for bed – and yet again my mind becomes my worst enemy “How can I do better next time?” “Is Luna going to ask me to do this again?” “Am I ever going to get the Airport Burlesque Choreo right?” At this point I was fed up with myself. In a moment of clarity I retort “Have you not been paying attention to this whole day? It’s not about you; it never has been. It’s about the work, it’s about getting the message across, it’s about the audience” Reflection. I couldn’t have asked for a better audience at Emerson. They were warm and receptive but most importantly, they were engaged in the work. For 60 minutes we were in solidarity; we were making ourselves aware of the struggle and hilarity that surrounds us.  For those of you who are artists, I can only equate the day to when art meets artist meets audience and everything is in sync. A holy moment – Alabanza! Alex was right – there is no other way to know what it feels like to tour than to just do it. The trip to Boston taught me that this journey I am embarking on is bigger than me.  As I move forward with my apprenticeship with Luna, take on more responsibility as an artist, when my mind starts questioning my motive; I will take a breath, maybe have a cocktail, and think “Shut up and get to work”

Want to watch the archived livestream of the performance? Click here to watch now.

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