Within you is an ocean of creativity so why aren’t you riding your wave?


Why are you so fearful, child?

Why do you struggle to acknowledge your achievement? Why are you so willing to listen to the lies in your head that tell you that what you’ve done is not enough?
Child, within you is an ocean of creativity. You know it. You can feel the waves surge in your heart. Occasionally, you bravely ride a wave, enjoying the exhilaration of creating something that is unfettered by the opinions of others. You trust yourself and release the passion in your heart.
But so often you just stand on the beach and watch as others ride the waves. You applaud their efforts (you’re wonderful like that) but your waves go unridden.
Why? Are you afraid you will fall?
You will. That’s ok. Everyone does. But then you get back up and catch the next wave, learning something that makes your next ride even better.
Falling does not make you a failure.
Falling is just an action, a consequence of trying, creating, dreaming. Don’t give up those things without a fight. Get back up and ride the next wave. And the next. And the next, until you fall less often. Until you find it easier to get back up. Until you are not so frightened of the whole falling thing. Keep going.
Are you afraid other riders will see you fall?
And what? What do expect will happen when others see your creation?
Why do you care so much?
Did you create only for others or for yourself? Are you really, only creating to show others that you can? Is that what ignites your heart? Really?
Remember the last time you created, the last time you caught a wave. Do you feel it? The exhilaration. That inexplicable joy that took on a physical life of its own and threatened to overwhelm you. It was tangible, wasn’t it. You could barely contain yourself. It didn’t matter if the audience applauded. Right then you were keenly aware that you had created something for yourself and you were proud.
You, and you alone, know the challenges you overcame, the sacrifices you made, the courage you found to ride that wave. Only you.
You know what I’ve learned? Others who ride their waves and create with you know and appreciate your effort. They get it. They have done it and cheered you on as you caught your own wave. But there are those in this world that will only ever stand on the beach, unwilling to take the risks you did. They’ve become entangled in the net of other people’s opinions, and they’re drowning. They flail around, passing opinions, trying to stay afloat but, they’re slowly drowning.
These are not the people you should be listening to, child.
Listen to the other riders. The creators who know to keep their eyes on the wave not the beach.
You cannot control the world around you, child. But you must learn to function in it. Decide how you want to be, how you want to ride the wave, create. Find your tribe and ride with them, encouraging and being encouraged. Ignore the voices of the beach dwellers.
Ride. Create. Constantly.
Get up when you fall.
Get up.
Get up.
That ocean of creativity inside you isn’t going anywhere. It’s yours.
Get in and ride your wave.
If you missed the last one, another is coming.

Sherryl-Lee Secomb is An Idiot On Stage. The Idiot exists to encourage and equip community theatre to expect more and be extraordinary.

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Go out and come back in again!

Have you ever considered how much we, as theatre creatives, experience ‘letting go’?
We’re constantly letting go of:
  • Expectations – how we envisaged our experience of a show would be;
  • Auditions – shows or characters we auditioned for and didn’t get;
  • Shows – ‘post show blues’ anyone?
  • People – not everyone we share a stage with is meant to be a lifelong friend.
I don’t think we realise how much we let go of. It can sometimes feel like we live in a constant state of grieving. We either learn to process this grief or we’re overwhelmed by it, allowing it to affect our relationships and stifle our creative growth, clinging to the familiar to avoid more pain. We end up stuck, in avoidance, never reaching our potential.
A few months ago, I buried my grandmother, a woman whose life made my own look like I lived under a rock. She was a theatre actress and director, an inspiration and teacher to myself and many others over a 60 year career. As I sat listening to the tributes from actors she had directed over the years, the same phrase kept coming up.

“Go out and come back in again.”

Over and over, this phrase was repeated until I felt like Granny was speaking directly to me.
“Sherryl-Lee, go out and come back in again.”
Pondering this phrase over the last few months, I realised something. Going out and coming back in again, implies change. You’re not meant to come back in as you left. You’re meant to spend your “off time” considering your position, your choices and how you want to move your character (life) forward. If you come back in exactly the way you left, you’ve missed an opportunity.
Coming back in doesn’t need to involve some massive revelation. It may simply be a choice to improve your performance skills, consistently arrive on time to rehearsals or be more positive in your self talk.
The decision to go out and come back in again is also not a one off action. You do it constantly throughout life. This allows us to accept failure as part of our process, instead of the enemy most of us view it as. If you get something wrong, simply go out and come back in again – and be better.
Granny, I’m going out and when I come back in, I’ve determined to be braver, more protective of my time and, in honour of your courageous approach to life, refuse to make decisions based on what I think others want of me.
One day, I want my tributes to say, “she went out and came back in – fierce!”


Sherryl-Lee Secomb is An Idiot On Stage. The Idiot exists to encourage and equip community theatre to expect more and be extraordinary.

Check out more of the Idiot:

anidiotonstage.com.au   |   facebook   |   instagram   |   pinterest


Be a courageous donkey rider, not the donkey!

Blog graphic

I see you.

I see you hiding.

I see you hiding behind your big laugh; your awkward attempts to enter the community you so desperately want to belong to.

I see you hiding behind the safe wall of conformity, doing what you’ve always done because it doesn’t ask you to risk anything.

I see you holding it together because your anxiety feels like it’s going to expose you as the fraud you believe you are.

I see you, and if you want to continue hiding, that’s ok. But if you are tired of hiding; if you know you have more to offer or you simply want to explore the possibilities; to sit on the edge and contemplate what it would be like to try, then I will be there.

I will be that person who provides the booted foot up your behind when you consider giving up because you didn’t get the role you auditioned for.

I will be that person who faithfully reminds you that perseverance and study are the keys to success, not a pretty Instagram feed, or that review that told you that you were God’s gift to the stage.

I will be that person who brings the truth of your potential as a performer into your self defeating conversation, and when you’ve sat too long in the camp of self pity, I will arrive on my trusty donkey, raise my sword up high and shout, “Get up, you ass! You’ve got a lot still to try and the time is now!” (Rides awkwardly away on donkey).

Where the heck did you get the idea that this was going to be a smooth run? Life is an endless tech week, an amazing blend of euphoria and horror, held together with the threads of a script that often feels as if it’s been written in a foreign language.

But what’s the alternative for you? If you didn’t have something to create, what would you be doing? Yes, sometimes you need to get off that stage and allow other areas of life to take top billing but, my dear, it’s time to change the show. It was wonderful. Now turn the page on this masterpiece and move on.

You see, you’ve convinced yourself that you’re no longer able, that there isn’t a role for you in the next section of this massive production going on around you. You’re hiding again, protecting yourself with the lie that your time has passed.

Stop hiding and accept that you can’t play the same character all through life. The show changes. Lean into the change, equip yourself to play a new character. It will take time and energy, perseverance and courage but your alternative is spending your entire life as a ‘wing dweller’. Don’t you want to feel the warmth of the spotlight again?

You know you do. Standing on that stage, looking out into the house and drinking in that inexplicable joy (cue inspirational music and cinematic pan shot).

You mustn’t stop learning. Stay open to each new season and surround yourself with people who will encourage you; a bunch of courageous donkey riders who will raise their swords for you, yelling truth, and reminding you that you’re never finished.

Not until that final curtain.

And even then you’re not leaving quietly!

Cheers, Sher.

Sherryl-Lee Secomb is An Idiot On Stage.

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“Encouraging and equipping community theatre to expect more and to be extraordinary!”