A Liminal Space

Cody Nickell HeadshotCody Nickell is Gulfshore Playhouse’s Artistic Associate. He will be blogging every Tuesday throughout the 2014-2015 Season.

I find myself for a very brief moment in a space between projects. The Mountaintop has just begun its journey in front of audiences, and my part of that march has now come to an end. The satisfaction of bringing that story to our stage is living warmly inside my bosom (not sure I have used that word in this blog to date, and clearly the need to rectify that is at hand), and I have spent the last 24 hours since opening night reflecting on all the elements that went into making the show such a wonderful success.

However, just over the horizon is Body Awareness, our second show of the season and a play that I am also directing. We begin rehearsals this Friday, and I must make the transition rather quickly from one play to the next. I am trying to make that transition include a moment where I am not rooted in either play very firmly, but living in between, like the moment between sleep and waking where some of the most profound realizations about one’s current state can be made.



In this liminal state, I hope that I can reflect upon the failures and successes of my portion of The Mountaintop and continue to learn about my process as a director, a theatre maker, and a member of the Gulfshore Playhouse family. With The Mountaintop‘s journey to the stage already beginning to recede into memories, as all of our creations in this incredibly ephemeral art form ultimately do, it behooves me to look as closely as possible at the receding images, disappearing almost like retinal burns, and retain as much of them as possible. However, this must be done quickly, as I have to set my sights firmly on the tangible and real images that I will begin tackling on Friday with Body Awareness.

But in this singular moment, before I plunge headfirst into the depths of Body Awareness, I can take a moment to be purely reflective. Nothing is real right at this moment. My directing of The Mountaintop is in the past, a memory, and my directing of Body Awareness is in the future, full of hope and imagination. For the very brief time that those two statements can be true, I will be able to look at what I did in one situation, and plan how that will affect the upcoming journey. A moment to metaphorically gird my loins, if you will (pardon me as I take a divergent leap into the rabbit hole, but I added “gird my loins” in here because I saw something on FB today explaining that it basically means to tie up the loose ends of your long tunic-like dress into a diaper/shorts type deal for battle or strenuous labor. I had thought it was something vaguely sexual, but apparently it is closer to “put your big-boy pants on…”).

Mental preparation is such a huge part of my process in the theatre, whether as an actor or director, or even as a grant writer. Getting my ducks lined up mentally before I open my mouth is something I find I need to do to make sure that the things coming out of my mouth are as beneficial to everyone’s process as possible. So I am thankful for this day. Tomorrow is another day and another project. But today, I am neither here nor there. I am in between.

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