Andrea Vos-Rochefort

Clarinetist and Teaching Artist

Keep the channel open.

People often comment about tenacity, especially in the last two weeks as we watch the Olympics. In performance disciplines where so much hangs in the balance and four years of work can seem to disappear in mere seconds, it is easy to get discouraged. Our identity and self-worth often become intertwined with our performance and how it is received. Furthermore, artists always seek to present that most precious kernel of themselves, their personal interpretation, to be judged by others. How do you keep going? How do you put in the work every day? How do you take risks against incredible odds? How do you offer up your soul or your hopes and dreams again and again regardless of how they are received? My favorite source of inspiration comes from Martha Graham, an incredible dancer and choreographer. She said:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open." 

Thank you Martha :)