“Ignoring your passion is slow suicide. Never ignore what your heart pumps for. Mold your career around your lifestyle, not your lifestyle around your career.” -Kevin Claiborne.
Annie Saunders is, at this point in my life, the oldest friend that I've kept in touch with. We actually see each other fairly often, given our busy schedules. Which can sometimes be tough because she travels all over the world in an effort to continue her passion producing live performance art.
Annie and I met in junior high school just outside of Oakland in Northern California. I'd moved to the suburbs with my family when I was going into fourth grade and by that point many of the cliques and friendships had already been formed and I was established as an outsider. In seventh grade Annie showed up to school in all her dramatic outsider glory and somehow we became good friends. Shortly after we started high school our paths went separate ways, and yet somehow they continued to come back together over the years.
Annie can create something where there was nothing before. She can take a look at an old warehouse in downtown Los Angeles and see the perfect setting for "a site specific, immersive, experimental" Tennesse Williams mash up theater creation known as "The Day Shall Declare It". She will fly off to perform underwater in huge tanks that resemble fishbowls in a show called "Holoscenes" which is a public art installation with performers. Or spend a month in London working with choreographers for a show shes creating. Or. Or. Or. You get it, shes busy. She's one of those people that operate on a level of creativity that's a little bit different than our own, and that's something we should absolutely celebrate.
As much as we stress over our lives, I see Annie as having an understanding of what kind of work/art truly fulfills her and that's exciting to see. I've never heard "I hate this part of the process" out of her. She knows what it takes to make something truly magical, and however frustrating I'm sure the process is. She makes sure to keep it well hidden and out of sight with the hopes that people will get lost in the moment with her. If she does "The Day Shall Declare It" again, and it's near you, and you miss it? You're a damn fool.
“To play a wrong note is insignificant; To play without passion is inexcusable.” ― Ludwig Van Beethoven