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S2 E6 with Micah & Delia

Micah: Welcome everybody on this, uh, lovely Wednesday. Um, my name is Micah with Grey Box Collective and this is Any Other, Anythings season two. Um, we're super pumped to be back. I am here, um, with Delia and we are super excited to get the conversation rolling.

Delia, how are you today? How are you feeling? Uh, what's on your mind?

Delia: Mm. Um, I'm doing well this morning. I sort of rolled out of bed, um, and was like, oh, I get to start my day off by having a lovely conversation. So that's wonderful. From the

Micah: board trip. Honestly. Love that. And to be frank, I was the exact same way rolled out of bed this morning.

Micah: We're both on the East coast, so like it's definitely, you know, not as early as the West Coast obviously, but we know everyone is still in bed over there. So, um, maybe a little bit jealous. Uh, but yeah, lovely to, to meet you. Um, I know we haven't worked together. Uh, Worked with Grey Box, um, but um, haven't actually worked with each other directly.

Um, I am curious, like how did you get connected with Grey Box, um, and what has been your experience just in a bigger picture?

Delia: Yeah, so I really found out about what Grey Box does first because I had Molly as a professor, it was one of those like quarter semester classes. We didn't really get to chat and she didn't really directly, um, talk about what Grey Box was, but I got to experience how she, um, I like looking back, I got to experience how she works in a trauma informed way through that class.

And then as COVID was ramping up and things were happening in inside, I found out about the trauma informed creative practices trainings that they were having, the virtual classes. And so that's sort of what drew me in. I took all of those virtual sessions and then when.

Last season opened up. I submitted the little Google Doc to join and I haven't been able to participate in the work as deeply as I wanted to.

Micah: This is gonna be the season where I, um, am a little bit more hands on in a creative process. That's awesome. That's awesome. Sweet. So yeah, I know you mentioned, uh, I've always been really intrigued by Molly's, you know, vision and idea behind creating a space for trauma informed creative practices, which is, you know, what you kind of brought up a little bit later there.

Micah: Um, that's such an interesting phrase to me, and I'm curious as to like, what your thoughts on, on like what does trauma. Creative practice actually mean? Like how do you conceptualize that? How do you understand what that process is, um, and what the practice is for you?

Delia: I feel like trauma-informed, creative practices involves, um,

one, it's being in a space in which the way that you make the. Is essential to the, um, of the work. I think we're always in that space, but it's, um, that dichotomy is recognized and really intentional. Um, I come from primarily a, a dance background and there are a lot of times in dance creative processes at the very least.

Um, No, I think this has happened in my theater experience, this too, where you're asked to sort of dig up really personal experiences as a way to connect with a theme or a character, but then there isn't necessarily that care, um, enforced in that, in that process where you, you just sort of, you. Dig out these deep, um, painful things for the sake of the art.

And then, and then you just have to deal with it after. So I feel like mm-hmm. , uh, engaging in trauma informed creative practices is one. Um, if you are creating really personal, painful work, then it's setting yourself up. Not, not just open the wound, but then close the wound and be in the most sterile environment possible.

Or, um, it also gives permission for everyone to show up in a space where they're at for that day. Mm-hmm. , um, rather than this, leave everything at the door, um, type of mentality.

Micah: Yeah. Yeah. That's really cool. I I do love that. And there is something about, uh, I, I think that's been a conversation, especially throughout COVID that's becoming more and more prevalent.

Just the idea that it's really a, uh, like to what degree do we make art at the expense of the artist, right. And exactly what you. When we have something like this, um, like Grey Box Collective, a group that does trauma informed, uh, creative works. Uh, obviously when we're going through these processes, it's not, whatever it takes for the show must go on, right?

It's more so, um, We realize the damages that have been done. Uh, we realize that we all have our own struggles. And um, yeah, there really is a sort of meeting in the middle, a kind of understanding as far as a mutual understanding between all of the creative team as well as our collective audience. Um, that.

It's okay if things aren't perfect, it's okay if things are messy. Um, cuz that's how life is. Uh, it's imperfect, it's messy. So that's, I I really love that, uh, point of view. Um, I am curious, I know you spoke on the fact that, you know, you've done a few workshops with Molly and um, obviously that, you know, Molly was also your instructor.

I am curious, like, um, how was that experience? Cause I know a lot of the Grey Box team, um, has been very. involved with Molly in a performance way or as a director, but I'm curious as to how your experience was with her in, in the educational, uh, setting primarily so far. Hmm.

Delia: Well, I think that, um, I would say that the scope of that particular class, the college class, was necessarily. It was more of, um, make sure these people who are about to graduate have a plan for what their final project will be. Um, so that was, I guess it makes sense to me that that would be a, that Molly would be in because it's less. I have this knowledge and I'm telling you what to do with it. And it was more, um, of Molly creating the container for us to investigate what our own needs were for our mm-hmm. for this project that we were developing.

Um, and then in terms of those, the virtual training sessions, Taught by Molly, Chris, and,

oh my goodness, Sarah. I've worked with Sarah more than anybody, but for some reason

Micah: All good .

Delia: Um, yeah, so the virtual training sessions with Molly, Chris, and Sarah. Were interesting because the content was coming in, what was being shared, but it was also being coming in the way that it was being shared. So it allowed you or the participants to engage on multiple levels, sort of, um, the experience of how.

Space was set up, what steps we went through. You know, there was that very clear, we're all gonna check in, we're going to do some kind of grounding activity, body activity. There's this sort of warmup experience. There are opportunities to reflect throughout. So that structure was. Discussed as the, the learning objectives, but also upheld in the very way that they structured the time.

And that was really exciting because it just, yeah, it allowed a lot of different to get into the work.

Micah: That's awesome. I love that. I love that. Um, yeah. Uh, funny enough, I was just about to ask, speaking of check-ins, um, that's something that I really do appreciate as well. Again, really going back to the idea of meeting somewhere where they're at.

Um, I am doing this all outta order, but you know what? We live in the draft. Um, so, uh, I would love to just do a quick check in with you. Um, I know we, uh, kind of did a quick touch in at the very beginning, but, um, uh, yeah, if, I guess we're gonna make this a two-prong question, we'll say. Um, is there a favorite check-in that you've experienced, uh, whether it's within Grey Box Collective or with your experiences alongside Molly or just in life that you've experienced?

Uh, if there's a check-in that you really do enjoy or just something that really grounds you or warms you up whenever you're entering a creative space, uh, is there one that you really enjoy? Um, and if so, we'll use that warmup check in grounding activity, um, just as. Our check in with one another, um, as we continue to chat here.

Delia: Yeah, I think that the main Grey Box check-in that I've experienced has been, are there any need to knows or care to shares? I, I do like that phrasing because it, um,

It's not asking you to give more than information than you're willing to, which can be nice sometimes for that permission.

But this morning I'm thinking about a check-in that I have done in another artistic group called Breaking , where we would always start with what? What is something you need today and what is something you can offer?

Um, and it's always cool to see how naturally sometimes people needs and offerings line up and help us to come into the, the space with a sense of reciprocity.

Micah: Yeah. Yeah. I, I love that. I actually, I really resonate with the, the. The idea of offering something, especially in a creative space, um, there's, it's, it's sometimes a pretty delicate balance sometimes, uh, when you're being directed or coached or whatever, um, in a, in a creative space, especially, um, where sometimes it does feel like if you try something, And then maybe someone else in the space wants to try something else.

Um, it, there's, I don't know, there's these preconceived notions of like, oh, uh, okay, great.

We tried that. Now can we try this? Um, to like, there, I feel like for me there's always been some weird connotation of like, oh yeah, that wasn't good enough, so let's try something else. But I think the, the verbiage and the idea of making an offer instead is just like, Hey, here's something to give with no, with no repercussions.

Like, take it or leave it. It's sort of the idea that an offering really has, it's really gracious. Um, I, I feel like that's been a, a phrase in the creative space that I've been hearing more and more of lately, uh, that I really do, uh, appreciate and love. Um, and I think there is something really, uh, kind of caring and endearing about that.

So, Yeah, let's, let's, uh, let's do the checkout. I'll, I guess I'll, I'll take off. Um, uh, so wait. Okay. Do we prefer the need to knows? And, um, and, uh, oh my goodness, what's the other part? Care to shares. Care to shares. My goodness. As you know, this too green fart. Early mornings is, okay. , um, do we prefer that one or do we prefer the second one that you, that you mentioned?

Delia: Um, it sounded like you resonated with the, with the need and offering. I'm gonna do that one this morning. Switch things up.

Micah: Sweet. Okay. All right. I'm good for that. So, yes, what do I need? I feel like in this moment,

I, I think I need to slow down. Um, I have been going really nonstop for a very long time, um, and it is starting to wear on me and there's been a lot of things in my life that have been happening. Uh, had some family losses, you know, you know, and some of our other creative team and I have been working three plus jobs for almost a year now.

Um, and I love each and every one of these roles, um, but I am like, I'm definitely feeling the strain and I think it's time to let something go. Um, and I've been saying that for a couple months now. Uh, so I, I do, I do need to slow down, I think. Um, and really actually, cause I feel like one of my bigger regrets was not being able to visit my family.

Um, When, you know, before, before that family member passed, uh, back in July, um, which is when I had an opportunity to, cuz the rest of my family was going to see it. But I was so busy and I was so caught up in life that I didn't allow myself the opportunity to, uh, you know, engage, um, in that way. So that's been kind of sitting on me.

Uh, but then, uh, as far as what I can offer in this moment, um, Honestly, peace of mind. Um, I, I don't know why. Maybe it's the morning time, maybe it's how lovely this conversation is so far. But, um, I, I really do believe, uh, one thing I feel that my family is good at is, well, as I guess has been passed out on to me, is taking these things, what's, what's strides, um, and, and having peace, um, with what's happened. I realize that death is a natural part of life.

Um, uh, and there are as much as it sucks, um, you know, the way that my family sees it and myself included is like, we know she, I peacefully, um, in their sleep. So like that was a good thing. And then the other half is, I think in that piece, knowing that it was peaceful for my family, um, we also found peace in the comfort of one another when we got to see each other.

And now coming into a creative space, which is my primary function in this world as of now, um, uh, I find peace in this and in, uh, you know, My life experience, uh, as a creative. Um, so I think that that's one thing, uh, that I try to resonate and kind of share pretty frequently. So if you're stressed, I love helping calm down.

Uh, if you're already calm, then we'll stay in, we'll stay in a peaceful place, in a peaceful mind. Um, so I guess that's, that's what I like and that's what I have to. Sweet. Yeah. I'll kick it off to you. That was so long winded.

Delia: Thank you so much for sharing about where you're at because you know, you did share a little bit about that and or previous emails, but everybody has a super different process with loss and so Yeah, I, yeah.

Definitely had a very intimate and tenuous path with loss over the past several months. So, yeah. Um, let's see. I'm going to offer in this space, maybe to, it's funny because I think I'm thinking a lot about what my answer will be and how to, how to word the phrase that. I don't want to overthink my, what my response is in this conversation, um, that some, something along the lines of offering, like you said before, we, we exist in draft, so allowing my thoughts to come out, um, in draft and fully realized , um, and something I need,

feels like my needs are pretty much being met right now. So just sitting in that, um, investigation of. If, if those things shift and, um,

yeah. End of my thought.

Micah: No, I, I love that. Um, I, you know, it's, it's always so interesting where, um, we can be in a moment where we don't, you don't have a need in the moment. Like maybe there are desires, maybe there are wants, but. For the time being, all our needs are met. And I do, I love that. I love that, that mentality, that thought that that's a space that we can exist in.

So that's, that was really cool to hear as well. And thank you for receiving, um, you know, what I what I shared, um, with such grace. Uh, sweet, sweet. Um, so yeah, I just had a couple more things I wanted to kinda chat on and think on. Um, the next thing I wanted to kind of. Explore is, um, as an artist yourself.

Um, correct me if I'm wrong, you said you, uh, went to study dance, right? That's your background. And what are you currently pursuing that for a living as well?

Delia: Um, so my degree is in performance and movement because I didn't want to, so I'm. I exist in a very multidisciplinary, performancy way. I also write and paint like I try to create sort of installations and interactive experiences.

Micah: That's awesome. I love that. I love that. So with that, because especially being in an in a multidisciplinary, you know, Lifestyle. Um, I am curious, like, what does sustaining yourself as an artist look like for you?

Um, what does that process look like? Um, is it draining being in a multidisciplinary? Does it feel more freeing, uh, because you have more, you know, mediums to explore?

Um, how is that process for you stating your, your artistic practices?

Delia: Hmm. I would say that I, in terms of like a financial way, I primarily find myself as an arts administrator. So I, I do grant management. I'm, uh, rehearsal assistant for social stance theater. I, um, so a lot of my. Oh, and then also, I should probably say this, it where I live, I live in Virginia. Mm-hmm. in a rural community.

But my, I live in this family space, it's like an art center. My dad has his gallery full of paintings and my mother is an author and has her books here, and so, Also and sort of doing the administration and program coordination for our place here. So we're having open studios, we have, uh, I'm trying to start a residency program, so I say that because I think my creativity comes through as an administrator as well.

Mm-hmm. , but a lot of my time is, Focused on how I can create sustainable experiences for other artists and, uh, it's really easy for me to get so focused on creating these opportunities for others that I'm not necessarily putting the time and energy into. Creating my own work. I think that that as I have shifted back into this space in Virginia, has kind of changed where I'm still doing that administrative work and also setting really firm boundaries with myself of how much time I dedicate to that so that I'm still in creative process.

So that's part of why. I'm trying to be a lot more present in this season with the digital work development at Grey Box, uh, so that I'm not allowing myself to push that aside for the things that I'm doing for other people.

Micah: Yeah. Yeah. That's honestly so interesting. I, you know, reflecting sometimes feel like I find myself in a similar position where, you know, to sustain yourself, uh, part of the experience is helping create a sustainable space for other artists.

Um, and the things that, the opportunities that we might be provided. Sometimes close, if not exactly what we would like to be doing. Um, so that's, so that's so interesting to hear you say that cuz I, I find myself as well as an artistic administrator, um, for one of my, uh, jobs. And that's something that I really, um, I've really found joy in because this is one of the first times that I've been able to do that in a consistent manner.

All of my other previous, uh, you. Arts admin type jobs have really been helping, uh, have been like for children's theater or, you know, helping, you know, train or education, that sort of thing, um, within the arts, um, versus, uh, my current role. And sounds like what you're doing as well, um, to sustain is really more focused on, hey, let's create opportunities for artists to create their work, to get it out there to, you know, express, um, that, that.

Their creative processes and influences, uh, and share it with the rest of the world, um, which is such a cool, it's really a beautiful experience to be a part of, but you're right, there is a part of us that's like, okay, where's the balance of providing these opportunities for others? So much so to the extent that there's no longer, uh, time or energy, but you can put it back into ourselves.

And I tell people all the time, I'm like, we really. There is really something to being poured back into, um, after you've been pouring into others for X amount of time. And that doesn't have a, a, you know, a set limit to it by any means. Everyone has their own capacity that they can give or take, um, and I don't think there's any shame in how much they're is being offered or how much there is being needed, um, in any given capacity. So, uh, yeah, that's such a, that's such an interesting perspective.

I thank you for that. Um, so kind of in a similar thread of thought, I was just curious, um, when you are balancing being an artist, uh, versus let's say the rest of your life, I don't know if you feel like you have a separation from, uh, your, you know, your artistic self, whether it's how you express yourself, whether it's in the, you know, um, the working world of art, um, or anything of the like versus, um, you know, maybe how you are around your family or, you know, just in other aspects of your life.

Do you feel like there is a. A balance that you have to find there. Um, do you feel like you have to separate those parts of yourselves, or do you kind of feel like everything's really merged and is all just one uh, you know, big blob of an experience together? Hmm.

Delia: I, yeah. I don't think that there's a clear line between my artistic self and my other.

I'm sure that that has a lot to do with the fact that I live. Um, I'm in an artistic family, so when I am engaging with my family, it's, um, it is, there's comfort with that kind of,

uh, messy. Like, um, yeah, there's comfort in the fact that we're all artists and we do engage with the concept of art, all three of us in very different ways. So I think that is be balance that has to happen is, um, figuring out how.

How I can engage in creation as myself versus when I'm doing so in a, in a way that's impacting, um, our family's projects as a whole. And I think that, maybe a, not a separation, but like a, a balance thing that needs, that I have to work through is when there are creative tasks that aren't necessarily part of my artistic practice. Um, and like giving them space, but also not holding them to the same.

Rigorous standards. Um, yeah, yeah. What I'm specifically saying is like, I, I enjoy crocheting as a way to just sort of, um, get my hands moving to myself. It keeps me from picking up my phone and scrolling for hours, and you know, I think I've had a phase where I was like, oh, if I'm doing this, then I have to go all in and I have to make stuff to sell. And, um, no, I don't have to do that. I can have this thing that is creating something, but I don't have to market the product. I can just enjoy mm-hmm. the experience of it and then I can have my other creative outlets, which are part of my professional body of work, let's say.

Micah: Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah. Yeah. That's. Honestly, I love that. Um, I, it's really, it's always really lovely to see, I mean, obviously we attach to things that we find similar with one another, and like that excites us cause we're like, oh, we're not alone. Um, but I really do like that, uh, like having art and creative processes that are for you, um, versus, uh, what you do professionally.

Cuz it's still work at the end of the day. And at the end of the day, work can be draining. Um, There is, there is a balance that needs to be even within our art, um, not just with the art and the rest of our life, but just within the artistic practices, um, themselves. Um, yeah. I feel like one thing that I've neglected myself, uh, that you kind of reminded me of is I know.

So music has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. It's a very personal thing for me, like it's just been so present in my life. And, um, I really appreciate, uh, you know, what you said because one thing that I did kind of keep for myself is I do write music and I love writing music and creating.

You know, songs and all that good stuff. And I have like, my little long notebook of all these songs that I've written. And, you know, I've got my little guitar, my piano that I pluck along, um, every once in a while just creating new stuff. And it's been a very long time since I've done that, to be honest. Um, a lot of my, uh, artistic experience has been work, um, which is not bad.

Like we still enjoy it. We still really do. It's still a lovely process and it's something that I don't ever regret or feel bad about. Um, but there really is something to be said about, uh, you know, not having to distribute and, uh, you know, promote and, um, you know, have to put on a show of whatever it is that's being produced artistically in your world.

Um, and just having something that is personal, private. Creation for the sake of creation. Um, experiencing art for the sake of experiencing art, that really does kind of refuel you almost. Um, and that takes the pressure off of, um, being perfect. It gives you a space to live in the draft like we've been saying.

Um, and I, I really do love, I love, love, love that. So yeah, thank you for that. Gentle reminder, uh, even though it was probably inverted. So . Um, yeah. Great. Um, sweet. So that honestly was what I wanted to chat about today. This was honestly so great to, to get to know you more and, and to meet you. I did wanna just kind of open the space back up and see if there are any closing thoughts or, you know, any other, any things that you had, uh, before we wrap up.

Delia: Hmm. Well, I, I just wanna touch on one, uh, Grey Box experience that I've had that I don't think I mentioned and I believe you also participated in, but we were like [00:35:00] satellite lighting each other. I don't think we actually, um, Interacted very much, but with the, the play in the Grey Box workshop series mm-hmm. , that was really, um, an exciting opportunity.

I, I got to lead workshops because of that experience, um, that I had been really, really wanting to, I know. No one was interested in it. I was like, I wanna teach this. I wanna or facilitate this experience where we're, um, looking at relationships between different plants or organisms and nature, and then we're reflecting them in our bodies.

Um, and so I think playing the gray was a cool opportunity to, um, Yeah, to just practice something and to do, to facilitate this space in a way that I hadn't had the opportunity to. And because it was virtual, I had family, a family member from both that Columbia like tune in. So I just think that was a really cool experience that I wanted to uplift as like, like so far of my Grey Box career

Micah: I love that. That is right. Yeah. Planned a great, my goodness, that was such a unique experience. Um, I, cause that was the first, um, yeah man, that was the first, uh, covid, uh, project that, that was kind of put together within the Grey Box Collective. And um, yeah, that was such a unique experience. Um, cuz that was the first time, I don't know about you, but that was the first time that I had ever tried to do anything, sort of like a digital. Creation, um, as far as, you know, crossing live art and digital performance? Uh, yeah, I don't know. Have you done anything similar prior to that whole playing the gray experience?

Delia: Um, my search, that project that I did because of Molly's class, Umhmm wasn't intended to be a virtual performance, but, you know, circumstances made it have to be that. Yeah, , but that was actually. I don't know. I think that virtual space is something that they really offer, is that you, people who are not geographically close to you can still interact with you. Um, so that was, yeah, my, my grandma was able to, to see it, you know, so I think that, That's really helpful.

Micah: Yeah, there is really something cool about being able to kind of bridge that gap. Um, I think. I know I'm, I've, I've tried to do recorded arts. I went to film school for a little bit, and, um, I have dabbled in other mediums of recorded arts. Uh, but I've always had just an affinity for the live arts. There's just something about it.

Um, but there's also something to really be said about exactly what you said. Uh, being able to share that with folks who may not otherwise have the capacity or, um, accessibility, um, to. Engage with art otherwise. Um, so being able to like open it up even just a little bit further, even if it's just for one or two projects, um, or because of a given circumstance.

I really think that goes a long way. Um, which is, I mean, honestly, I feel like in, in part might have been, uh, what kind of, its inspired even this, uh, series of, you know, podcasts and interviews. Um, so yeah, I, I I love that. I absolutely love. Um, great. Great. Any other, anything?

Delia: no, I really enjoyed being in conversation with you. I'm glad that this, um, particular podcast allowed us to actually have a conversation instead of, um, it's funny. I think that's part of also, This hybrid way of existing is that some of us are in, we're in the same thing, but we're not necessarily having that same opportunity to develop relationships.

So yeah. Yeah. I just enjoyed starting my day with and conversation with you.

Micah: That's awesome. The feeling is a hundred percent mutual. Um, this has been a pleasure, um, and I'm, yeah, so excited to see what comes next, especially with this next digital project that we will both be working on. So I'm super pumped for it. Um, yeah. Well, as always, it's been lovely. Have a great rest of your day and uh, yeah, we'll see everyone else on the next episode.

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