Many who know me in New York City know that I performed in the musical theater world for many years, both in the US and around the world. I was an extremely passionate performer, but I wish I knew a few things then that I know now.
Jane Jourdan of Fit for Broadway has dedicated her life and work to helping aspiring Broadway performers as they navigate their careers and seek health and wellness support in the process. In her first ever Fit for Broadway Workshop, Jane will present an amazing roster of Broadway stars and fitness and wellness experts who will introduce their workouts, provide words of wisdom and tell their personal stories — with great food and snacks to boot. Hurry, there’s still time to sign up here!!
This post first appeared on Fit for Broadway on September 7, 2016. I am honored to be one of the featured fitness experts at the workshop and to share my passion with the group — at a workshop I wish was available to me when I started out several years ago!
Creating a Career from Your Passions – with Mahri Relin
Following my passion is a non-negotiable for me. The moment I decided to leave my clinical neuropsychology graduate program many years ago — along with almost everything I was taught I “should” do – I knew I would never turn back. I started a much more authentic and joy-filled life as a dancer, and I truly became me. I knew I could never return to my habit of listening more to others than to myself about what I needed to do, or what was the “right” thing for my future.
If you have also chosen life as a performer, then you know what I mean. If you truly love something like that so much, you know that it’s a calling you can’t ignore. And you have to test your limits, abilities, and opportunities as much as possible.
But what about those others things in life necessary for survival that might seem painful or scary? Like making money when you’re not performing to support your New York rent? Or planning the next step after performing life doesn’t make sense to you anymore?
I was starting to grapple with those questions at the exact time I was invited to audition for the Tracy Anderson Method studio 7 years ago. I had been traveling a ton, and I was getting tired of living out of a suitcase. I also knew that turning back to the temping route again between jobs was too unpredictable (and boring!).
I was thrilled to be hired at TAM – and more importantly, it opened up a world of music and movement that was exciting for me as a dancer. It shaped and strengthened my body beautifully, and it finally allowed me to focus on helping other people rather than just myself! I was HOOKED!!
I’m not going to say that life in fitness is all fun and games. I work very hard physically every day, and I take educating myself and staying organized in service of my clients really seriously. But I have to say that the experience of creating movement to amazing music and shaping each workout for each individual client is thrilling, challenging, and fulfilling all in one. I get to hear what’s going on in my client’s lives and shape workouts for them that fit their individual bodies while helping them to let off steam. And I do everything with them so that I can lead and motivate them. Not every method is like mine, but I feel so lucky to have been able to create something that makes me feel stimulated, healthy, and connected with my clients all in one. And I feel like I can fulfill my passion every day as an expressive dancer who also has a valuable background in psychology. I many not be done with my dance career completely, but I feel so lucky to continue living out my dream in a new way.
I’m sure some of you must be wondering — how can you make something like this happen for you, too?
I have some tips for performers hoping to add fitness to their lives and careers. There are definitely some important things to know if you’re really serious about making a move like this:
* Do your research: Take classes all over the city. Figure out which methods and studios speak to your body and to you as a person
* Get to know the instructors: Find out how they feel about working there and if they feel supported by each other
* Figure out how the company handles performers: Some companies allow performers to keep performing and leave when they need to leave. Others don’t allow this. If you want to keep performing, be very clear about this with management
* Connect with the owner/hiring manager before auditions are held: Show them how great you are – how positive, collaborative, flexible, hard-working, and reliable you can be. You will have a big advantage in the audition room
* Go for it!: Adding fitness to your routine is extremely good for you as a dancer. I wish I had know about fitness work much sooner in my career. I would have had more stamina, a stronger core, and more control of my body. Even if you don’t decide to work in the field, definitely take some classes. You’ll love them!!
Feel free to reach out to us. We would love to meet you!! You can find out more about Body Conceptions at www.bodyconceptions.com, and email us at admin@bodyconceptions.