Reflections After a Workshop with Betty Buckley

This past week, a few individuals in the School of Theatre and the Opera Institute were invited to participate in a musical theatre workshop with Betty Buckley.  Many musical theatre enthusiasts will recognize that Betty Buckley originated the role of Grisabella in the Broadway production of Cats and is famous for singing “Memory.”  For more information about her, check out imdb and profiles.

One might think that since this was a musical theatre workshop with a broadway veteran, the workshop would be glamorous, full of fluff and sequins; however, this four night workshop was a life-changing, spiritual experience.  We were asked to approach the work with an open mind and open heart in order to truly be with each other and ourselves without judgement.  We were guided through several meditations and we didn’t eve sing until the second night!

Without giving a synopsis of the workshop, I want to share some of the most valuable lessons I learned from the Betty Buckley.

1. Self pity is never a choice.

2. Always approach acting and life from the positive.

3. Listen to your inner child and speak to yourself the way you would speak to that child.

4. Everyone knows the truth.

Having learned these concepts, I feel that something has changed for me in my day-to-day experiences as an actor, artist and human being.  These are incredibly useful points of focus that I am beginning to employ in my life.  Along with a regimented meditation practice, the greatest gift the workshop gave me is an opportunity to ask myself how I can listen more carefully to my heart.  This feels especially important because as I approach the end of senior year, I have some bigger choices I need to begin to make.  Having done the Betty Buckley workshop, I feel as though I’m in a better place to focus and listen to the world around me.

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