When Jane asked me to be part of WITCHY WAYS little did she know the inner witch she would liberate in me (Jane this is on you lol.) But let’s rewind for a moment.
I grew up in Switzerland - my dad is a social critic filmmaker and my mum is, amongst other things, a psychic ( it sounds like a lot more fun than it was lol,) and Bob Marley was our version of NATO in a household that was influenced by Caribbean Fuego and Germanic stoicism.
Both my parents believed in magic, although they had a very different interpretation and approach to it. For my mum, God and a mystical spiritual esoteric practice beyond the sensory were one and the same. She practiced visualization and healing energy work. Crystals were lovingly chosen, affirmations were spells, prayer was a place of comfort.
My dad was a self-professed atheist. He calibrated to the senses - hear, touch, smell, feel – and to things nature reflected back to him - nature and intellect as outside forces, fighting for the right cause as an outside force.
My childhood was vivid and intense and by what I saw reflected back from other families, it was everything but normal. But I always knew I was loved and I was always encouraged to explore my individuality and despite their different approaches to life, both believed that my inner fire was the unshakable belief that if I stayed true to myself and practiced willpower and determination I could achieve anything I put my mind to.
When I was young their faith made me feel invincible. All I needed to do was believe in my dream and go for it, and things would turn out right. But as I grew up the volume of that inner voice – the one that reminds us of what we want and how possible it is to attain it, was turned down. The wonderous encounters, beautiful mistakes, lucky accidents, synchronicities- really this sense of EASE in the world and trust in being alive, evaporated. I started looking for magic outside of myself, started handing over happiness to quick fixes. I wanted that date to make me feel a certain way, these shoes to elevate my self-esteem, even my therapist to lay it out for me. What started as something beautiful suddenly felt crippling. Somewhere along the line I had lost my super power- my voice had gone quiet.
Acting – the act of coming to know a myriad of characters over many projects - has been the catalyst for me to reclaim my own voice – to embrace the uniqueness of me. I find it fascinating to live in somebody else’s skin, walk in their proverbial shoes for a while. I’m not at all one of those intense method actresses that needs to be the role. Instead, I hunger for the differences between who I am and who that character is, allowing both of us to expand through the discovery.
My character in WITCHY WAYS is Evie – a woman who has recently lost her mother, is in a job that burns her out, is afraid to feel life fully, and is running from something not fully trusting that it all leads towards something. Ultimately, she is afraid of love and life and trusting her own voice.
And this is where I sit on the sofa, slowly being swallowed up, resisting the urge to fight it, letting go of old stories, letting go of having to be right about anything. And with a swoosh I’m catapulted onto the tightrope. One foot on the wire with no safety net. My gaze makes its way to the other end of the wire, and there she is.
Evie and I are face to face- the distance between us is measurable and real. I can’t run across or I’ll fall. I can’t shake the rope or I’ll fall. I can’t shout across to be heard. It will take one step at a time to truly see into her eyes.
First step is curiosity and we take it at the same time. Second step, we let go of judgment. It’s just too heavy on the rope. Third step, oh, I see Evie has a lot of pain. Of course, we all do, but I need to find the lining of her pain. I breath into it and discover my own. I offer it up to her. We take another step. She lost her mother- Evie, I’ll be real with you girl. My mum and I are not talking right now. I feel as if…. Evie understands me. We take another step toward each other. She is afraid of feeling the big epic feels. We both start to cry. I don’t have the words – we don’t; need them. We take another step and another until we are but inches away. And a flurry of whispers, pictures, feelings oscillate between the two of us.
Do I believe in magic? Yes. To this day I might rebel about the esoteric aspect of it – although it vibrates in my skin, like a little hum, indistinct but hard to shake. But the magic of nature, the magic of our mind, the magic of transformation, the alchemy of turning fear into curiosity that is magic to me. That a character like Evie can make me go deeper and reclaim my own voice - that is all magic.