Welcome...

A Greater Boston native, I'm a professional dancer and award-winning interdisciplinary artist with talents in choreography, filmmaking, art, and graphic design. I'm co-founder and artistic director of Luminarium Dance Company (Boston, MA), art director of Art New England magazine, senior contributor for The Arts Fuse, and am the Boston area dance critic for the international Fjord Review. I recently completed a one-year term as co-chair of the Arlington Cultural Council, and am regularly hired as an arts advocate to speak at events ranging from legislative assemblies at the State House to entrepreneurial panels for students at Mount Holyoke College. This blog serves as a behind-the-scenes peek into the life and journal of an interdisciplinary artist. Learn more at merliguerra.com or luminariumdance.org, and thank you for reading my thoughts on setting the visual and performing arts into motion.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Not all detours...

Today's entry will be brief, but will hopefully strike a chord...

It seems there are moments—when things just aren't clicking—that our normal habits shift for the better. A missed turn finds us walking down an unfamiliar Boston side street with a hidden cupcake bakery—the perfect gift for the somber friend we're about to meet. Or a missed train causes us to run into an old acquaintance. Both of these moments have happened to me in the past six months, and both were unexpected examples of frustration turned to gratitude.

A cupcake from my most favorite cupcake shop ever: Lulu's Sweets.
North End, Boston. Photo: Merli V. Guerra.
(Find more like this on my Instagram!)

This weekend I stood in line holding the first step in making my much-anticipated prop for The Phoenix Piece: a full bolt of Casa Collection satin fabric. Excited to find a full 10 consecutive yards on sale, my day couldn't get any better. (This is a rarity, and I'll need 4 of these 10-yard cuts to complete my prop.) Yet as the ditzy clerk quickly half-listened to my instructions, I watched as the store's only bolt was cut at a much-too-short-to-use 8 yards.

My mood sank. It was as if I'd found the most beautiful coat of my dreams at a thrift store, only to have the cashier accidentally lop off one sleeve as they rang it up.

Frustrated with the time, effort, and fabric now wasted, I called around to find another store. Again, my efforts were rewarded, though it meant a considerable trip out of my way to track down a new bolt. As I stepped into line, the woman in front of me (joking with those in front of her) mentioned the old adage "measure twice, cut once." "If only that had happened for me!" I replied. Before I knew it, I had met an incredible woman whose theatre and art interests paralleled my own. I had the pleasure of chatting with her through two lines, and by the end, had made a new friend in the arts!

So while today's entry is brief, let it serve as a small reminder that not all detours lead to endless frustration. Remain open to the surprises these new paths may bring...