Articles

Making the most of challenging situations: the story of the Wellness Theatre

Dear reader, I am Giulia Buvoli and I am a performer. My journey started as a theatre lover but evolved into that of a theatre maker in 2007. My passion for teaching led me to find the Wellness Theatre in 2012. Below is the story behind what led to the creation of the Wellness Theatre in the hopes that it will inspire you to turn your negatives experiences into positive ones.

Negatives

It was September 2009, in Milan, Italy, and it was still hot around there. Theoretically speaking, I was a professional performer; but in reality, my left knee was out of order, which meant I was not able to perform. As a 23 year old, I was dealing with a huge global economic crisis, which struck me like a lightening bolt from out of the blue, leaving me speechless and shocked.

Unfortunately, my family was not particularly interested in helping me out. Thus, they decided to squander their money on luxurious trips and status symbols. Romantic, isn’t it?

That is why I found myself serving alcoholic beverages when I broke my knee because I had to juggle between theatres and pubs to pay my bills. A bad knee resulted in no income, which meant no life, no art, no nothing. Thus, I was left alone in my flimsy apartment, jobless, and discouraged.

I felt bad on a physical, emotional, and psychological level as everyone around me within the art world seemed to be building up their lives with the help and support of their families and theatre. I did not have that luxury. Therefore, my days were full of frustration, anger, and fear: What was I going to do with my life? Would I ever be back on stage or teaching?

Burnout was around the corner, and panic attacks were knocking at my door. I was a castaway dragged onto an unknown island in the middle of nowhere; and within me, the echoes of despair were drumming non-stop. Emotionally insecure, I surrendered to the stream of life to see where it would take me.

Positives

In the end, the darkness rewarded me with something as I started to realize that I had tools around me that I could use to my advantage. I had a brand-new laptop, a decent wifi connection, and a tremendous amount of time to sort things out. I began spending a remarkable amount of time on Facebook and increasing interactions with friends from London, where I eventually made the decision to move. Once there, with my rehab still ongoing, I bought myself a pocket camera to enjoy my strolls and learn the basics of photography and video editing. I also focused on my personal growth, stress-management, and spirituality. In addition, I tried not to listen to denigrating new media, for I was determined to put wellness at the top of my goals to create my own theatre.

Since then, I have been sharing practices of self-exploration and stress management by mixing elements of theatre, yoga, dance, creative writing, and self-expression. Today, despite the pandemic, I have been able to move part of my school online – during lockdown – by putting together a home studio through solo-production, with the remote help of my friends. Ten years after my injury, I was able to merge my nerdy side with my love of art to share the Wellness Theatre with my students.

What would have happened if I had never broken my knee? Would I have ever bought myself a camera? Would I have ever moved to London with the openness to experiment with this new idea? No one knows, but what I have learned is that no situation is perfect. Everything is contingent on how you choose to approach your challenges and make the most of them.

____________________

About the author:

Giulia Buvoli is an Italian performing artist active since 2007.
She is passionate about bringing theatre to non-theatrical environments to share its benefits. As a theatre maker, she produces interactive performances and comedy.
To know more, visit www.giuliabuvoli.com

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