Maryana Garcia - #LivingLit

Art is for everyone. Colours. Words. Music. Working together or standing alone they can
connect with us. Make us feel something. Communicate a bigger purpose. We don’t all have to be critics and connoisseurs to experience the power of the arts. In today’s image driven society I think we can all appreciate how pictures (in whatever form they might take) can tell more than a thousand stories.

Image By Maryana Garcia

Image By Maryana Garcia

If you agreed with what I’ve written so far then the Fringe spirit will resonate with you.

“Fringe” is a movement of the arts that began with theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It’s a movement that is meant to change things up. To encourage audiences to look at the world from different angles. To try something new.

It’s also about breaking down the barriers between, well, everyone and the experience and making of art. Events like this month’s Hamilton Fringe Festival are celebrations of the
grassroots creatives dotted throughout our communities. The festival gives playwrights, actors, poets and painters chances to experiment and improvise in front of an audience. To try new forms of their art. To push themselves to do, create and perform in ways that they had only ever dreamed of before.

Let’s get into the spirit of it all!

Avant-garde theatre may not be your cup of tea. But whether you’re into Shakespeare or Lin-Manuel Miranda (You may not even know who either of those two people are. Please look them up.) I think we can all get into the spirit of Fringe. Because at the heart of this movement in culture is one important belief.

We have the power to redefine “normal”.

So having a Fringe spirit really means not letting ourselves go stagnant. To question the limits that we put on ourselves and on our abilities. To disprove negative stereotypes around being a student, a Millennial, a first year young professional. Too often we let the lowest common denominator become our baseline, become our “normal”. Fringe reminds us that it doesn’t have to be this way. That we can surprise ourselves.

Whether it’s improving your fitness regime from non-existent to moderately active. Or
developing a new skill like knitting. Or learning to sing. The Fringe spirit says that it’s within our reach. You never know, it might just be within your reach to become a morning person! #LivingLit with a Fringe twist means that we:

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1. Believe in change. We are not the same people we were when we were 10 (Thank goodness for that!) We may not know exactly where we want to be in five or ten years time (or next year) but we might have a better idea of the kind of person we want to be.

Do you want to see change? Don’t wait for someone else to get it started. Pay for a
random person’s bus fare. Make a donation to a cause. Clean out your garage. Let’s
face and embrace each step in the journey of being changemakers.

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2. Believe in ourselves. It’s one thing to see the changes we want to happen in the world or in our lives. It’s another thing entirely to believe that we are the ones who can get the ball rolling. Best way to conquer that? Let’s surround ourselves with dreamers and
doers. With people that you might meet at say… a Seed Waikato event. Encouragement is key. No one can build alone.

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3. Believe in action. Make it happen. Give it a go. Just do it. Whichever slogan floats your waka. Remember that Fringe is all about the experience. We’re great at that. Millennials are the drivers of what has been dubbed the “Experience Economy”. Simply put? We tend to value experience over stuff. Time over money. Learning over earning. We want our leaders to deliver. And we cannot expect of others what we do not expect of ourselves. Let’s stop making excuses. Figure out what we’ve been procrastinating and
start now.

So the next time you feel like you want to try something new. The next time you see a skill or a habit you think you need to be a better version of yourself? Don’t let anything stop you. Make like a Fringe artist. See the change you want. Believe that you can do it. Then do it. Grab a friend and get started together.

Let’s #LiveLit in the spirit of Fringe. Let’s redefine our “normal”. I’ve got some great ideas to get you started:

  • Check out Hamilton Fringe Festival’s homepage and make room in your calendars for some eye-opening events.

  • Experience evocative poetry from the Waikato’s talented wordsmiths as published in Mayhem.

  • If you haven’t already, get tickets to Seed Waikato's next event and take some empowering steps on your Road to Resilience.

  • Whether you sign up to perform, you support a poet or just want to be entertained and inspired, join in the local Slam Poetry scene. Waikato’s regional heats are on at ZEAL Hamilton this October 20 and 27.

  • Build a new habit. Answer Matt Cutts’ challenge to change your life in 30 days.

  • Step out of your comfort zone by stepping out of a Wi-Fi zone. Have a view of TED’s reasons for a digital detox.

Good luck and until next time, live lit!


Maryana Garcia

You can connect with Maryana on Instagram.