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Share your Memories of Twila
In Twila Thompson Memorial Page
suzannebachner
Jan 11, 2022
Twila, when I first encountered your strength, sensitivity, insight, wisdom, piercing precision, fierce feminism, unflinching truth and loving artistic embrace, I immediately got your indelible power. I was completely intimidated. You used that power responsibly, respecting others, leading by example, forever connecting and unifying a room of disparate individuals to a common cause of goodness and growth. You created a space that included healthy boundaries, and challenge where everyone in the room was invited to strive for their highest potential and best selves in an atmosphere of respect both for self and others and in a place that was above and beyond safe. And if it was uncomfortable to be in that safe space, the invitation was to look at why and deeply understand that we all deserve to be there—and here. Twila did this all through a penetrating gaze that was perfectly fine and dandy to live and work its magic in the silence and it was relentless and infectious in the best way. When Twila looked upon you with that discerning, creative, laser-focused gaze she somehow got the whole room backing her up in chorus. It was not one of judgement or condemnation, but rather illumination and invitation for change, for shedding what’s not needed, to return to your authentic self. Believe me, you could look away and hope that the powerful gaze had run its course, but when you looked back, there Twila was holding space for you and waiting for you to catch up. Before I entered that magical Twila zone, I had heard of artists doing workshops or working with “masters” and going through a process of “finding your voice.” What Twila did was to give you the gift of being seen and heard and encouraging you to see and hear yourself. Your voice was already there just waiting for you to recognize and acknowledge it and step into your own power. She sure did provide one incredible example. Before we were widely using this terminology as a culture, she showed me the way to shed victimhood and embrace myself as a survivor. It was no accident that I met my first love in her workshops, that I was able to fall in love for the first time after working with her. She opened up a whole world both creative and personal. Her unforgettable lesson of believing in ourselves as much as we believe in each other is something that has echoed throughout my artistic career and collaborations to this day and is something so gently, but firmly introduced by Twila. It has been amazing to watch Twila’s leadership go from the New York theatrical stage to an international platform to a global stage. I am grateful to be one of so many fortunate to be inspired by, demanded by and bathed in love by Twila and her indelible gaze. I love you, Twila Thompson. Rest in Power.
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