Mia

Playing with Mia will always be one of the highlights of my life. Sometimes, you meet a participant, just as you would meet any other person, and the energy that they radiate changes the way that you see the world and the way that you want to live your life. Lila is one of these people and Mia is another. The first time we played with Mia was in the real space before the pandemic, and in fact was one of the last few weeks we would be working in person, though, of course, we didn’t know that at the time. We were still performing Pericles, which for us as actors had lived many lives: in the UK and then changing again on tour in Poland and Romania before landing back on British soil and changing again. As a production, it had been reinvented so many times and, for us, it was a beautifully-alive, malleable thing. Mia walked into the room with her twin sister and she changed it again. We reached the tango scene, the silliest, most joyous heights of our play as Pericles and Thaisa dance at their wedding, and all of us grooved and shook and wiggled. Mia, given permission by us, barely waiting to see a whole example of the dance, began her own perfect boogie. I hope there is video footage for you to watch from that day, because my words cannot describe how amazing Mia is at dancing. She was free. She let the music guide her and invented the rest herself. It affected all of us instantly. We danced harder with greater smiles, not caring about the sweat or the muscles or the tiredness we might find later. Mia was the light of life. I couldn’t help thinking that watching Mia boogie her socks off was a helpful reminder that any of us at any time have the freedom to do what she did in that classroom. Even now, even in a pandemic, we always have the choice to dance like nobody is watching. It is something that a regulation or a politician or a virus cannot take away from us. Honestly, watching Mia dance reminded me to live my own life and exult in being alive.

-Holly Musgrave, Actor-