Writing from Beirut (As seen on www.herrochester.com)
Many hours ago I left home in Rochester to make the trek to the Middle East for my work teaching the Actor’s EDGE. I work with business leaders the world over helping them share their stories using acting techniques. I was invited last year to speak in Oman and the tour was expanded to include Beirut, Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
I will say that I came with both anticipation and anxiety. Anticipation to work with amazing people who make a difference in their communities with their business. Anxiety about leaving home for so long. Anticipation to do what I say, “grow: out of your comfort zone.” Anxiety about going so far alone. Anticipation about seeing a part of the world that few get to see. Anxiety about what to expect from a part of the world we hear so much about and yet we know so little.
I know that my work can make a difference and yet my work takes me far from my children and my “known” world. This is in the category of be careful what you wish for, because a few years ago I wished that the Suburban Outlaw could spread the EDGE message all over the world….well look at me now.
And yet even far from home I find the familiar. I arrived in Beirut early in the a.m. and was surprised to see billboards for suburban tract houses and a huge Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket in front of the airport. Looking at the view from my balcony feels familiar- the Mediterranean Sea and sun – I could be in Italy. Isn’t it funny how when we travel we try and ground our travels in places familiar and places experienced. And yet each place is unique. I’m in Beirut – not in suburbia and not in Italy.
I’m off to see the sister of a friend of mine in Pittsford who lives in Beirut and works around the corner at a different hotel. Crazy right? Finding someone with a link to Pittsford in Beirut. Nope, not crazy, just familiar.