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CHANGES

The room was in hazy half-light and without detail. It had party energy. Not frenetic, but the kind where they play jazz. I’d just been talking to people on my left and turned to see her standing there. Everyone else seemed to fade away as Sally Allen became the focus of my attention. She was standing alone to my right. I crossed the room to face her. There were no other details in the room except my standing there looking at Sally. It was clear and singular that I needed to tell her something. And in the dream I said to her, “I am grieving. I am grieving deeply that we all have to move. I am so sorry.”

Usually our A Working Group meets at Brock-Allen Casting’s studio space on San Marcos in downtown Austin. For the last few weeks we’ve been on UT campus for Quetta Carpenter’s great interactive movement classes. Sally Allen joined us earlier that evening and let us know of changes taking place with Brock-Allen Casting. Brock-Allen Casting, of course, is Sally Allen and Toni Brock’s casting company. Due to unexpected circumstances, they’re moving offices. It’s all good. But, since they are our mothership, we go where they go.

It’s a difficult change for everyone because, quite frankly, I think we all love the little building on San Marcos that houses Brock-Allen. It’s home. And, certainly, this is a paramount change for Sally and Toni. It’s all logical and it’s playing out in a good, practical way. But, as I drove home from class, the more I thought of not being able to go back to that warm, cozy studio space in Brock-Allen Casting, my heart sank.

I’m going to miss it. Coming to that studio to study was unique, wonderful and embracing. It was always filled with kind acceptance, as long as we were trying our best. I’ll miss the warm hardwood floors and the windows facing out into the night of that tight little neighborhood tucked away in East Austin. The studio always held that wonderful rare kind of energy that exists when all present are professional and eager to learn. And thank God, when balanced veteran professionals are kind enough to teach. I know we’ll rebuild at a new location. We’re bonded together and a strong group and we’ll take our hearts and spirit where we next go.

But, I’m going to miss it. And I’m going to miss it to a level that was even surprising to me. So much so that once I fell asleep that night, I had this dream to share my grief and condolences with Sally. I wonder if, at the same time, she had a similar dream listening to me. — By Martha Hannah