Dawn Stoppiello Photo: Cameron Browne (2014)
Hometown: I was born in Orange, NJ but left for Arizona then Oregon with my parents when I was 5. I have lived significant chunks of my life in Portland, OR (10 yrs), Los Angeles, CA (9 yrs) and Brooklyn, NY (15 yrs).
Current city: I relocated back to Portland, OR in 2009
Attended an arts high school? Yes. I went to Jefferson High School for the Performing Arts in Portland, OR from 1980-1984
College and degree: California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), BFA in Dance (1985-1989)
Graduate school and degree: George Washington University, MFA in Dance at age 45.
How you pay the bills: Honestly, my husband pays our bills. He works as an engineer for Microsoft and thankfully makes enough to cover our living expenses. Any additional money that I make as an artist and educator goes into a savings account to cover emergencies or special treats like vacations, and I am using some toward further training as an Alexander Technique teacher.
All of the dance hats you wear: I am a dance educator, a performing dancer, a choreographer, a mentor, artistic and executive director of Troika Ranch, which includes being development director, company manager, administrator, public relations, website and social media management, and probably other things I am forgetting.
Non-dance work you do or have done in the past: As a teenager I cleaned houses and worked in a food cart in Portland. I was a bakery girl/hostess/cashier/waitress at the Cheesecake Factory in Beverly Hills for eight years – all through college and my years with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. I was the assistant to the Senior Producer of CD Roms at the Voyager Company in NYC in the early 1990s. I was a Pilates instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC in the late 1990s. I recently did some gardening work for an elderly woman in Portland.
Describe your dance life in ….
High school: I had four years of very strong training at Jefferson Performing Arts High School in Portland, taking two to four daily classes in Modern, Ballet, African, Tap, Pointe, Jazz and other forms. I was a Jefferson Dancer (the afterschool performance ensemble that toured the region) where I was given a real sense of behaving like a professional. Some of the guest artists I had the pleasure to work with in high school included Alwin Nikolais, Charles “Honi” Coles and the Copasetics, Brenda Buffalino, Raymond Sawyer and Royston Muldoom. Dance Theater of Harlem was in residence for a month every year! I also worked with Sean Greene from the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company (BLDC) and decided that was the company I wanted to dance with.
20s: My 20s were spent learning my craft and practicing by dancing in the work of others. I went to California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) primarily because several former BLDC company members taught there. The summer before I went to CalArts I was invited to apprentice with Jazz Tap Ensemble in Los Angeles and performed with them the following year. I was 19 when I arrived at CalArts and my mind was blown open as to what art could be. There I began making my own work and collaborating with artists from other disciplines. It was at CalArts where I met my primary artistic collaborator (and future husband) Mark Coniglio, a composer and self-taught computer programmer. In 1987 I was honored to receive a scholarship covering a year of tuition from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. I didn’t know it then but this began a long relationship with the foundation and surreptitiously with the Principality of Monaco itself. After graduating from CalArts, I joined the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company - performing, touring and teaching nationally and internationally. My first year in the company was when the NEA tried to enforce its “Anti-Obscenity Clause,” and many artists revolted. Most people have heard of the NEA Four (Tim Miller, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Karen Finley) because they gained so much publicity. But people don’t often know that Bella Lewitzky had already sued the NEA and would eventually win her suit. We stood behind Bella’s decision to reject her NEA grant and worked without a salary for many months. Bella had been called before a hearing of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951 and asked to identify acquaintances that might have been members of the Communist Party. She declined to supply names, giving the punning reply, ''I am a dancer, not a singer.'' I admired Bella as an artist, a teacher and a rebel. I left Bella’s company to begin concentrating on my own work with Mark, an effort that transitioned into the creation of our company Troika Ranch in 1994. I moved to New York City when I was 28. To encapsulate this decade, I would say these were my learning years.
30s: My 30s were spent establishing my career and building Troika Ranch. This entire decade for me was spent living and working in NYC. Mark and I had gotten married in 1998. We lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and were soon touring outside the city for more than half of each of the fifteen years we lived there. Troika Ranch is considered a pioneering force in the genre that came to be known as Dance & Technology. Having begun this investigation while still students at CalArts in the late 1980s, Mark and I were early adopters experimenting and innovating with computers, video projection and sensory systems that allowed the movements and vocalizations of performers to manipulate video and audio in real time from the stage. We were making large-scale multimedia productions traveling to conferences and festivals primarily in Europe where there was money and energy being put into this kind of innovation. We also did a lot of teaching at Universities and Art Institutions throughout the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. We were invited to the Monaco Dance Forum in 2000, 2002 and 2004, which was a major gathering of Dance & Technology artists at the time.
Troika Ranch never felt embraced by the NYC dance community, though we were very active there. We were never fully produced by any of the downtown venues. We were represented by Pentacle for several years but found that most of our work came through word of mouth and our own promotion. We’d had a website up since 1994.
I received the Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation for excellence in my field in 2004. As I referenced in my description of my 20s, this was part of my relationship with the Princess Grace Foundation-USA and with HRH Prince Albert, who took the Principality after the death of his father HRH Prince Rainer of Monaco. The Princess Grace Foundation-USA had sent me a questionnaire every year since I received my scholarship in 1987. The questionnaire simply asked for updates on my achievements and activities. I filled it in each year to show my gratitude for their scholarship support during college, but I didn’t really understand how closely they were following my career. In the summer, while vacationing at the Jersey Shore, I received the call that the foundation was granting me the Statue Award, their highest honor that came with a $25,000 unrestricted cash gift. I fell out of my chair. Mark and I attended the Gala in the fall. I met some famous people and had a fairytale evening in the spirit of Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco. I had already met Master of Ceremony HRH Prince Albert at two previous Monaco Dance Forums where we had danced together at the closing parties. But now I felt like we were buddies - we had lunched together and he had handed me my statue award, kissed my cheek and shown me off to all the Gala attendees! It was extraordinary. In December of that year, just two months after the Gala, I was again at Monaco Dance Forum. Prince Albert, Princess Caroline and their entourage made a special visit to the room where I was demonstrating my work to say hello. I was nearly shot by his bodyguards when I casually threw my arms around Prince Albert for an American-style bear hug. But he gave the hand signal that I was ok so I survived. Wow. The moral of this story is that you never know who is following your work. You never know who is paying attention behind the scenes. That you should always let the people who have supported you in the past know about what you are doing now. Just do it, even if you don’t feel very popular at home.
Though we were never “flavor of the month” in NYC, we were prolific and always self-producing events. We had been produced at The Kitchen by the music curator in 1996, were semi-produced at Danspace Project under Dance Access in 2004, and performed in Karen Bernard’s Performance Mix several times. We primarily self-produced at venues including The Duke on 42nd Street, Context Studios, Joyce Soho, The Knitting Factory, Dixon Place, HERE and WAX among others. We were artists in residence for the first two years of the HERE Artists Residency Program (HARP) and received enormous support from Kristin Marting, who became a collaborator and close friend. We were one of the first groups to rehearse and perform regularly at the now defunct Williamsburg Art Nexus (WAX), working closely with Brian Brooks, Melissa Rodnon, Marissa Beatty and David Tirosh, the four founders. WAX was our creative home for many years. We may have been the first company to get a Village Voice review for our season there in 2001. The bigger story is that we had a two weekend run at WAX in September 2001. The first well-attended weekend was on September 6, 7, 8 and 9. Peggy Cheng wrote a review of our show for The Dance Insider that was posted on September 10, 2001. Then Tuesday, September 11th happened and things changed. We were not sure if we should go on with our second weekend, beginning Thursday, September 13th. Was the city ready? Were we ready? We decided to do it. The house was small and everyone was still in shock. But we needed to gather for art, and everyone needed a break from the incessant news and replays of death and destruction. We gave a short speech at the top of the show preparing the audience for the images contained within, video of many tall buildings in lower Manhattan that appeared in our whimsical work Suite Devo. All of the works shown that season were made pre-9/11 but all took on new meaning immediately in those post-9/11 moments. Art reflecting life. Coming together as a company to perform that weekend is a Troika Ranch milestone that we acknowledge with each other every year.
We began teaching our annual Live-I Workshop, a workshop that teaches artists how to integrate computer and projection technology into their works for stage. We taught our fist workshop at the (also now defunct) Context Studios on Avenue A in 1999. We taught subsequent workshops at DTW, WAX, in the basement of an empty building in the Financial District, granted to us by the LMCC, and eventually at 3LD Art and Technology Center downtown, five blocks from the WTC site, with whom we had a close relationship in the post 9/11 aftermath. We have taught the workshop for 16 consecutive years now. We received consistent funding from the Jerome Foundation due to an initial recommendation from Kristin Marting. We got BAC and NYSCA funding for workshops and films.
We applied over and over to the NEA and MAP fund. In 2007 we finally received funding from those two organizations for our last large work for Troika Ranch, loopdiver (https://www.netnebraska.org/basic-page/television/loopdiver-journey-dance). That year we also received a large commission from the Creative Campus Innovations Grant, administered by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) with funds from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It was a watershed moment for funding for our work. Simultaneously, Mark and I separated and had to decide how to continue our creative relationship even though our personal relationship was shifting. We had a two-month 24/7 residency at 3LD to begin creation of loopdiver. Mark lived in the theater (literally on a blow up mattress, with a coffee maker and a key for the shower room) and I lived in our Brooklyn apartment. We also had residencies in France, in Berlin (where Mark would soon take residence) and several residencies that were part of the commission in collaboration with the Lied Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Made over a two-year time period, loopdiver is the work we are most proud of and may be Troika Ranch’s last work for a fixed company (I’ll come back to this in my 40s). We made the piece in a funding bubble having received more funding than ever before. But the rest of the country was facing a crippling recession and the arts were hit hard. The work premiered at the Lied Center in Nebraska in October 2009 after in-progress showings in NYC, Germany and France. Unlike our previous works that had toured extensively, loopdiver toured to one venue per year for the next four years: The Dance Center at Columbia College (2010), Bowdoin College (2011), Ufer Studios in Berlin (2012) and the Performa Festival in Moscow, Russia (2013).
The reason for the decline in our touring and production was partly due to the recession but also because Mark and I divorced in 2009, and the change in our personal life caused a shift in our artistic life. We were not sure if we would make another work together and had jumped off the funding treadmill (writing grants and raising money for the production of a new work while touring the last work) in order to get sorted personally and artistically. This meant that at the end of the making of loopdiver we did not have funding secured for the making of our next work. Mark permanently relocated to Berlin in 2008 and I moved back to Portland, OR in 2009 where I bought a house. Necessity forced us to reassess our working relationship and consequently the way that not-for-profit arts organizations sustain. To encapsulate this decade I would say these were my working years.
Photo: Piro Patton 2001
40s: My 40s have been spent redirecting my life, broadening my artistic focus and expanding my community beyond the “art world." I was 43 when I arrived in Portland. In the spirit of sharing with brutal honesty, at that moment I felt completely broken and did not recognize my life. I collapsed from emotional exhaustion. I was burnt to a crisp from the business aspects of art making. I had worked with singular focus alongside my romantic and artistic partner for 20 years, and now I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it anymore. I now lived in a house on the ground floor with the world right outside my single wooden door instead of the previous fifteen years of living in a fourth floor walkup with several doors and locks between me and the world. It was both liberating and scary. I began a reinvention process.
Fortunately, Mark and I have so much respect and love for each other that we continued to be in conversation, continued to tour loopdiver, and continued to speculate on how we might work Troika Ranch under our new conditions. When I got to Portland, the wheels of Troika Ranch were still rolling, and I traveled to teach and perform quite a bit. I taught at Bates Summer Dance Festival in 2010, in Ireland, and other locations for the next few years.
I went to graduate school in 2012 because academic tides had shifted so much that I could not be hired by a university, even as an adjunct, without a Masters Degree. I was the oldest and most experienced person in my graduate school cohort. And thankfully, GWU gave me a full ride, otherwise I would not have been able to go. During graduate school I focused on a few topics that had risen to the forefront for me in the previous two+ years of time away from NYC, away from the grind of my not-for-profit existence and from ideas that were still resonating from making loopdiver. I became very interested in close audience proximity and participation, in architecture/space as inspiration and in performance itself as content. I called this creative approach Portable Performance Process (https://dawnstoppiello.com/creating/ppp/). I wanted to create performance in unintimidating settings for uninitiated audiences and where the audience was asked to be mobile and active.
These interests were explored first during a collaborative project with Reed College that was based on a Troika Ranch work made for Brown University called Enter Comma Prepare. This project marks a transition between the high-cost, high-production value, long time-frame works of Troika Ranch and the series I would soon develop, called Salon du Garage, wherein I made free performances inside my garage and home. Salon du Garage performances are highly improvised and very playful with no exclusive pretense. With this series I want to expose a broader audience to contemporary dance. I want to have fun. And I am.
SWARM, Troika Ranch’s project in development, also spun out of our work on loopdiver. In SWARM we are combining the two primary ways in which we have used computer technology and sensory systems --- the “digital reflection,” where the media is a reflection of performer action as seen in most of our works, and the “digital intervention,” where the media serves as an intervention in the creation of the choreography as seen in loopdiver. (For more detail watch this - https://vimeo.com/107405225).
The making of SWARM reflects the change in our company model. Mark and I now live in cites separated by 6000 miles. Our disparate locales and our loss of faith in the traditional methods for sustaining an arts organization make it unfeasible to operate in the same way we had previously. Mark and I work remotely and connect with bi-monthly Skype meetings. We get together in physical space a couple times a year, so far during residencies at Carleton College (MN), Marshall University (WV), and Reed College (OR). Our next and most lengthy creative residency is at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA this fall. We are hired to be in residence to teach classes and give students a creative experience, a method that we’ve been engaged in since the beginning of our careers, and as a result we develop our performance work.
As a performance/installation, SWARM is created from a score, generated by audience action, that is followed by performers, all in real-time. We have chosen to pull cast members from each community in which we develop and present the work rather than travel with our own company cast. This is partly an artistic inquiry to see how robust and interesting a score we can create that will work on each new set of performers and audience. And it is partly a reaction to the expense and logistics of touring with a cast and crew of 11 as we did for loopdiver, a model that no longer feels sustainable given our current lifestyles and the “state of the arts." Because SWARM cannot be created without the presence of an audience, each rehearsal is also a performance (https://dawnstoppiello.com/creating/troika-ranch/swarm/).
Mark and I are planning to write a book (or online book) about the unique time period in which Troika Ranch came to be --- a time when computers went from rarified, expensive objects to a time when most people in first-world nations carry one around in their hands. A time when the Internet as we know it was born.
On a personal level --- I am happily remarried, I am a stepmother, and I have a dog and a house and garden, and will soon have a studio of my own on my property. My artwork is an integrated aspect of my life rather than being its sole content. To encapsulate this decade I would say these are my living years.
Can you talk more about the intersection and interplay between dance and technology in your work?
This is an enormous question for me that can fill a book with the answer, a book that is on its way into existence. The short answer is that I have been integrating technology (specifically computers, video cameras and projectors, and sensors that track performers) into my choreographic work from the very beginning. My work as a choreographer and my work as a technologist are inextricably linked. I had only made one solo and one trio in college before my collaboration with Mark began. Troika Ranch creates contemporary, hybrid artworks through an ongoing examination of the moving body and its relationship to technology. This aesthetic framework has informed Troika Ranch's artistic output on every level since its inception. However, when I am not working in collaboration with Mark, my use of technology is less sophisticated. Mark created Isadora®, the user-friendly media manipulation software, in 2000. With Mark as programmer, our work with technology for Troika Ranch is high-level and complex. As a solo maker, my use of technology is simpler though no less integral. We always had a rule in Troika Ranch – no technology before need. It’s still that way for me as a solo artist. The use of a computer or video projection only arrives when the content of the work demands it. I use Isadora to sequence visual and audio components. I use Isadora, the equipment that I own, and my knowledge to be able to present more complicated production elements than a short showcase or a venue with limited resources might be able to provide me. Though I have recently turned my focus more onto the medium of my body, these ever-present technologies are part of my ongoing investigation.
Links to some of your work:
loopdiver (2009) - https://troikaranch.org/troikaWP/portfolio-item/loopdiver/
Enter Comma Prepare (2012) - https://vimeo.com/77005682
Salon du Garage (ongoing) - https://vimeo.com/channels/salondugarage
Do (a dance) 2015 - still from video
What is on your calendar for the rest of 2015?
I am working with Mark, as Troika Ranch, at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA for three months this fall. We are setting a version of SWARM on students and teaching a collaborative class on creativity. I will also begin teacher training for the Alexander Technique. My home studio will be complete by the end of the year. This studio will be a place for me to work out material for classes and projects and a space where I can work with private clients on somatic practice.
What does a typical work week look like for you?
There is no such thing as typical for me anymore. Once upon a time in New York my week looked like this: rehearse at WAX three days a week for three hours per day. The other days were spent doing all of the administration, company management and public relations required for a touring company. I found the daily switching of hats very exhausting after a while. In late 2004 we received a commission from the UK and made a new piece with London-based dancers called 16 [R]evolutions. During the next two years we would spend several months in intensive creative periods in England and other locations, interrupted by intensive administrative and fundraising periods in NYC. This model was more productive and less stressful. This is also how we worked on loopdiver since some of our dancers were based in Europe and some in NYC, we had to schedule intensive creative periods and fortunately we had the funds to continue to work that way.
Now my weeks vary wildly. I teach a professional level contemporary class for the Portland community. I teach two times a week at Portland State University. I am sometimes engaged in a project with Troika Ranch or on my own. I manage my household like I used to manage my company. I pay bills, I pick food from the garden, I food shop, I make appointments, I walk the dog, I just bop along as the week needs me.
How do you balance the artistic and administrative sides of the company?
I don’t anymore. I don’t want to run a company with a fixed group of dancers and a regular touring schedule and an oppressive grant writing regiment. I no longer have faith in the traditional not-for-profit arts organization scheme. It’s not a sustainable system, and I am certainly not the only one saying so. After my divorce from Mark I became very cognizant to how all art is subsidized. Though I am grateful for the grant support I have received and will continue to ask for, this support is never enough. There are too many artists who need this support, and we all have to conceive of clever ways to keep making our work happen. Art is often subsidized by one's own “day jobs” or by the support of a partner or family member. Mark and I had a great system of subsidy going while we were married. I quit all my day jobs in 1999 to completely focus on running Troika Ranch, and Mark made enough money as a programmer to allow us not to take a full salary from Troika Ranch. All money that was earned and unearned (as it is referred to) went back into the company to pay dancers, designers and production costs. Because we taught so much, Troika Ranch earned 80% of its annual income for most years. But once I no longer lived on Mark’s income, I had to take any money I earned teaching or making work into my personal checking account. Troika Ranch is still an operating not-for-profit organization. Mark and I ARE Troika Ranch and we still go out and teach, lecture and create but I no longer want to manage a full-time company.
I am starting to think that all of the art I make will be offered free to the public. But you have to pay me to teach, create on students, lecture or write articles or papers. I am questioning the relationship of my artwork and money. What am I willing and able to share with a public without renumeration? I am still basically a struggling freelance artist. This profile represents a snapshot of my life’s work, and I agree to share it with the public for free.
But a message I am trying to impart on students is to know when and why you do something for no pay. One reason might be that if artists didn’t give back to the field for free there would be no field to give back to. We collectively subsidize the whole field; it’s a shared responsibility. I teach as an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Portland State University as well as doing independent projects and projects with Troika Ranch, yet these combined efforts do not earn me enough money to survive on my own. Thankfully I am in a partnership in which my husband and I each contribute money and parse out responsibilities that contribute to our survival.
What does collaboration mean to you?
Everything I guess. Most of my career has been spent making work, and building a reputation based on artistic values, in collaboration with Mark Coniglio. Our name Troika Ranch..... Troika is the Russian word for three; we integrate three media (dance, theater, media). The Ranch part stands for the collaborative way in which our work gets made. All the creatives in the room are encouraged to contribute ideas during the process. All are given credit for those contributions, and all ideas are explored. In the end Mark and I make the final decision, but up until the end, everything goes. And I collaborate every day with my husband on how to live well and still make art. I think a primary reason I stayed interested in the performing arts is because it is made in collaboration with other people. I love the mess and beauty of people!
How do you find dancers? What do you look for in a dancer?
I have found dancers by audition. I have found dancers by them reaching out to me asking if they can work with me. I have found dancers by asking them to work with me. I look for that thing that you can’t teach. Charisma I suppose. I choose the dancer who I cannot take my eyes off even if they are not the most “technical." I desire a bold and fearless and generous dancer...a smart, thinking dancer who will contribute his/her creativity and his/her ideas that will draw bigger and better ideas out of me. And I have had the great pleasure of working with many. The dancers I have worked with have shaped the dances I have made. They are my material, and I am theirs.
Three pieces of advice for aspiring choreographers:
1) Keep your eye on your artistic drive and vision, and try not to get bogged down by the administration. If you can get someone else to do the administration for you, do that.
2) Come up with criteria under which you take or do not take work. Mine is a three-part scheme:
- The project or artists involved are incredibly interesting to me
- The project is happening in a place I have never been before
- The money is really good.
If at least one of those three criteria is not applicable, then I say no to the project.
3) Always know yourself as an artist even if you are not earning a living that way.
Some financial wisdom to pass onto choreographers:
All art is subsidized. How are you going to subsidize your dancing? I am not saying that you should learn to type. You should do what you do best – make and/or do dances. But you may or may not be one of the small percentage that earns enough money doing only that. Ask around to the people who you admire, and ask them how much money they are earning for doing what. Get the real story. Search inside your work for what is already there that might appeal to an audience outside of a pure dance audience. Find a larger audience. Are you a feminist? A historian? A comedian? An environmentalist? Are there notes of politic in your work? Animal rights? Geography? I don’t know what it might be, but the university system in our country is a big engine that helps run our art making. Seek connections with aspects of the university that are outside of dance. Reach into and promote collaboration between dance and other areas of interest and learning, other departments that could benefit from your perspective. Dance is the vehicle that carries your message. Get to know the message that is riding in your dances.
The role of teaching in your dance career:
I was a dance teacher when I was 25, just after leaving the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. At that moment I had a very clear technique to teach and it all seemed relevant since Bella was still alive and I felt there was a direct application for the technique I was teaching. Now it’s a bit different. There has been much conversation about the role of class for today’s contemporary dancer. My philosophy now is that a dancer needs to be strong and flexible and knowledgeable about the structure (muscles and skeleton at least) of the body. Today’s dancer needs to be adaptable and ready to contribute creatively to an artistic process. I try to teach general principles like dealing with gravity and weight, requirements for various choreographic design, strength and coordination, and improvisation and composition skills. The specific steps (style or technique) are less relevant over the physical concepts of how to move through space without injury and with grace and ferocity. It’s an ongoing conversation and I am still learning and adapting to what I perceive as necessary to maintain a strong and supple dancing body. As I previously mentioned, teaching the integration of technology and performance is an enormous part of my work with Troika Ranch. I love to teach.
Last performance you saw that really inspired you:
Linda Austin’s (Un)Made solo relay series. Linda performed a solo that was watched by two who then performed a version of the solo that was watched by two who performed a version and so on and so on (https://unmade.net). It’s a game of telephone dancing. What I love is seeing what a person sees when watching a dance. Literally we are witness to a version of a solo as seen through a specific pair of eyes, then recreated. I have seen a few of the iterations and I try to notice the soul of the previous performer in the new performer. It’s always undercut by the ego and presence of the present performer, but the previous still shines through in some way. It’s a fascinating exercise in seeing and translating.
A book or website you would recommend to dancers:
I have a few: Susan Rethorst’s book A Choreographic Mind is stellar! Susan is an inspired maker and teacher and a friend. The work of painter Chuck Close – I am an amateur grid painter and I strive to do what Chuck does. Close up is one thing and far away is quite another. The work of video artists Woody & Steina Vasulka, who are old friends of mine, is magical. They are the first artists to show me how to be generous with my ideas (https://www.vasulka.org). The Oblique Strategies – a deck of cards used to divine creative insight - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblique_Strategies, https://stoney.sb.org/eno/oblique.html.
Final thoughts –
I have often thought that I wish I knew then what I know now. But actually, I don’t. You can only know what you know through the experiences you are having and the ones you hope to have. Go forward with naiveté and wonder. Trust your values. Teach by example. Learn and learn some more. Let change happen. Be generous.