Hands down, one of the best roadtrips I have ever taken was the one I took with my husband through Death Valley. We love exploring new places and we love freedom these kinds of trips allow us. You never know who or what you will run into, or what will be revealed to you along the way.
Little did I know this trip through the desert would make such a lasting impression on my life.
The first night we made plans to stay at a little hotel in Death Valley Junction. (Population: 4) We chose this spot because we had heard about a one woman show that took place at the Amargosa Opera House, which was connected to the hotel.
We were thinking the same thing, "What? Live theater? Out here? An opera house?"
As we drove down those vast desert roads, we wondered what we were getting ourselves into. There was NOTHING around, and yet, when we arrived we saw a line of people waiting outside for the show to begin.
The second we stepped inside this little theater, our mouths dropped open. Beautiful murals, covered every inch of the walls and ceiling. It was the most magical little theater I had ever been to.
And there on the stage sat the woman everyone came to see, the star of the show, Marta Becket.
During her performance we learned the story of how this place came to be. In 1967 Marta and her husband were on a trip and had to stop in D.V. Junction to have a flat tire repaired. (That small problem with the tire was actually a very important piece to this story.) While Marta waited around for the tire to be fixed, she walked around the town. She just so happend to peer though a hole in the wall of a decaying adobe building and discovered an abandoned theater. At that very moment she was overcome with a dream and a vision to restore it.
“As I peered through the tiny hole, I had the distinct feeling that I was looking at the other half of myself. The building seemed to be saying ‘Take me…Do something with me…I offer you life.’"
And that was that. Marta left her dancing and art career in New York CIty and moved to Death Valley. She did what she had to do to live out her creative dream. As you can imagine, she was considered crazy for taking on such a task. It took 7 years alone just to complete the art murals. But for over 45 years, Marta Becket perfomed in that amazing theater. She told stories through dance, art, theatre, and music, captivating the hearts everyone who came to see her. She has been a major source of inspiration to people all around the world in the pursuit of their dreams
Ray Bradbury said it right.. After watching her perform, he wrote,
"Tears came to my eyes..Marta represented the spririt of the individual. The spirit of the theater. Ther spirit of creativity."
Meeting Marta, watching her perform and hearing her story was a very influental moment in my life. This is when the importance of taking hold of my dream hit me like a thunderbolt. I will never forget Marta and the beautiful Amargosa Opera House. You can catch a snipit of the Emmy Award winnig documentary of Marta's life HERE.
So tell me, have you ever had a moment when you knew you just had to make a decision about your creative life?
Have you carried a dream that seems outlandish to others but fills your heart to the brim?
*Photo of the inside of the opera house: David Leventi
*Photo of Marta: Sam Morris
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