Will you rise to meet intense discomfort if it allows you to experience immense pleasure? Isabella Braveheart certainly hopes so, and she retraces her steps from rebel without a clue to entrepreneur with a plan for collective redemption. We are RAW these days, as it is, and uncomfortable with the world…so perhaps this is the time for some experimentation. Hersh and Isabella share notes on the relative bravery of spilling your personal intimate sh*t onto the stage in the service of healing your trauma. Isabella does it without the laughs, which in our opinion, requires a helluva lot more guts than the comedy route. And connecting through raw sensuality onstage, while transformative, requires a whole new level of engagement with the audience.
“Muse of Humanity” Isabella Braveheart is an expressionist, speaker, and transformance artist who helps people get real, reveal, and heal, through programs, performances, and sessions all over the world.
Find out more at https://www.linkedin.com/in/isabellakonold
Isabella Braveheart on Truth Tastes Funny with Hersh Rephun
[00:00:00] Hersh: The funny thing about trauma is that it can morph into something else if we have the courage to make it so. This is my conversation with Isabella Braveheart.
[00:00:51] Hersh: We're here with Isabella Braveheart, expressionist, transformance artist and a speaker of course. And we thank you, Isabella, for being on truth tastes funny. Tell me about yourself as relates to the truth.
[00:01:08] Isabella Braveheart: Yeah. Well, thank you for having me. Thank you for asking. I, you know, it's interesting when you, when you introduced the show as Truth Tastes Funny, I was thinking of. And it tastes bitter and it tastes sweet and it tastes pleasurable and it tastes erotic and it tastes awful and it tastes all these different ways.
[00:01:26] And that is part of what it means to be a transformance artist, to be an expressionist, is to be able to palate all of the ways that truth tastes and lives and works and moves through the body. And specifically what that looks like is. In the world of transformance and performance and transformation.
[00:01:52] One of the ways that I thrive on truth is alchemizing pain into power and darkness into Dharma and really using artistic expression creativity as a way to, as a vessel for truth to come into higher alignment with. With where, where we've been and where we are today. And I feel like, you know, when it comes to truth, telling you when it comes to being willing to really be with the truth of who we are in the world and where we've been and where we're going and what we like and what we don't like, it takes a certain amount of courage to stand and face that and say yes to that, which is in front of us.
[00:02:34] And now what am I going to do? And that is the art of transformance is transforming and, and really alchemizing in my case, some of the deepest, darkest, most challenging times in my life into beauty and art and that which can be expressed through myself and received through others.
[00:02:58] Hersh: Hearing that. And when I met you, it was, it was the same. It's a, it feels beautiful and cleansing to listen to you, speak about it and, and talk with you about it. What it makes me wonder is why is that so unique and so hard? It seems, what is it about us that we don't just all move through life this way?
[00:03:22] Isabella Braveheart: Well,
[00:03:24] Hersh: what holds us back?
[00:03:26] Isabella Braveheart: Yeah. I mean, I feel like it's really multi-dimensional and very complex in that we both, you know, particularly in Western culture, but I think it, it, it goes for globally is we're conditioned to not feel pain. We don't want to feel pain. We want to avoid discomfort and lean towards comfort.
[00:03:49] And we're also culturally conditioned to appear and present as though everything is beautiful and tidy and okay. And neat. And so to dive into the messy parts, both goes against what we're we're we're conditioned culturally, and what actually feels good. We don't realize that it's in meeting the discomfort that we actually experienced the most pleasure.
[00:04:15] It seems like, oh my gosh, that deep dark, I don't want to touch that on. If we knew what was on the other side of that, if we knew it was available in actually leaning into the discomfort, which truth often as accompanied by feelings of discomfort, we would be much more apt to want to walk in that direction, but we are our internal, you know, that.
[00:04:40] The the, the lizard brain is like, Mayday, Mayday, don't go there. Don't go there. And then culturally, we say, don't go there, don't go. There don't look bad. Don't show people. Don't, you know, reveal. And so there really isn't a model to, to hold that torch for us. We really have to do it for ourselves and each other in a new way, in the way that we.
[00:05:01] We are in an extraordinary time in human history where we really do get to rewrite and redesign the paradigms that we're living inside of. And that takes some serious courage to be with the truth of, of my internal experience, external experience and the global experience. I don't even know if I answered your question, but.
[00:05:27] Hersh: You did. I mean, the thing that resonated with me right away about that was that as a comedian you know, people's perception of comedians is that we're all fucked up and that we're, we're we're, you know, you know, that, that's what it is. It comes from turmoil and an angst, and people always marvel at Jerry Seinfeld as an example of some kind of anomaly in that he seems so unfazed and unaffected and unfucked up.
[00:05:52] But in fact, he seems to me very fucked up and there's nothing against Jerry. It's just that he's. A little socially awkward. He has, you know, you know, he's kind of Asperger's-y. It's great, but it's not, " this is a person without a care in the world," he's maybe been a little removed from intimacy in his performance style.
[00:06:15] Whereas somebody like Lenny Bruce would be the exact opposite or Robin Williams or Richard Pryor. I had what I considered to be a very normal, for lack of a better word or a healthy upbringing, and then felt that as a comedian, maybe I was either not in touch with the things that were screwed up about my upbringing or I didn't have them at my disposal. And so as a comedian, I didn't have, I couldn't bring the edge.
[00:06:50] Isabella Braveheart: " I don't have enough material!"
[00:06:51] Hersh: Right. I don't have enough material. Which is, which is, which is crazy because I think to, to both of our points, it's, we're not, there's no dearth of material in humanity.
[00:07:02] There's a dearth of, of connection with the material and a connection with the, with, and then people will say on the other hand, oh, you're lucky. We'll say to somebody who went through some shit. Oh, you're lucky that you went through all that stuff. It made you a stronger person. It made you a stronger person.
[00:07:20] Isabella Braveheart: You know, it's interesting. I was, I was just laughing the other day with my mom about, I, I'm not, I don't identify as a comedian. However I know that, you know, part of what comedians do is they take real life what's going on and, and you, you make jokes out of it. And I do the same thing. I just, I have a more dramatic approach than a comedic approach, but I was joking with my mom the other day that I was thinking her, you know, I really appreciate how much content you have given me.
[00:07:48] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all the dysfunction, because I have content for, for days, but you know, it's interesting what you say. This stereotype around comedians. I didn't know that that was a stereotype, but it, you know, it makes sense. I think that with comedians, artists, actors, performers of any sort, I don't think that we're any more.
[00:08:12] I am also a performance artists to play. Right. Et cetera. And I don't, I don't think that we're any more fucked up than anyone else. We're just willing to put a voice. We're actually just willing to speak to it, to be seen in it, to pull back the curtain on what every single human being is experiencing.
[00:08:31] Now are some of us more fucked up than others? Have some of us have shittier childhoods or experience more trauma or more pain? Absolutely. But I, I feel like the, the beauty of art - and I include comedy in that is the willingness to actually turn up the volume and get on stage and, and being willing to, to say what others don't want to say, but are feeling because we're all feeling we're all in this muck together.
[00:08:59] We're all victims. If you will, of the world that we've lived in and the, and the culture that we have, co-created that we have designed. We're, we're all the effects of that. The performers, the ones who were willing to take the mic just happened to be the ones courageous enough to say it.
[00:09:17] Hersh: Yeah. And, and, and what makes us uncomfortable as audience members is not that it's alien to us.
[00:09:25] If we watch an erotic performance, it's not that we're the w that we don't relate to it it's that we do. It's just that something about. Feels inappropriate or wrong or too personal or too intimate. But if we didn't relate to it, we would just look at it like this. You know, I remember being, I remember being in Amsterdam and being at one of these sex shows in Amsterdam. It was a very erotic performance. And there was a couple in this theater and there were, there had to be a couple of hundred people in this theater and there was a an elderly couple sitting right near me. Who looked like they could've been from Miami beach, who looked like they could've been, you know, my grandparents from Miami beach and the woman's sitting there holding her purse the way that women have that day held that held their purse.
[00:10:19] Oh, there we go. Got some motorcycle noise, some requisite, some requisite LA. Oh, you had to have the Harley in the background!. It's not LA, if you don't, if you don't have a Harley ride through your conversation, then you're not in LA.
[00:10:32] Isabella Braveheart: At least we'll probably get one siren as well. I would imagine one ambulance or police siren during, during this time together, there'll be something in Los Angeles.
[00:10:41] Hersh: We need it for ambience. And I just, I marveled at seeing this woman because she looked like she could have been in a Jerry Lewis movie. It didn't look like, you know, she was uncomfortable or put off. She was curious, but she had kind of a curious look as opposed to a discomfort that we might feel watching something.
[00:11:02] And of course in that context, it's a little strange, cause you're not sure if it's exploitive or. Or if it's art, which is another thing that I wanted to ask you about the line between, between you know, erotic performance, that is, that is healthy and, and, and beautiful and something that might be exploitive.
[00:11:26] What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, you know,
[00:11:30] Isabella Braveheart: I think I always go back to, what is the intention? What is the intention behind what I'm creating and what is the experience that I want to have? You know, I, I approach my art maybe a little bit differently than, than most artists do. I really use my art as a healing modality.
[00:11:52] And so I take what's real and alive for me. It started with transformative. Huge pain around sexual trauma as a child, into a pregnancy loss as an adult, to all myriad of things that I, that have accompanied my underworld and my darkness of the soul. And so my art is very much a reflection of what that internal experience has been like.
[00:12:23] And so. And my art also happens to be on the more explicit graphic raw kind of gritty side. Now there is it, you know, artists, artists objective, right? So it's up to each artist, how, how they want to express for me. I'm looking at what creates connection versus what creates disconnection and will this apply as a blanket rule for all? No, of course not. But, but as a rule, if I'm creating more disconnection than connection with my audience, I'm not landing the way I want to land. My intention is to create the most amount of connection possible. And to actually, and I didn't actually know this until I started performing when I started performing and writing my own art, I simply, like I said, was using this for healing modality and the way I like to express.
[00:13:19] And I began to see how I was healing myself through. Sharing my story in a performative way. When I saw what was happening for my audience, which I had no idea what's going to happen. I know some artists write specifically to give their audience a particular experience. I don't necessarily create in that way.
[00:13:40] However, once I saw what was happening with my audience. Then I realized, whoa, okay. Now I have more of a responsibility in how I create, because I desire that to give the most that I can give the way I create my art. As I always have a discussion afterward with the audience. That happens to be my absolutely favorite part of the evening to see what comes through in that connection through others' stories, because we never know, right?
[00:14:11] Like what is the thing that's going to land and hit that we absolutely have zero relatedness in our background. And yet pain is pain is pain. Fear is fear is fear. Power is power is power. And so that through line transcends. Circumstances and experiences and, you know, the, the, the tangible, the tangible part of it.
[00:14:32] But what if I've taken something in what could be considered? And I think you said too, you said exploited, but I would say too far, or what I call self masturbatory just out there, kind of like, I'm so crazy and edgy and I'm doing my art, but if the audience is completely disconnected, then who cares, you know, you might as well be doing that in a vacuum.
[00:14:52] If you have cut off your audience, And of course there are some people who are going to get triggered and they won't come back anyway. And those aren't your people, you know, but there's, that's where I find the line is what is in service of my intention. And if my intention is my north star is creating the massive amount of connection and, and felt human experience that transcends the script, then I'm doing my job.
[00:15:20] And if people are walking out, because they're like, I don't frickin relate to this and it's just weird, then I'm not.
[00:15:26] Hersh: And there's art that, that doesn't seek to connect with the audience and there's art that does. And so there's performance art that doesn't doesn't seek the validation or the engagement of the audience. It exists.
[00:15:39] Isabella Braveheart: That's right. And that's why there's no right answer. There's no right answer. There's simply what gives you pleasure as an artist? And that's what gives me pleasure. I, my my work is the intersection of art, transformational, healing, and entrepreneurship. And I bring those three together because they really are. all part of the same deal. I'm offering a service, I'm in my artistic expression and I'm also in an, in a healing vessel and those are all happening at the same time for me. And that's just the way I like to do it. Some, you know, some abstract audience can do whatever the, whatever they want with this experience.
[00:16:16] That's equally valid.
[00:16:19] Hersh: Yeah. Well, we'll talk about the entrepreneurship part in a moment, but I want to go back. You recently posted a beautiful. Telling of your story on Instagram, you kind of, you had a, it had several slides on Instagram and you were kind of describing your, your journey a little bit.
[00:16:38] Can you share that with the audience and kind of go back to your childhood and, and trace your steps a little.
[00:16:46] Isabella Braveheart: Oh, you mean the post about the craziness of where I've been and where I am now?
[00:16:51] Hersh: Yeah, it was really very well stated and people should go to your Instagram and check it out. But, but yeah. Tell, I mean, tell your story essentially.
[00:16:58] Yeah. I think what's important to know about my story is that the posts that you're speaking of is, is kind of a rags to riches sort of post minus those words, you know, but, but the transformation of how did this become this, you know, how, and, and in my case, what that was, was a very, very, very wounded young girl who, you know, I kind of in many ways had a typical story of dropping out of school and not because I didn't come from a very good family, which was, I mean, I come from an Ivy league educated, amazing middle-class family.
[00:17:40] But I was really hurting inside from like I shared sexual trauma as a child and some other, some other things that had happened with, you know, boundaries and, and parents that were great and loving, but just were missing some of the pieces around solidity. And I became a punk rocker with a, with a, with a red Mohawk and I was doing drugs and I dropped out of school and I was a rebel through and through.
[00:18:03] I just hated to be told what to do. I hated authority. I hated rules. I hated all of it. And while I was a really good way,
[00:18:11] Were your parents strict?
[00:18:13] Isabella Braveheart: They were not strict enough. They were not strict enough. And I was a very well, my dad was out of the picture. My mom was a single mother of three young children.
[00:18:23] Going to grad school, full time working full time. And was it, was it kind of a classic mother of that time where, you know, she didn't really have a lot of personal power or a strong voice. And I came into this world very fiery with a lot of power and I kind of bulldozed her and, and she not having you know, her own power or a male figure by her side and, you know, scrambling to raise these three young kids and do all the things that you see.
[00:18:50] I just, I had my way, you know, and I was able to, to, to do what I wanted to do. And and, and I, I, you know, I really got sucked into the dark side of drugs, alcohol sex. I started stripping when I was 16. And and, and, but, but what really, what was happening internally was a lot of self hatred. A lot of.
[00:19:15] Such deep disconnection and not belonging, and really not understanding my place in the world and not having a lot of joy in life. I just didn't have a lot of joy. I always wanted to be older than I was. I wanted to be more, I wanted, I wanted to be anything other than what I was. And one of the, one of the things that, that happened as a result of dropping out of school, I happened to actually be a very good student.
[00:19:41] I was a straight A student. But one of the things that a result of dropping out of school was that I didn't have anyone to reflect my gifts and my, my brilliance, my talent back to me my mother did in her way as a wonderful, you know, champion, like, you know, not all mothers, but many mothers are, but I didn't get that feedback loop.
[00:20:03] To to see where my gifts mattered and why they were important. And so I just didn't relate to myself as someone who had gifts or that, that what I was doing was important or needed in any way. And so I would, you know, I was a waitress and I did the whole thing or a cocktail waitress and worked in strip clubs and did that lifestyle and and was in a lot of pain
[00:20:27] Hersh: How did you feel like during that time
[00:20:30] Isabella Braveheart: I was really depressed. I was very checked out. I was very defensive, very, very defensive guarded, locked down. I, you know, I was quite an anomaly in my family. My family is very loving an open. And I was just like a volt hardcore when I was 14 years old. I, I worry.
[00:20:53] I would wear a biker jacket, you know, the, the black leather jacket and I had put bikes and nails coming out of them. And I had this like nail cross spiky thing around my neck. And and I would carry a switchblade two switch plates, one in either pocket of my, and I had a switchblade.
[00:21:14] Hersh: Yeah, I had a switchblade comb. I don't know if that's that's as intimidating, but
[00:21:19] Isabella Braveheart: I should've had a comb because truly I was a little skinny white girl who thought she was very tough and I wasn't even, I didn't need a switchblade for anything. I wasn't engaging in violence. I, for all intents and purposes, I was just a middle-class white girl, but I wanted to be tough.
[00:21:35] So, you know, I really went into a lot of the underworld spaces and. And I think to just, I guess, fast forward through time, part of what the post was that you read about was at that time, my sort of my, my biggest fantasy was if I, if I just had a sugar, daddy, if I just had someone to take care of me and pay the bills, everything would be okay.
[00:22:02] Everything would be okay. And, and fast forward, who I am today, this post was inspired because I was sitting at my desk. And I was taking sales calls for a program that I'm filling. And, and I, I am now in the entrepreneur space, in the creative space. I have a one woman show that I toured internationally.
[00:22:22] And I'm telling you this, not to fluff my feathers, but because back then, if I had, if I had gotten a sugar, daddy, if I had someone to come rescue me to come to my rescue. I would have sold myself short of the absolutely most phenomenal life that I get to have today. I would not get to know my, to know myself as a business owner.
[00:22:49] I wouldn't get to know myself as a woman who had climbed out of some of the darkest, deepest shit holes of depression and sadness and suicidal thoughts and self hatred to someone who's actively making a difference in other people's lives, actively creating a ripple in the world for people to get out of their own dirty depths of hell.
[00:23:13] And that my, my, my, my sight was so limited back then. I had no idea. I couldn't see what I couldn't see. And it was only going through the process, which brings us full circle to what we're talking about in the beginning of this podcast, which is being willing to actually meet. The discomfort. It took me a long time to get here and that's a story for a whole other show, but to, to be willing to walk in to the ring with my own fiercest opponent, myself, and say, okay, I'm willing, I'm willing to see what I can't see.
[00:23:47] I'm willing to be with a part of myself that I don't like, and I'm willing to lean in and do the fucking work that is required to come back into. And it is a lifetime job. I mean, that, that work doesn't end. It's the most courageous work we can do. And an out of that birthed who I am today, I literally composted the shitstorm that I was in to be the fertilizer for the life that I have today.
[00:24:16] Hersh: That's a great quote.
[00:24:18] Isabella Braveheart: Can you share that with me? So I can remember that one too.
[00:24:23] Hersh: Yeah, that's fantastic. It segues nicely into the entrepreneurship element because performance, that's another thing that I think. People struggle with when they're trying to express themselves is how do I express myself in a way that is conducive not only to doing good or. I'm engaging artistically, but how do I turn that into, into a business?
[00:24:47] How do I sustain myself through, through my artistic and, and humanistic endeavors? So so what is the, what is the entrepreneurship side of this equation?
[00:24:59] Isabella Braveheart: So this all happened very, very, very organically. I didn't wake up and decide I wanted to be an entrepreneur one day. I just did what I loved and I did what I knew and what I mean by that is that I, I had already had a business as a, as a ballroom dance instructor back when, but I, it became not fulfilling after a while.
[00:25:23] It was. I didn't like what I was, it was a job. And when I wrote my first, I had started to write some monologues and pieces and one-offs, and I, I actually, Eve Ensler is a, is a huge mentor. She's not a mentor. Excuse me. She's a huge inspiration of mine. And and a model for a lot of my work. She informs a lot of my work.
[00:25:46] In her work and I, I produced and I put on a few of the productions, the vagina monologues way back when, and I always knew that I would do my own version of that, that I would write my own show somehow in that way. And that, and I knew that I would bring people through the process of writing their own at the time, what I was considering a vagina monologue.
[00:26:08] And specifically working with women. And I was so I had started writing a couple pieces about my sexual trauma and this and that. And and, and they were all received really well. I actually didn't know that. Well, I wrote my first, I wrote my first real monologue about my drug addiction when I was in my twenties, my mom and I did it, did a very cool piece actually.
[00:26:31] It was sort of the mirror size of our experience together. And, and I happened to be invited to do that. Very randomly. I didn't know that I was a writer. I never knew that I was a writer. In fact, I didn't identify as one. My mother's a writer and an author and she was the writer in the family, not me.
[00:26:52] And then as I began to play with this performance art, I realized, okay, there's something there something's happening. The response is the response is telling me there's something here. And I was healing from my. Third miscarriage at the time, this was not the thing that I did with my mother. This was many years later, I was healing from that and I was just writing, writing, writing, writing.
[00:27:18] I was in so much pain. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't make any sense of anything. So I just wrote every day. And and then I realized that I wanted to turn this into some type of a performance piece I had been, I had been writing just for my own. Catharsis. And then I began to play with a performance performative aspect of it.
[00:27:40] And I ended up, I ended up in the living room of my best friend's house with 12 of my best friends. And I did this performance piece for them. And it was kind of a combination of the crazy years of my sex and drugs and rock and roll. And this, this healing of, of pregnancy loss. And basically they were like, isn't.
[00:28:04] We're not letting you out of this room until you agreed to do a show. And that's kind of the short version. And I did, and I wrote a one woman show and. For me and I debuted it and it did really, really well. And I toured that for a bit. And then I created a program actually created the same night that I debuted it.
[00:28:29] Right. I offered this program the same night that I gave you the show, which was the opportunity for people to turn their stories into performance art, to dive into the deepest depths of their underworlds and. Performance art pieces to be done on stage. And that's, that was the birth of this, the real, the real version of this entrepreneurship that I'm in now.
[00:28:52] And it was, it was extraordinary. And I ended up working with both men and women. I thought I'd be working with only women but that wasn't the case. And then that grew and grew and grew into what's. Now my offerings are, everything's still. taking people through their own process of storytelling.
[00:29:11] And I coach people to create their own own one woman. And one man shows to different, all different aspects of self-expression of healing inward self-expression onstage, but also sexually with your family and your relationships with your work and your Dharma and your business in the world. So it's, it's been a very emergent process of what literally started as me just healing my shit to. Becoming a very vast offering of self-expression in, in the world.
[00:29:43] Hersh: So, so if I can ask the, with regard to the pregnancy loss three miscarriages and I'm familiar with, with several of those in my own family's experience, various members and the trauma that comes with that what was it. What was behind that.
[00:30:02] Do you know, have you have like medically, do you, do you,
[00:30:07] Isabella Braveheart: like, why did that, why did that happen?
[00:30:08] Hersh: Why three? Yeah.
[00:30:10] Isabella Braveheart: You know, I don't know. I don't know. There's lots of, I mean, there's lots of. Things that we could say, maybe it was this. Maybe it was this. I choose to believe that it's what my soul chose. It's part of my path here.
[00:30:25] Now. Does that mean that I won't, you know, that things will, won't be different in the future? No, I absolutely believe that my path can, can can change in the future, but I, I w I wasn't supposed to be, that's why that's the bottom line. It wasn't supposed to be medically why it was that way. We can assume or assert this, this or this, the bottom line is it was not supposed to be. And I'll tell you, what was supposed to be the birth of my one woman show. What was supposed to be was the birth of my performance art, what was supposed to be who I am as an, as an artist in it, and it, and an entrepreneur and a business woman. And that would not have happened. Had I kept that, had those pregnancies stuck around it wouldn't have happened.
[00:31:09] So is that necessary? Could, could this have happened in a less painful way? Hope you know, likely it would have been nice, but that's not my story.
[00:31:20] Hersh: Yeah. And that was why I asked also, because in the process of catharsis through art healing, through art we find a balance between something painful that happened, that we can't really.
[00:31:34] We can't fix in the sense that we can't go back and make it not happen. We can't even prevent it from happening again, but we can certainly extrapolate some lesson or something that we can share or something that we can, we can do with it. Let me ask you with, with encouraging people to, to transform their own stories into, into performances.
[00:32:00] People are terrified. to perform many people are terrified. Like when, when I do stand up comedy, people will say, oh my God, standup comedy is the bravest thing that anybody can do. And it's funny because what's the worst thing that can happen. You know? Like I, like, I have a friend who's a surgeon and he's like, man, I don't know how you do stand up comedy.
[00:32:18] That's terrifying. I'm like, yeah. But if, if I, if I, bomb, you know, that nobody gets hurt. And if you're a surgeon and you're terrified, but you know, and he was a neurosurgeon
[00:32:29] Isabella Braveheart: For standup comedians is the death of the ego for surgeons. It's the death of the human body. Yes.
[00:32:34] Hersh: It's the death of a patient, you know?
[00:32:37] But I think their confidence in that theater is. What is the difference and that's really, everything is the confidence that someone has to go on stage and tell jokes, even if they're a little scared or have butterflies or the confidence that an actress or a dancer or a boxer, or a, or a swimmer have in their theater with what they do, it's, it's a matter of mastery.
[00:33:00] So the question is if someone can actually. Dig deep and come up with a w with a way to share their story and get it out there when it comes to performance. I mean, do you have experiences with people who have just blossomed and just kind of come out of that shell?
[00:33:20] Isabella Braveheart: Yeah. Yeah. So it's one of the most beautiful things in the world. The, what I, what I support people to do. Is being more of themselves onstage because when you're, when you're turning your life story into a piece of art to be shared, it's almost like we can take out the word performance and insert, insert. You're amplifying an expression of what's already true. You already lived that story.
[00:33:58] And it was probably even more dramatic in real life than it will be on stage. So really we're just taking, what's already true and giving us, giving it a script and then you have the opportunity to bring forth what you will. You already know you've lived it, you know, pain, you know, fear, you know, joy. And we then just get to turn up the volume on these different aspects and, and, and fine tune.
[00:34:23] The nuances is everyone. So with what I do, there's, there's also two sides to it. There are those who really want to master the art of performance, and that is joyful. And, and, and that is one of the intentions. And then there are those that really just want to tell their story and the performance piece isn't as important.
[00:34:44] This is the container for both of those things to emerge. So if you're someone that really just wants to find the courage to share your story, and doesn't want to be the, you know, the, the most talented performer, this is the way to do that. It's a different, it's a different space to play in, than someone who's taking acting classes to be an actor and crush it on stage.
[00:35:07] And, and then those that really are, are, are committed to the full. Fantastic. The sky is the limit. I feel like we, we, when we're bringing forth the experiences, as in stories that have already moved through us, there is such a beautiful, personal connection to that material that the stage is already set for you to thrive.
[00:35:29] It really is because you're just being. And then of course we get to, you know, there's, there's certain things that you can do to have that have that really translate and transmit. And it, and it's a bit different than, than comedy because, you know, with comedy and I kind of agree. I think the comedians are one of the, you know, some of the more courageous ones I really do.
[00:35:50] And, and I can understand why it doesn't seem that way, but our why it's all relative. But, you know, with, with this kind of work, We're really just dropping into the compassion and empathy of the human condition. You know, that's what it is. It's when, what it all boils down to is that we have all got shit.
[00:36:14] And when we get on stage and we share our shit, we give other people permission to feel their own shit. And it's not so scary. And it's not so shameful anymore, and it's not some big monster in the dark closet anymore. And that's the beauty of this work. I consider this work a sacred, really a sacred temple that people get to enter into.
[00:36:39] And we go there and we bow with the altar of the human experience. We get down and we pray and we pray to transform and transmute. Like I said, the deepest experience, the deepest, the deepest darkness and pain into the most beautiful, colorful, extraordinary life that we didn't know was possible. And that is honorable.
[00:37:02] And if you come in as an audience member to that place, and you don't find the beauty in that, or the reverence in that, then it's not the place for you. It's just not the place for you.
[00:37:14] Hersh: Yeah. Let's say that someone's listening and they're, this is, you know, that they've never thought about performing.
[00:37:21] They're not even necessarily thinking about it now, but they do have trauma. They do have a story. It's not anything, you know, professional that they're seeking any kind of a, you know, they don't have the fame bug or anything like that, but they're just, there's just a person listening and feeling like, wow, I just really admire how in touch Isabella. is with her, with herself and with her truth, that her life and her potential is there like a first step, like a baby step that someone can take on the road to self-actualization?
[00:37:57] Isabella Braveheart: Well, the first thing I would say is reach out to me, but are you, did you mean, do I have a tip?. Is that what you're asking?
[00:38:08] Hersh: Kind of that like a, like a, like a tip, like you imagined people, somebody just being like, okay, they're, they're wrapped up in life.
[00:38:15] They're, they're pushing all of the personal stuff, you know, kind of down. But the world that we're in today has caused everything to bubble up. I mean, I noticed how on edge people are, people are so on edge and then. You know, the violence and all the other things that we're problems before, but just interpersonally.
[00:38:36] I just see people on edge, which I totally get. Everybody's traumatized now, regardless of how so when I say, yeah, it is kind of like just a tip and you, you know, it could be anything it's not, you know, it just, it just. Compelled to ask because you're in a place where I think you have some good perspective.
[00:39:02] Isabella Braveheart: Yeah. So great question. And it's such a, it's such a complex and multi-dimensional answer where I, you know, I'll preface this by saying that it really is a journey. And I think that's one thing to remember is that particularly where I am now, from where I came, it has been a juror. And I have climbed mountains.
[00:39:29] I have rolled down Hills. I've rolled around in the mud. I've brushed myself up all. I've got myself up again. I mean, it takes time to undo the life that we've led. It takes time to rewrite the narrative, to untangle the dreadlocks that we have spent years. Creating these, these knots and these tangles. And so what I would say for the, the, the umbrella tip is if, if, if you will is compassion really have just a little bit more compassion for yourself and a little bit more compassion for your fellow humans.
[00:40:16] None of us have this thing figured out. We are all doing the best that we can with the tools that we have. And if you don't believe that I invite you to look again, we are doing the best that we can with the tools that we have. And if you feel like you're ready for the next part of your journey, then my invitation to you would really be to look at what do I want and how important is it to me?
[00:40:46] What do I want? And how important, and am I willing to play and get out a journal? If even if you don't journal, I hated journaling for the longest time. Get out anything, whether it's you a pen and a paper, a computer drawing pad, digital graphics, sometimes. And get it out of your body and into the world.
[00:41:10] That is one thing that I talk about all the time, getting our truth, our desire, our fear, our pain, our yearning out of our body, out of our minds and into real time and into this space. And in this, in this. What do you want? Get it out of your body and onto paper, onto a graphic, onto a collage onto anything onto a spreadsheet for all.
[00:41:32] I care. Find something that, that, that makes it real. And then, and then ask yourself, am I willing to work for it? Am I willing to do what's needed to do, to become the person that I need to become in order to have the life that I want to. Because that's all it is. I just need to be, I mean, it's also simple, like the hardest thing in the world, right.
[00:41:53] But I need to, something in here needs to switch something in here, needs to grow, transform, alter change in order for me to have the life that I want. And, and, and, and it really does come to that. What if I were to say, fuck it, what's the best that could happen in life. What's the best that could happen. If I threw away my old ideas and stories and assumptions about who I believe myself to be and what I believe the world to be.
[00:42:21] Because if I believe the assumptions and the stories and the data, if I believe the evidence of who my life showed me, that I was when I was 23, 24, 25, I would not have done shit in this life. If I believed the lie that my evidence, my circumstances, my life story told me was my truth and the trajectory for my future.
[00:42:44] I would not have created anything ever. I had to choose to believe a new narrative. I had to believe, choose to believe that something else was possible that I could be something that history showed me. I wasn't right now. And that's a hard, that's a hard pill to swallow, sometimes a hard thing to do, but we are all we've got we, this sounds cliche.
[00:43:09] We hear it, but we are the ones we're waiting. Everything, everything, everything is available here. It's all starts here. So, so, so I, I, you know, I know that's kind of a vague tip, but, but I feel like when we lock ourselves into that energetic of a new frequency that is free from the constraints of the past, things just begin to open newly, you know, it's like when you, when you know something good is going to happen, all of a sudden your experience of life in the moment just changes. We just have to choose something good.
[00:43:43] Hersh: Or, or when you don't know what's going to happen, like vomiting out all this, you know, whatever we're holding in and whatever our store, whatever we think nobody cares about or whatever we aren't sure is ready for, for anybody to care or whatever it is. Once we throw it out there, we have something to look at and we can't not look at it. And so I love what you said.
[00:44:05] Isabella Braveheart: Yeah. And can you choose to believe that something good is going to happen? Even if there's no. Even if there isn't anything on the calendar, can we choose to believe that that's available? It's possible and it's out there and the diff and what's in the way is me and we all know that.
[00:44:23] Right. It's what we all know.
[00:44:25] Hersh: It's us. Wait, what were you going to say? So what was the thing that you were like, should I test, should I say it once you say, should I say it then? I know this is they're interest is piqued
[00:44:35] Isabella Braveheart: it's not even exciting. It's not even exciting. That's why I pulled it back. That's why I was questioning whether I share it. No, I have, I have to go. I'm going to the dentist this afternoon and I, I, I hate the experience. I hate it so much and I didn't always, but I do now and I get stressed and I get tense and it's yeah, I don't want to go and I put it off for years and it's the whole thing.
[00:45:01] And, and today, and also it just, I sound so hippy when I talk about stuff like this, but, you know, What I do. I really saw that I can choose to enter this thing with fear and resistance and purse, tight clenched, all that. Or I can actually choose to see how there is a liberation available for my entire life.
[00:45:29] Through surrendering to this experience this afternoon that I actually can choose to have a spiritually evolutionary transformative experience when I can match up the resistance that I'm having in this particular situation with other resistance or fear that I have in my life. And so this was more relevant to something you asked at the time.
[00:45:56] But, oh, well, and coming back to even a tip is looking at what's real what's in front of us and choosing to enter that with a new lens, new optics, new perspective, that there might actually be extraordinary freedom available for me. On the other side of this experience, that way transcends a stupid dentist appointment.
[00:46:19] That would be the booby prize, you know, like having a, having a, not so bad. dentist afternoon would be the, the, the booby prize where what's really available. If I choose to lean in to this experience is something that can evolve my soul is who knows what? So this morning I came to that and now I am kind of excited to go have this experience.
[00:46:44] I'm like, all right. So how are you going to evolve this afternoon? So.
[00:46:50] Hersh: Now you now, you're now you're, you're looking forward to the dental, to the dental experience for the higher fulfillment that may, that will come either afterwards as a result or as a result of, of overcoming your fears of, you know, what you think it might be.
[00:47:09] But that that's all also mindfulness and just, and just stepping outside of a certain tiny little. You know, experience to open our minds. The other thing you can do is watch the the dentist number from little shop of horrors from the movie little shop of the movie version with Steve Martin and bill Murray.
[00:47:31] And then you just watch that you have to watch it now before your, your dental appointment, where bill Murray's a masochist. And he goes into Steve Martin. Who's a sadist. You know my dentist, when I was a kid, my, my dentist was, I loved him very much, but he happened to abuse his own medications.
[00:47:52] And so he sometimes would pull teeth that didn't need to get pulled, but he was always very happy and very animated and very excited. And he made the experience of being a dental patient, feel like the experience of being a speed freak, which I, which are. You know, now all these years later has made me less fearful of going to the dentist because of
[00:48:16] Isabella Braveheart: anyway, you know, you have plenty in your mouth. You're fine.
[00:48:19] Hersh: It's tricky, but who cares? The orthodontist was not, was not overmedicated. And he knew what he was doing. So the orthodontics was able to fix it.
[00:48:29] Isabella Braveheart: Checks and balances.
[00:48:31] Hersh: Can I have an orthodontist? Who's not an addict because I would like to just,
[00:48:36] Isabella Braveheart: I'll be sure to ask that question on my way in,
[00:48:38] Hersh: please do and ask them on the way in, by the way, you don't abuse your own, you don't get high on your own supply, do you?
[00:48:44] It's like no. But okay. So Isabella Braveheart, the name Isabella Braveheart You know, if, if people are familiar with, with the, the historical figure known as Isabella Braveheart, the French princess who became the queen of England, who deposed her, her husband Edward, is there a connection there, some somehow with your name?
[00:49:08] Isabella Braveheart: There is not there's not a connection there. I, I actually learned of her. So I, I took this name. I'm revealing what a hippy dippy I am on the inside. But I, this name came to me in a meditation. One, one, several years ago when I was at a retreat.
[00:49:29] And when I heard it, I was like, oh no, we're not going to do that. That's not going to happen. That's that's too big. It's too, you know, the very pretentious, not gonna do that. And And I didn't, I didn't tell anyone about it and I just sat with it and I sat with it and I sat with it for many months. And then, and then on my birthday of that year, which was, I don't know, maybe eight or nine months later, I realized that this name was mine too.
[00:50:02] And I had a whole ritual around it and I realized that, whoa, this is even more my name than I realized it was. I had no idea. This is, this is who I have been. This is who I am. This is who I'm becoming. And the name also really holds me accountable because when I'm not being courageous and I'm not being loving.
[00:50:21] Sure. Check yourself, Isabella, come back into love and come back into, into bravery. And, and so I took on that name and then after I did, I, I learned about Isabella Braveheart and the film, I hadn't even seen the film since that had come out. And coincidentally, I was preparing for an event that weekend and I had written this whole talk on freedom, and I thought, you know, I I'm.
[00:50:52] We're just having intuition to watch the movie. I don't even remember what that movie is about. And I watched the movie and the whole thing's on freedom and I was like, okay, G-d. Got it. Thank you. Received. I heard it. Yeah, but, but I don't know. I don't have a connection to her other than, other than that
[00:51:11] Hersh: is Isabella your, your given name.
[00:51:16] Okay, so that, so, so bringing Braveheart into the equation and what, so you didn't take it as a, as a, as a total name. You, you took it, you took it as a surname that's and but I'm glad you did that. I'm glad you went with that, with that feeling, because we do have those feelings sometimes, like it's too big, you know, changing my last name.
[00:51:38] My name is going to be Hersh. doesn't give a shit. That's going to be my last name. And then whenever I start to get fearful and timid, I'm going to have to remind myself, you know, what are you her? She doesn't give a shit or are you not?
[00:51:50] That's right. And the question is, is it going to be hyphenated or not?
[00:51:54] It's going to be, yeah, it could be all right.
[00:51:57] This is all just happening so fast. I haven't, yeah, real time. I haven't made any decisions yet. I have to call my lawyer. I have to, you know, all kinds of the URL.
[00:52:08] Isabella Braveheart: There's stuff to do.
[00:52:08] Hersh: Yeah, I got stuff to do. I got stuff. Well, we both have stuff to do so we better, end here while we still have the excitement of name changes and, and dental appointments ahead of us, but I will stay in touch with you and we will, we will get to, to find out how the, how the dental appointment went and what, transformative you know, expressive experience you actually found it to be..Because it won't be your average experience
[00:52:35] Isabella Braveheart: I can think of many other things I'd rather talk about than how my dental appointment went, but I'll, I'll I'll check in with you.
[00:52:42] Hersh: Well, well, we'll talk about it offline. We'll talk about the dental appointment offline. You know, we don't need to do it on, on a, on a show, but thank you for coming on.
[00:52:50] Isabella Braveheart: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure. Appreciate it. And I love what you're doing here.