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Breaking Down Walls and Cultivating Collaborative Connection: Exploring and Engaging Authentic Leadership

  • Author(s): Marroquin, Kasson Jo
  • Advisor(s): Porter, Lisa
  • Means, Charles
  • et al.
Abstract

ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS

Breaking Down Walls and Cultivating Collaborative Connection:

Exploring and Engaging Authentic Leadership

by

Kasson Marroquin

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre and Dance (Stage Management)

University of California, San Diego, 2018

Professor Lisa Porter, Chair

The non-traditional process of Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. was an ideal catalyst for exploring my authentic voice as a leader within the production environment. The director’s style and structure demanded constant presence and genuine engagement, which tested my adaptability. I faced internal walls of self-doubt, fear, and resistance that blocked my voice and hindered collaboration. Gaining awareness of the restrictive influence of the walls led me to call the barriers into question and commit to breaking them down. I courageously confronted my fear of judgment and embraced self-compassion and vulnerability. I regularly took risks, followed new instincts, experimented with communication styles, and pushed myself to take up space and speak in an exposed manner. I employed patience as I navigated discomfort until my new working style felt natural, beneficial, and productive.

By expressing my curiosities, concerns, and excitement about the process to the director, our relationship softened. Space opened for trust, compromise, clear communication, and adaptive change, and our connection strengthened as I honestly engaged and reinforced my boundaries. Despite my fears, I diligently chipped away at the walls with each risk I took. They began to crumble, creating room for cultivating my untapped abilities and building productive, rather than restrictive, collaboration. Situations that I previously perceived as conflicts became merely challenges to investigate and integrate. The Revolt process was a culmination of years of work that showed me the capacity of my adaptability, potency of my leadership, and the power of engaging my authentic voice.

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