Welcome to my Launch!
So, here it is: a new website; a new name; a new location. Everything has changed, and I am feeling good about it all.
Back in the late dark nights of November 2016 last year, I wrote a post about letting go. At the time I was making decisions about my future and what that would mean for how I was living my life. Since then I have been on quite the journey.
The New Website
In building the new me, with new goals and a transition in career, I have made a very bold decision that I will place it all under one banner – my new name. This is my portfolio career, and I am determined that people should get to know the real me. I seek to provide a level of authenticity that I feel is somehow lost in some of the businesses/artists out there who hide behind a range of different names and logos to deliver what they do.
Initially I had thought of calling my new celebrant business by the name of For Life’s Journey. At the same time I would continue working under my old website and name Tuirenn Hurstfield for my theatre related work. The celebrancy business name would have been a perfect name for a business dealing with life’s milestones and supporting people in celebrating some of life’s bigger events. But it wasn’t me. I didn’t feel that this was how I wanted to work – squirrelling away my various career arms like dirty secrets.
I am personally no single part of my career. My portfolio of services that I can offer are all by me, and performed to highest quality level too. They all have one central driving force – and that is ME!
As such, I felt it was important to bring my theatre related work together with my celebrancy work. All under one banner: my name.
Now the third component was that I am finding myself in this big wide world right now. I am seeking the truth of who I am and how I fit into the throttle of my own life. I wanted to start reflecting on my world online. A personal blog.
Initially I considered ghost-writing my thoughts and feelings – you know, picking up a trendy hipsterish blog title and writing anonymously. But that would go against what I am trying to find in myself: honesty, truth and light. I need, for myself, to take the risk of putting myself out there so I can reflect on my thoughts in a mindful way – a way that forces me to really consider my thoughts at that given present, and value the keystrokes by putting them into some semblance of order and sense.
So, I decided that as this is MY place on the internet, and I want people I work with to know me a little better and find trust in my honesty, that I would also retain my personal blog on my portfolio site. Perhaps this is a risk. However, I feel that to honour my own integrity I need to be truthful and open. And so, I trust that the world and my readers will not judge too harshly. This is ME – all in one place.
The New Career
When I was writing that blog entry last November, I had already mustered many of the ideas of what I wanted my future to look like. After a terrible summer, I had broken myself into tiny pieces trying to work things out. I realised, through a difficult slog, that I did not want to work in education any longer (that is the subject of a later blog post). Following lengthy discussions with a good friend of my theatrical past, I came to the awareness and recognition of the world of Celebrancy. This felt 100% right. It was all about engaging with real people in their real lives, dealing with real time issues and needing a real ear and voice for their stories. Storytelling en force.
In March 2017, I completed my official Level 3 qualification as a Funeral Celebrant – and then submitted my notice to my workplace. Thus began my steady new climb to the new name and new location.
The Name & Location
Well, actually neither were that new. I left Macclesfield back in 1998 to train as an actor, and have pretty much never looked back. But, with my grandparents’ health in decline and a desperate need for myself to be closer to my family (again another blog post in that some time), I knew I needed to head home. The greenery. The way of life. The connections with my roots. In finding myself once more, my roots became SO important to me.
A New Life as a Celebrant
Celebrancy gave me the chance to head back. I could transition this career to any quarter of the world, but I knew I wanted to be back in the North of England. I wanted to be home again. So, after what felt like an absolute age I moved back to Cheshire at the end of June.
As for the name: I love Tuirenn. I really do. I chose that name to become my full time name back in drama school. This was an essential time for me and healing some of the pain of my youth. It turns out that name changing is a spiritual healing process often engaged with by many cultures. When the hurt is deep, a change in name to a spiritual calling can help heal deep wounds. However, the very real darkness that had consumed me in the last few years was a deeper wound still.
In joining the world of celebrancy I was made aware that Tuirenn was a difficult name for Funeral Directors and clients to come to terms with. I already had countless wrong spellings and mispronunciations, but the name could now actively interfere with my new career.
I jostled with a number of names and variations – but any altering of the spelling of Tuirenn to make it phonetically easier for clients felt like a major bastardisation. I couldn’t do that.
So I resorted (with some relish, I must say) to using my middle name Christopher. However, for very personal reasons I did not want to use Christopher in full as my new moniker. From a healing perspective this definitely would NOT work. However, I have always liked the name Kit as a shortening of Christopher. Kit Marlowe was a role I almost got to play once. Kit has an artistic and warm feel to it. This resonated with me the more I thought about it. I could feel myself wearing Kit so comfortably.
And so, my not so new middle name became my new name. Initially this will be for my business, and people who know me as Tuirenn can still call me Tuirenn. But if the healing goes as well as I hope – in both spirit and physical life – Kit may well become my permanent name!
Welcome to All of Me in One Place
So, this is my introduction to the world in my new life (in every capacity). I hope you will join me on this leg of my life’s journey and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments. This is me stepping off the big precipice into an unknown future as a celebrant and theatre maker, but it is a future I am excited about in every way!
In the meantime: if you hear of any directing jobs going, or someone needing a life celebration – please let me know!
See you all again very soon…
Also published on Medium.