In my 30s I finally forced myself to introduce myself as “Artist” by getting a vanity plate I would have to explain (with the name of my emerging company), and people did ask (because they wanted to know if I loved the drink Moxie too—I don’t). I am a theater maker, this arcane, ancient practice that only religion is able to maintain some presumed relevance and revenue, unless, of course, you’re Disney. My work is experiential, ephemeral, like a wisp of smoke, only there for a moment before it lives as memory -- if you happened to see it. You can’t eat it, wear it, touch it, drive it, trade it, often it’s even hard to describe. It’s work that affects its audience on a cellular level -- or it doesn’t. It’s completely obscure and contrary to our fast moving world of instant gratification, screen addiction, and strategic money mongering, which for me, makes it that much more important to create.
I could have been “someone” more people knew if I got a sensible job, or said “yes” to the plethora of Harvey Weinsteins out there in the entertainment industry and the toxic environments of the destroyers of self-esteem. The arena is rife with the Tonya Hardings, but I compete with myself, and that’s a more knee-breaking rivalry than anyone should ever need.
Yet I persist. For me it’s about the work, about the practice of telling stories well to invite connection, the examination of humanity that feels safe but visceral, to understand our personal contributions to the human condition and where we belong at any given moment. In a way, it is church in that story re-enforces the collective human agreements and the hope that we can see ourselves in them to consciously be the people we want to be.