I’ve spent the past two years dumping myself tirelessly into a piece of art that is now, for the time being, complete. Hmm.
For now, I’m still trying to process my own performance art. That’s a part of the art, I suppose… but it’s more difficult than you’d think, when you’re working in a shadowy layer “underneath” consciousness. And trust me, it IS work; it takes a toll.
While the rest of the performers held strong and absolutely mesmerized everyone – gracefully moving from carefully choreographed moments to spontaneous, improvised ones – I found myself on my own personal spiritual roller-coaster. And since this is ultimately a show about perspectives, here’s mine:
I told myself I was going to get swept up into whatever was happening in the moment. However, I didn’t anticipate how much I’d be tossed about: beyond what I had “planned” and “planned to improvise”, my actual emotional state cut its own path through the three act structure of the show.
Act I – FAITH – was harsh and cold for me. I was erratic, shaking, constricted, forced. It showed. I made deliberate mistakes, which quickly became unintentional mistakes, each of which I followed with raw and desperate improvisation. I was surrounded by beautiful people in beautifully choreographed movements, but could not shake the feeling that I was NOT THEM. I could never be them. And, unlike them, nothing that I attempted would ever, ever work the way it was supposed to.
By Act II – HOPE – when those people were cast away (by me), that air was lifted. I became joyful, hopeful, charismatic, hilarious – y’all know I was, don’t play. In those moments I felt like nothing I could do could ever be wrong, and I embraced being playful. I pushed that envelope a little hard, until I started to become something I was afraid of – but then one of the dancers reappeared, and I broke.
Because Act III – LOVE – required me to be broken. After the first two acts/states, this was the result I HAD to show (but I did not realize how I would get there). While I had hoped I would disappear completely, I was still hanging by tattered threads… honestly, that was better. I knew people behind me were tearing up, because I was tearing up. I watched the worst and the best of what I had to offer pool together in a puddle underneath me, and I offered it as a parting gift.
And then I disappeared, because this was never about me. I watched the show end without me. And for the record, everybody totally slayed. I can’t thank FALL, the abrasiveMedia family, La Vie Quartet, and our vocalists from Portara Ensemble enough.
I would not presume to know what this show meant to them, or to the others that saw it live from the different perspectives we offered. However, I must say that as a result of this show, my own mission for creating feels more crystalline than ever before:
My reason for creating is to show the process for what it is: to reject the end result as ever truly capable of embodying that process; to undermine the author as his own authority; to peel away the layers of conscious genius to find something sacred underneath. You have no idea how hard that is to *do*, let alone to *show* – especially when you’ve spent your life doing the opposite. But that’s the only art I want to make, and the only life I want to live. The show must go on.
Finally, if you’re sitting here thinking “I can’t believe I missed this” – dude, the whole concept album is online, right now, waiting for you to explore. And if you want this live show to ever happen again, then I need you to go listen to it, over and over, and play it for everyone in every community you know. I need you to believe it means something, in order for it to mean anything at all.
I’ve spent all I have to spend (that’s not a metaphor): now it’s time to wait for the universe — that’s you, by the way — to respond. Have fun with it.