In June of 2015 I closed a show I’d been asked to do and said at the end: “I can’t believe what I will do to get attention.” That idea just popped into my head uninvited and it has haunted me ever since.
Parsing that sentiment had me conclude that were I to do something publically again, it could not be done merely to get personal attention.
In 2013 I did a show too. I produced it myself. No one asked me to do it, but I did do it as a fundraiser for PAL Vancouver. It was a very effective fundraiser for PAL so it had value other than as a vehicle for attention to me.
I wrote it and was in it. But I was surprised to discover in rehearsal that in spite of being someone whom I thought wanted attention, I was adamant in my refusal to do a curtain call. I loathed the prospect of doing it. The director got me to do it by telling me it was for the audience. Still, I did it as quickly as possible and did not look up
So do I want attention or not?
After the 2015 show, I felt free. I was resolved not to write in long form, thereby getting sucked into production and another show and repeating the attention-getting behavior. And things seemed good. My only problem being my voice: I’d sounded for years like I had laryngitis.
Then in April of this year my personal landscape experienced a violent earthquake. I was diagnosed with PTSD — essentially, I became crippled by anxiety. I am far better now, but I experience the world differently and I’ve a monstrous speech impediment. I became, therefore, a stay-at-home person who quickly got bored — hence the costumes.
And now comes the question of what to do with them. I think every single person who has seen them says I need to show them. The trouble is, they don’t merit a show. They don’t deserve a show but I could accept them as props for a play. They were good enough for that.
But writing and producing a play is a lot of work, a lot of money and a lot of risk and I do not feel up to that. So I’m now focused on A(r)mour: The Defiant Dress as an exhibition — but with a twist.
I’m really fired up on this project now. It started as just making a series of bird dresses for something to do. Then, as people reacted to them with such approval, the idea of a show came up and that idea had morphed into the current idea of an exhibition.
But then … back to the beginning and my concern with doing things for the purpose of getting attention: The trick is to present the work as not being mine.
Wherever I do the show, it will require a docent for security and to answer questions; it occurs to me to hire an actor to play Charlotte to fill that function. Maybe. And make it her show, not mine.
|Flooring made of American pennies.