I was trying to describe you to someone

It has been a while and I apologize for the delay. Decisions have been made, life keeps spinning and I’m about to embark on a completely new adventure. 

Feb 9-17 Fiji

Feb 18-March 17 Brisbane, Mt. Tambourine and Papua New Guinea

March 20- Austin, Texas. 

Yes, I’ve finally made a decision and it feels right. I will post later about why moving to Austin as a young theatre artist makes sense. For now though, I want to share how I feel about my present situation and the hope I have for the massive year ahead… see below. 

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America (in the wake of)

Dear America,

You, you, you are the golden land of …

ask me again, ask me the question with a different subtle loop, a different press on the shoulder. I think America is…

It’s the cold breeze on my ankles as I jump a fence in new mexico with my 65 year old pops. It’s scrubbing sweet tea on my skin, 5 cent coffee, free ice water, indigestion and booths big enough for 3 people. It’s the sickest repetition.

America, I think we’re finally having a conversation. A dialogue about something more than success and ambition… about fitting all the tetris pieces together. America, I think therapy might be working. You’ve doubled up, scored an extra life.

Let’s keep this going America. Eat something, drink something, buy something, eat something, drink something, buy something.

You are the reason why I feel it’s ok to hide in a bathtub, writing, crying and being as prolific as my upper mid class privilege will allow. Thanks for the car, America!

I think I love you America but I’m not sure. You carry the secrets of arches sprawling over rotting cities, forgotten town after forgotten town.  Failure in America is not dutifully buried but stripped cold on display for every tourist who happens to wander down route 66. We are iconic. No, you are iconic and I’m a statistic. An american percentage, one of  so many women who was (raise your hand if this applies to you)  assaulted, trained to hate her body, medicated, humiliated by the justice system before the age of 16. How can I take you personally America when I’m just one of many? When everyone gets the royal treatment?

I have seen your grand canyon with the ceiling on top, black fingernails and windy growths. I have seen despair and tragedy, too much tragedy for one place.

I don’t understand, America. Why can’t you stop? Do you know what you’re known for? Texas, dangerous cities, guns, Obama, Hollywood, guns, massacre, pricey education, limited resources, lots of pollution, guns, temper, temper, temper.

America, I don’t know how to make this perfect. I can’t turn your infirmity into grace. It’s time to find your purity, your opportunity.

Oh, America! Big boned and heavy handed, you are my home. I leave but always return. I can’t turn my back on your agony… it is mine.

 

 

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loading zone

I hate leaving the places I love . The pain I encounter is acute and all-consuming. Days before I depart, I begin to feel strange. My back hurts, my ears ache and nausea grinds up everything I consume. I wake in the night rolled into such a tight ball that my jaw and fingers are numb. I cling to stability of the flesh as my surroundings become a slow moving slideshow.”Just keep your head close to your knees, don’t look up, don’t notice that everything is different. Don’t look up, don’t look up, don’t look up”.

This departure is particularly gruesome. I’m leaving my sister, brother-in-law and nephews. For most of my life I have self-sabotaged intimate relationships, always keeping those I loved at arms distance…especially my family. I’ve never wanted to fall so in love with any relationship that I couldn’t just leave and follow the insanity of my ambition. I never have. Even when I went to australia and left my partner of 2 years, I was not heartbroken. I had kept her so far away with dishonesty that I knew I would recover quickly (and I did).

The last 2 months, without any struggle, I’ve completely fallen in love with my life. A life that is solely about my familial relationships and the incredible support we provide for one another. Leaving doesn’t feel right. It’s like I’ve finally made it to the end of the labyrinth and have to turn back. Of all the transformative events of my early 20s, this departure is  simultaneously the most crushing and hopeful.

The next step: mapping my time. Over the last 8 weeks, my heart has rapidly re-sculpted its shape. All the surrounding tissues have softened and stretched in anticipation of great spiritual/artistic awakening

Sidenote: I say this sort of thing a lot (“EVERYTHING’S GOING TO CHANGE, THE GROUND IS SHIIFFFFTING”). One partner used to tell me that my life is a perpetual quest, something huge is ALWAYS about to occur. I like it that way. Immediately following any space of rest or hibernation, I can feel my toes lift off the ground and my mind spin with possibilities of the next calling, the one which will most definitely, without a doubt, completely change my universe 🙂

This time, it has been a series of rejections that have offered me so much possibility. I’m starting from ground zero in so many aspects of my life. While some initial despair plagued my mind, I’ve now come to see this freshness as a path to craft the life I want.

As I get older, the quests are changing, I’m able to see the desired result so clearly that I almost feel like I’m cheating. Regardless of how the quest has altered over time, the emotional overhaul that each one brings is still colossal, equal to the work of several liberal arts degrees.

Today, I drove 21 hours from my sister in Hood River, OR to Los Angeles, CA. I guess my job now is to get out-of-the-way and let the quest begin.

Game on.

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ending memory

My three year old nephew enters carrying two balloons (small and large). They are completely folded into one another, a perfect impossible puzzle. How do you do that? My mind draws a blank.  I’m baffled, mortified and amused. I softly wish to be an engineer in my next life.

Over the last 90 days, I’ve literally started encountering the world for the first time. I have almost no day to day recollection of my previous life.  It’s like I never tasted wine until I got here or cooked a meal or moved with ease.  My memory has reset and now is the time to relearn all those hidden talents. Can I still master the flute? Begin that ski lesson over?

This period in my life feels like warm water and coats of butter. It has been months of splendour, bliss, indecision, and beer.

road trip 2 begins on monday. back to the east coast.

forgotten lovers.

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Stuffed, pushing buttons and rotting teeth. I can still taste your sweet lips and crying bouts. The mornings when you’d press your fingers into my back and whisper “stay”. A yellow-bellied ending to our empty suite.

She will marry her new love, I’m sure of it. No one else could bare that impish look on her face when she lies. The thought of their vows makes all my limbs warm with blood and light. Her wife scowling when she cums and sneezing when she cries.

Sweet praises to you both.

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ignorance

I have spent most of my life studying theatre. Rehearsals and auditions and  classes and plays and so much damn time looking for my beloved center.

What I have learned over the last 2 months: my glorious ignorance is vast. I have spent so many years gripping at an incredible albeit constantly fleeting artform that I’ve completely missed many basic life lessons (ones that are concrete and ever present). Even as my big sister teaches me how to cook, I’m more concerned with the sensation of heat against my fingers than the sweetness of any meal. When I try to explain why I’ve disappeared into my own hands, words fail me. My vocabulary, pushed far into its own corner, is limited.

When I make art, I drop into a part of myself that does not exist in the every day. A part of my brain sings and I suddenly have words where only greyness and mumbling were before. I love it. Alas, it often makes functioning in the everyday difficult and laboured. A part of me always wants to switch off the mundane and snap back into the whirl.

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hangover

Regardless of all my initial worry, this thanksgiving was by far the best of my life. No fighting, no screaming at the table, no bubbling resentment; it was just pleasant and tasty. My sister is most definitely to thank for the amazing atmosphere. Her optimism and love seem to cure just about every ailment. I’m so lucky to be here. I’ve finally found my place in this family.

Despite being the only single member of my immediate family, I feel like I’m the strongest. There is a halo of joy around me, one that was placed there through my own independent action. I feel blessed. I feel hopeful. I feel ready for the next step.

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thanksgiving (inspired by the writing style of another)

morning. day of thanks. longitude, latitude, it’s still dark outside. The sun has risen but I haven’t seen it for days… it’s oregon after all. i wake up and I check connections and rusty shoulders and knees and have to remember where I am. I keep forgetting where I am these days. I wake up and don’t know if i’m in america or australia or somewhere completely new and beautiful. Thanks. Thanks. Today is a day for thanks but all I have is creeping anxiety. 

2 days ago, my parents arrived on our doorstep with so much shame and sadness in their eyes.  House, cars, friends: all sold and traded for harsh winters and instability. My mothers eyes won’t stop spinning with regret, I’m watching, trying to remain calm, trying to be thankful. It’s the end of childhood moments, the ones where my dad knows everything, can fix anything. 

Over the last 2 months, my most poignant and fervid relationships have all come to an underwhelming end. All the people that i secretly accomplished things for have left or been cut off by my angry heart. I have let go of their expectations and now, i search for motivation unlike any before. It’s closure, for the first time in years. It’s loneliness with a twist of confusion. I’m searching, hands out, lights off for something sturdy. Is that cliche? Probably. It’s thanksgiving, after all. 

How do you tell someone you have hurt that you love them without sounding like a bumbling fool? like a liar? We sit across from one another, both wanting seconds…you hate the wine and i’m too woozy to stop drinking. 

This is the moment where I say how lucky i am. 

I am so lucky. 

This is the moment where I say I will never complain about my problems. 

I never want to complain about such trivial things again. 

This is the moment where I cross my fingers behind my back. 

I’m ready for this day. 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving y’all. 

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never surrender.

I would like to preface this post with the following: I think that performance is an act of bravery.  What we do is hard. Regardless of taste or ability, simply getting on stage and standing in emotional nudity is heroic. I salute those who create on their feet, in the open.

I say this because I am often deemed as “very critical” by my friends. Yes, I have high standards and no, I’m not afraid to speak my mind. As a rule, I never ever hurt anyone with my criticism. I’m seriously dis-interested in malice or feeding my already vulnerable ego. I do however  ask A LOT of questions and try to fall deeply into the architecture of each performance I witness (good or bad). I want to understand it, breath it and most importantly, learn from it. Sometimes I learn by picking things apart, sometimes through praise and other times through glorious silence. I never know how I’m going to react… it’s why the theatre never stops fascinating me.

Last evening, I saw a production of a very well known play in Portland. It was staged straight off the page: every direction followed, every emphasis explored, all marks perfectly hit. I wondered if the director was actually a closet dramaturg as it reeked of “historical  adaptation”. Blegh. It was fine. It was…for lack of a better word, boring. Kind of like the equivalent of theatrical middle school, all the parts were there but not enough audacity to make them riveting.

I’m tired of seeing carbon copy theatre. Am I in the minority? When watching the same old tired work, I become instantly bored and unable to give the actors the attention that I’d like to. Even when I muster enough energy to give a shit, the performers, lulled by the “legacy” of such a notable show, seem to be on auto-pilot. It is obvious to me that their own director did not practice the type of devout listening needed to make theatrical alchemy.

My thoughts: let’s make work that is stunning, vulnerable, technical AND accessible. Theatre work requires a level of creative acrobatics  that not everyone possesses and I like it that way. It keeps us all on our toes, constantly inhaling more culture and skill, constantly challenging ourselves in the rehearsal room.

We don’t have to do the same tired plays again and again in their “original format” just to get people in seats. We need to mix it up, give our audience some credit and ask them to jump with us. Never surrender.

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