The Artistic Diaspora
By stageleftstudio on August 11, 2014
In August of 2015, I will put all my belongings in storage in Staten Island, and buy a car and begin a one-year artistic journey I am calling "Caesura: An Art Tinker's Journey."
I'll stay with friends and collaborate with them on art projects. I'll be a muse, a dramaturge, an editor, a coach - or a dishwasher or babysitter or gardener. I'll do what I've done my entire life when I want something very badly - I will be useful. And during that time, I will write a blog, create four solo shows (one for each season) renew some relationships which I have cherished from afar, and then write a book about the whole thing. And I will rest from the nonstop job of running a theatre in Manhattan for 10 years. At the end, I'll come back to NYC, get my stuff and move it to my new home in Santa Fe.
I cannot know what the year will bring, but I do know that it’s very important. It’s a calling.
It’s like with the Abraham-Hicks stuff, I know WHY I want to do it, and WHEN, but the how is not totally clear.
I do know it involves being artistically useful, and in getting off this treadmill that is running a theatre in midtown Manhattan.
Sure the art is great – I love it – best of my life – but the cost is dear.
Check out my horoscope for the day, from Rob Brezny's Free Will Astrology.
“You wouldn't sip dirty water from a golden chalice. Am I right? Nor would you swig delicious poison from a fine crystal wine glass or ten-year-old vinegar from a queen's goblet. I'm sure you will agree that you'd much rather drink a magical elixir from a paper cup, or a rejuvenating tonic from a chipped coffee mug, or tasty medicine out of a kids' plastic soup bowl you bought at the thrift store. Don't you dare lie to yourself about what's best for you.”
The golden chalice, in this case, is a theater in Manhattan. And the dirty water is the unrelenting job that goes with it – I have to cram my art into the interstices between marketing and cleaning the toilet, between scheduling and running box office.
I can make art anywhere – I want to make it in the homes of my friends, in national parks, in the car, as I load my suitcase from hanging with a new friend in AZ, and head off to LA.
I’m working on grant proposals, including a MAP Fund grant. It’s a long shot, but not impossible. It’s clarifying my thinking to have to do the application anyway, so it’s useful for that, if nothing else.
A dear friend of mine just emailed me this remark – “artists don't retire, we just adopt a new period. Period.”
That’s what I’m doing. I’m not leaving NY, I’m changing my relationship to it. Right now it’s a ball and chain, because I have to run this space, single-handedly, and I can’t go anywhere.
I want NYC to be a destination, a box of goodies, a two-week shot in the arm that I take when I come here to work with friends or direct a show.
I see a lot of other people lately moving out of their NYC digs and heading for smaller cities. I don’t think we are abandoning our art or our visions. What we ARE doing is abandoning this nonstop rat race in NYC and heading out into the world for a higher quality of life. It’s an artistic diaspora.
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