Feeds:
Posts
Comments

reBuTTal

I’m not sure what exactly spurred the onslaught of interest in Kim Kardashian’s rear end about a month ago.

I can hardly think its the first time her assets had been on display, or earned her her share of the celebrity tokens available each week, month, year to anyone willing to participate in the scheme of pop culture.

So, what’s the big deal this time?  Is it that her photo-shopped ass is in the buff? Or is it the blatant photo-shopping of the champagne glass balance that supposedly represented her talent?  While personally, I think she could have balanced that champagne glass if she’d wanted to, I’m sure it was much easier on the photographers to just edit it in later.   I admit, I don’t really see what all the fuss is about.  Sure, society has made a celebrity out of a woman, almost solely on the fact that she has a beautiful ass, and a talent for obnoxious social media selfism and conformist couture.   Did it really take this editorial for everyone to realize it?

More than that, is roasting Kim Kardashian on the flames of public scorn really fair?  After all, we have created our celebrity gods and monsters.  They wouldn’t be here without our scrutiny.  We expect and hope that they are as sexy as possible in order to sell their celebrity, but when that is all that they prove able to do, or all we are willing to see of them, we are happy to throw them under the bus for giving us exactly what we asked for. As everyone from BuzzFeed to Russell Brand has already addressed.

Not to exempt myself from the blame, I’m not a Kim Kardashian, or any real pop culture figure “fan girl,” however that hardly leaves me guiltless.  I am a performance artist.  As such, I recognize a certain amount of self-publication, self-promotion, and self-obsession that exists in the attempt to take me from small time to sell-able as an artist.  It is the effort that I choose to extend as my way of making a difference in the world.  I’m not a protestor, a guerrilla, or an extremist.  I wish that people would truly try to understand each other.  I wish that people wouldn’t play the victim or the prosecution.  Much of my art is about inspiring people to talk to each other.  Whether that is through shock, the abstract, or spectacle, is just the means.  I want people to try to understand each other.  And I want people to believe that they can accomplish the impossible (which in our world, may very well be, simply having a meaningful and unselfish conversation with someone unlike ourselves).

Kim Kardashian’s ass seems to have accomplished this on a far larger scale.  I wonder, if I could balance a champagne glass on my own not so shabby assets, would I also achieve my artistic goals?  Would my voice as an artist, my opinions on fashion and the number of my Twitter followers suddenly skyrocket to Kardashian proportions?  Well, let’s find out.  Of course, as an aerialist, physical theater performer, and semi-acrobat (emphasis on semi), I had to do it my own way.  I enlisted the help of Austin’s Crash Alchemy, and tried to recreate the shoot by actually balancing people on my ass while they held a champagne glass.  If you think arching your back for a photo shoot is hard (and it is!), try also balancing people doing their own acrobatics for about 4 hours.

IMG_9298

Click here to see more photos!

And, what did I find?  Besides that photo-shopping champagne is really, really hard?!?  Well, I’m not sure any of us trying to express ourselves as artists are immune to the call of the public.  We can twist it, try to protest it, criticize it.  But at the end of the day, we are looking for people to listen to our message as much as any other performance artist.  Perhaps, we can be humble, and try to reflect on a purer purpose for our message.  And perhaps, the public can attempt to hunger for knowledge rather than celebrity porn, even if it does make my kinds’ paychecks lighter.  What do you think?

The rest of the photos are coming soon guys, because, yeah, photo-shopping champagne is really, really hard!

doEs-dIS-MAEk-my-bUTT-LOOk-biG-cats-13510024-521-390

I Want to be A BAD ASS!

This is an unabashed declaration of what I want.  Thanks to Crash Alchemy for encouraging me to write down all of the things that I’ve been processing since the beginning of the summer, and to the Full Moon Circle of very special women a week ago for the mantra that seems to be exploding through old thought patterns and expanding my world and my ideas of my own worth, and how to think about what I am creating.

I want to be A BAD ASS.

I want to be the aerialist that I was at my peak of training (and then even better than that).  I want to learn all things fire.  I want to have fire rehearsal time.  I want to have dance rehearsal time.  I want my center splits and a bendier back.  I don’t just want to train everyone else to do aerial and not get pushed in other skills in return.  I do want to work more with others on physical theater drills, and build some consistent practice around that (as much for me as for everyone else!).  I want an aerial/dance/acrobatics/fire partner who will show up and work with me consistently.  I want to be able to lift people and do crazy things.  I want to surprise myself and learn some tumbling.  I want to master my hand stands.  I want to learn break dancing and tap dancing, and flamenco and belly dancing (I’ve already been taking the belly dancing, at home with videos, because it’s what I have access to).  I whole heartedly LOVE to teach others aerials and physical theater, but also want to be able to train myself, and continue to be pushed and trained in return.

I love showcasing the things that I’m awesome at.  I love getting to do characters and aerials, because its my jam, and I know I’m good at it, and I feel that I’m being utilized for my skills, and actualized and all of that jazz.  But I also like when I’m pushed to be better at what I’m not good at too, because I won’t do it on my own.  I want both.  I want it all.  I want to be a part of a group that cares about each other, and works hard, but also are professional bad asses.  I want to succeed.  I plan on ‘making it’ as an artist, and want to be around others who do too.  I want to be around others who aren’t just having fun in their downtime, but serious about success.  And I also want to be around others who have fun, even while they work hard.  I want to be famous.  I want to leave my mark on the world as a performance artist and writer.  I want to be treated with respect at all times, and to be trusted to be an individual artist as well as a collective artist.  I want to be trusted that what I do as an individual or with one group strengthens what I bring to back to my relationships with another group or individual.  My creative power is mine to bring and share, and is not something that someone can own, or possess.  It is something they can use, share, challenge, grow, and work with.

I want artists to stop being jealous, catty, competitive and secretive.  I want artists to see that we are not living in scarcity.  I want my transformation from thinking of myself as a starving artist to thinking of myself as a creator of abundance to seep into our communities.  Our very creativity is limited if we think of ourselves as living in a place of scarcity.  There are enough ideas out there.  There are enough students to learn from us, and teachers to teach us.  There is enough work, are enough gigs, is enough money, for us all.  We can only benefit from pushing each other to be the best we can be.

I want to be full of love and light and joy.  I want to enjoy my life, and to take time for the people who I care about.  I want the abundance in my life that will allow for that.  I want to remember what is important, to keep my ground on things that matter to my values and my quality of life.  I want to keep taking steps towards being a better person to myself.  I want to keep finding the discipline and desire to let the best parts of myself shine, and to not let the worst parts of myself rule my life and actions.  I want to remember to love myself and to be surrounded with people who also value me, and whom I value.  I want to learn better how to say the hard to say negative things that I may need to say in order to assert my boundaries in a way that is loving, but doesn’t compromise how I feel about what I need, can give, or want in order to make someone else feel better.  I want to have said that last sentence better, more concisely, but also want to just leave it there and let it be, as it flowed through my mind.

And I still want to be a sarcastic, smart ass.  A hopeful skeptic.  And a clown, always a clown, willing to laugh at myself and the world.

I want to dance in the joy of success for a while, before the next bout of growth and challenge, or even through the next bout of growth and challenge.  I want to give myself that time and permission, while continuing my journey and success.  I want to love and be loved with depth, for who we truly are, un-apologetically, not with caveats and requests that we be someone different, or perfect, or with expectation that we will replace or fix what is missing in each other’s lives.  I want to love and be loved with acceptance and forgiveness for our mistakes, and gentle enhancing of strengths and strengthening of weaknesses.  I want to be surrounded with others who want to be better in all areas of their lives.  I want to be surrounded with people who have fun and are positive, and who find working and growing fun and positive experiences.

I want to be wealthy.  I want a wealth of love, of money, of creativity, of strength, of desire, of drive, of questions to keep asking the world.  I want to keep being filled with wonder and hope for the world, without naiveté, but with wonder and hope despite all of the wisdom and knowledge that can be gained.  I want to be valued, and to know my own worth.

And I already am and have all of these things.  I am creating them, right now, in each moment with each of you.

Thank you.  If you made it this far, thank you for being a part of this creation.  Here is your cat picture.

Okay, I don’t have writer’s block, exactly.  My writing seems to be flowing alright at the moment.  But, I do have aerial choreography block, which I think is a result of too much career work on my career, and too little studio work, but I digress.  I was searching for some inspiration and somehow in the rabbit hole of the internet, I ended up in a Google Search for Cross Training.  You probably know that Cross Training typically refers to an athlete’s regime of training themselves in other sports or activities during their off-season, or to become more well rounded athletes during their on season.  It has also become popular as an overall fitness strategy for regular folk to get buff and form community around health and fitness, most popularly with programs like CrossFit.  I was searching for cross inspiration, for artists that can get too focused, too passionate, or too single minded on one art form and might actually benefit from an off season.  I was surprised that the infinite Web-o-sphere came up with zilch.  Or if it did come up with something, it was so many pages down on my search results to be considered non-existent.

Maybe it’s because the nature of my performance work is like both an art and a sport combined, but I was surprised.  But perhaps I shouldn’t have been.  In artistic disciplines, focus and obsession are almost revered.  We imagine Michelangelo under his Sistine ceiling.  But, from my own experience, I know that while focus and obsession can offer substantial gains in training and creation, it can also leave you burnt out, stagnant, and uninspired.  Think of it this way, someone taking up quilting as a hobby, will probably continue to make quilts on a casual basis as long as it is fun and feels relaxing or inspiring.  On the other hand, the quilter who suddenly goes viral on Etsy, may very well be sick of quilting before all of the orders are fulfilled, leaving him/her with the danger of having a regular old job like anyone else.  At best, they are happy enough to be working for themselves, with a general apathy to the creative side.  Worst case, they actually start to despise quilting.

Of course, this doesn’t happen to everyone.  There are creatives out there who are perfectly happy to be locked up in a room with their art for all eternity.  But, it seems to me, most of us need our senses shaken and our skills sharpened every once in awhile.  It has me wondering if I should start my own Creative CrossFit gym, er studio.   In the meantime, I offer a gentle reminder to all active creatives and aspiring creatives, to get out there and take a class in something new, learn a new skill from YouTube, or read/watch something you wouldn’t normally.  If nothing else, you’ll have learned at least one thing: whether you like or dislike these fascinating new things you’re trying.  But, I bet you’ll discover more.

Bravery?

Am I brave?  In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been praised as being brave and courageous a couple of times.  I lived in New York, I moved to Austin without having ever visited, I dance on a trapeze of fire.  I guess I can see why “brave” is a word that might come up.  But, to me those things don’t make me brave.  Following my passion is easier and less heart breakingly soul killing than working in an office.  I have problems with authority and a longing for the spotlight.  I actually demand that the curtains be thrust open in the morning, to let in the light that I crave to shine on me before I can wake up.  I’m just being myself.

Sure, at one time, all of these things felt a little scary.  I judge whether I’m on the right path in my life or not by whether or not I am getting that “can I actually accomplish this dream?” tingle of terror or not.  But, on the other hand, I put off handling uncomfortable conversations with bill collectors, going to the doctor when something might be wrong, and would absolutely never jump out of an airplane.  Ever.  To me, doing those things are brave, because I just am not as good at, or don’t want to conquer those fears and anxieties.  Having a baby is the ultimate in bravery!  I can’t imagine being able to commit so much of my life to another living being that will rely on me for everything, much less spend the hours of agony in labor.  But women do it every day.

So, bravery is not cowering in the face your fears.  But, I think perhaps that we all have fears that we have chosen to face, and fears that we are still cowering from.  What are yours?

 

Brave Kitten

Beliefs and Dreams

photo credit: headersfortwitter.com

photo credit: headersfortwitter.com

I have endless lists out there in cyber space and in the myriad journals that I’ve kept throughout the years.  There are to-do lists, wish lists, goal lists, and contrasting diagrams about what I want my life to look like and what it currently looks like spanning the last decade.  It’s all quite interesting really in a sort of self absorbed kind of way.  So, I’ll spare you sharing all of them.

But, I’ve been thinking that I’d like a solid place where I can keep a list of things that I stand for, as well as a place for the things that I am “holding space” for.  A place where I can see it, update it, change it, etc.  A more solid place than some random page in my journal that I can never find.

Well, luckily I have a blog.  Lol.  So this post is going to be far less inspirational, informative or instructive and instead super intimate.  As of today, this is a pretty good representation of what I believe in and personally stand for as well as what I’m seeking in my ideal life, as of July 18th, 2012 at 5:40:39pm.

Beliefs:

I believe in the power of art to change the world.  I believe in telling stories and entertaining to bring joy, laughter, thought, and reflection to an audience.  I believe in making work with quality.  I believe in traveling and sharing things across beliefs, cultures and languages.  I believe in creating dialogues to solve world problems.  I believe in being a light in times of darkness.  I believe in laughing at myself, and our beautiful humanity.  I believe in falling down and getting back up.  I believe in telling it how I see it.  I believe in empowering people, especially children, our future, and those that have lost their sense of power and place in this world.  I have a passion that I believe has a purpose.  I believe that my talents and perspectives give me a voice to share things that matter with the world.

I am the possibility of light and love in all situations.

I am the possibility of the impossible becoming possible.

I am a story-teller.

Dreams:

I want to have the renown and financial success necessary to be able to live and create my art freely with the support, coaching, training, practicing, cultivating, brainstorming, and living that that requires.

I want friendships, romance, partnership, working relationships, love, and positive inspiration around me at all times that will support me and guide me when I feel less that brilliant, positive, or faithful myself.

I want to find that well of energy that fuels a life of creation and joy.

photo credit: fantom-xp.com

photo credit: fantom-xp.com

 

To be continued…

Yes to Envy

Tis the season for self reflection, goal setting, and let’s admit it, jealousy and competition. Whether we are talking about sibling rivalry flaring up at holiday functions, competition for bonuses at work, wondering why we didn’t get invited to that holiday party, or are our own worst enemy in the goal-setting and self-reflection department; the green-eyed monster is as evergreen as that needle-shedding star holder we put up each year.

I like to think that my experiences in open relationships prepared me to foresee and handle my envy in a healthy and constructive manner.  But the truth is, I can suddenly find myself seething with the angry-hating-blaming-scathing-gossiping-fearful bullshit as much as anyone.  And being currently devoid of lovers, or even wanting to enter into monogamy (gasp) doesn’t give me a free pass.  Instead, as we approach the end of the year, I find my jealousies bubbling up around my art instead.  Do you want the bare-naked, ugly truth of what’s been happening in my head?  Ready or not, here it is:

Why is this or that person more successful than I am?  Why haven’t I won any awards lately? (Besides the fact that I haven’t entered any competitions??)

Why is it so much easier for that person to master that move that I’ve been struggling with for years? (Have you actually been focusing all of your energy on that move?)

Why is that person thinner than me, when I work out so much? (Because they are them, and they are you.  A little self acceptance please!)

Why is it so hard for me to commit to a weekly writing schedule?  Or finish the freaking book I’ve been working on for a decade? And why is that person who can’t even spell properly getting published? (Let’s look a little more honestly at your time commitments, shall we?)

Why was that person offered that job/gig that was half-promised to me, or that I feel like I suggested/inspired?  (Uh, did you even really want that job? Was it really promised to you? Did you really deserve it?)

If only I had regular access to a studio (and/or a car), I could polish and choreograph the ideas that I have more easily.  I’d have more time, more energy, be able to make more money.   IT’S NOT FAIR! (If it’s not working, you’ll need to figure out a new solution.  Time to start saving for a car…)

And even, yes, why is dating suddenly such a barren, non-existent thing in my life? What’s wrong with me? At least I used to just have trouble keeping a partner, now I can’t even get a date? (Do you even want to date?  Do you have time?)

Jealous Cat

For me, the end of the year is about looking back at what I’ve learned and forward to what needs to happen next.  This inevitably involves some self comparisons to people that have accomplished more, less, or specifically what I wish I had, in the past year.  I spent a glorious evening last week wallowing in my envy and self-pity.  It felt good like hot dogs and macaroni and cheese feel good.  Like a comforting, unhealthy indulgence.  And then the defeated, depressed hangover kicks in.  And luckily, my experiences confronting jealousy on the dating playing field, and a little kick in the ass from my best friend who got sick of listening to my whining, came in helpful after all.

The realizations that I came up with in delving into my artistic career path insecurities is remarkably identical to what I’ve encountered before in romantic situations.  Jealousy seems to come from 3 emotional sources: Fear, Envy, or Defeat.  Which, looking deeper, means it signals 1 or more of 3 things: That you care about something or someone deeply; that you aren’t on the right path to get, or are not being clear about whatever it is that you want; or that something about your current tactics/habits isn’t working.

For my artistic journey, identifying what of these factors is triggering each jealousy has cleared the way to better planning, scheduling, and goal setting overall.  First, that while I think that I want certain jobs/gigs, they may actually not be right for me, and even be a hinderance on my overall broader goals.  What I’m really wanting is the acceptance of my peers when being considered for a job.  For instance, right now I have exactly the right balance of teaching and creating that I need.  What I need is a little more time to work on my personal projects, without abandoning the work that I do with my troupe.  It would also seem that I want an artistic partner-the right artistic partner-someone who inspires me to work harder and who I can communicate well with, and who commits to meeting and working with me at an equal level.  Without examining what exact aspects of being passed over for certain jobs was making me jealous, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with clearer goals and needs moving forward.  Nor would I be able to realize that I don’t even want some of the jobs I’m jealous of, in order to focus on working harder to get the ones that I do want.

Next, I needed to realize that if I’ve been working on something for a long time and its not coming together, then something in my approach obviously needs to change.  Perhaps I need to be honest with myself about how much effort and commitment I’m actually putting towards what goals and re-prioritize.  Maybe I need to be a little gentler with myself in the realm of how much one person can realistically accomplish in what amount of time.  Or you know, I could ask some experts for help and guidance.  Probably all of the above wouldn’t hurt.  Without examining this area, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with a new game plan and I wouldn’t have the excitement and fresh inspiration of the new challenge that I’m taking on for 2014 (I know, you can barely wait to hear more, right?).  I’d still be defeated and self-pitying, eating mac and cheese with my cat.

Finally, I may need a certain amount of patience.  Like when I sit wondering why I haven’t been asked on a date for a whopping two months (seriously, that seems so long!), I have to admit that I didn’t want to be.  I hate the institution of dating.  I like meeting people naturally, being friends, hanging out, getting to know each other.  But, I’m working on my art right now, which involves more alone time, physical work and exhaustion, and self reflection than hanging out drinking and socializing.  And I’m loving the friendships that I’m building that are about training and creating more anyways.  So, “yes” Envy, thanks for coming over to visit and all, but you can take your leave now.  I need to get back to work.

Today, I had the pleasure of reading some wonderful “Yes” reminders from one of my favorite blogging mentors, Danielle LaPorte, and I wanted to share it with you, fellow “yes-ees”. Enjoy!