The Year (So Far) in a Blur

I may well have transitioned into an unprecedented phase in my life, where I am supporting myself strictly through freelance creative work. The problem is, I have been too busy these last few months to really look at my finances and make a clear assessment.

We’re coming up on June, and I really haven’t had much of a respite for the 2014 year so far.

I helped move Jump-Start Performance Co., a local theater company, from an 8,000 square foot space to a 2,000 square foot space. That was a protracted and inordinately frustrating ordeal. We had the final event in the space in early January — the annual performance party.

I was also in the midst of putting together Tales of Lost Southtown, a full-length play. There was about 40 minutes of video vignettes which I produced for the show. The live action portions all had me playing the narrator (a slightly modified version of myself), which involved memorizing quite a few lines. Because Jump-Start was between spaces, we had to turn the URBAN-15 studio into a 150 seat venue suitable for presenting a play with a heavy load of multimedia elements. Add to this, we had a different guest artist each night, and it’s no wonder that things became a bit complicated, logistically.


Photo by Annette Landry. Kim and I in a scene from Tales of Lost Southtown.

There was also a preview reading of Tales of Lost Southtown presented at Gemini Ink, San Antonio’s preeminent literary organization. I was joined by my director and cast.

My short film, Feeding You, screened twice to packed houses at Say Sí. This was part of the Poet Laureate Short Film Project. I was chosen along with six other local filmmakers to craft a short film in response to one of Carmen Tafolla’s poems.

I was contracted by the King William Association to run a free workshop for artists and arts organizations to use the tools of digital media to better present their work and programming to their audiences and potential funders.

I am attached to two Artist Foundation grants. The one involving lead artist Amber Ortega-Perez (dancer and choreographer) is well underway. We already have two shoots in the can, and we have presented elements of the eventual piece as works-in-progress at the MAP event; a fundraiser at Our Lady of the Lake University; and W-I-P Crème (which will be staged this coming Wednesday).

I’ve been shooting various scenes around town for two multimedia projects a friend who is a public artists is trying to get funding for.

There is a show for Australian TV which I’ve worked on the other week, where I provided the video interview of a well-regarded San Antonio artist. I believe the contract I signed mentioned something about non-disclosure, so I’ll leave it at that.

Coming up I have an eight minute performance art piece which will be presented every Friday and Saturday in June. This is for Jump-Start’s June variety show, Café du Jump: 8 x 8 (8 eight-minute pieces presented on an 8 foot by 8 foot stage for eight nights in June). My piece, which I should be writing right now, will be titled “A Freezer Full of Atrocities.” I have the title. Now I need a concept. But, really, no worries. It’s just eight minutes.

For August I, along with four other authors, will each present a 15 minute (give or take) presentation — poetry or prose — in reaction to one of Matisse’s illustrated books. This will be produced by Gemini Ink for the San Antonio Museum of Art. We will present the pieces at SAMA as part of their upcoming Matisse exhibition.

Also, in August, I will present a multimedia evening installation / performance at Confluence Park. This will be dance and video projection. I will be collaborating with Fabiola Torralba. I’m pretty sure she said yes…. This will be a Jump-Start-At-Large event, free and open to the public, with the generous assistance of the San Antonio River Foundation, who have been kind enough to offer us this beautiful space on the southside.

There will also be Oscuridad: A Night of Fairy Tales For Grownups. This will be the first “main-stage” show at the new Jump-Start. It will be written and designed by the ensemble. I hope to write at least one of the stories. And help on the video and tabletop puppet designs.

There will also be my fourth year collaborating with Seme Jatib for her November show for her dance students at St. Mary’s Hall. I’ll be doing some sort of video something.

And who knows what else I agreed to do. I’m very lucky that many of these projects are paying me. A couple, fairly well. This is important, because my part-time paid job shifted into a part-time volunteer job. So, what once was a gig which subsidized my creative work, has become the volunteer work which is being meagerly subsidized by the creative work. I’m not yet sure how I feel about this.


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