I’m sitting here Sunday morning drinking coffee and making some hardboiled eggs. I’m also waiting on a phone call from someone who wants me to help on some sort of creative project. I understand that there is money involved. These are things I dread. I hate to tell people no. It is a huge problem in my life. I’m slowly learning to be firm. It has been my habit of telling people who I’m not keen to work with “maybe” again and again, so that eventually they will decide to disengage. Yes, I said that there’s money involved. I hate when the first thing mentioned about an art project is money. It never goes well. From a position of motivation, money is a killer. At least for me.
Who knows, maybe this guy will win me over. I’ve never met him, and maybe, just maybe, there’s a sliver of room in my upcoming wall-to-wall series of projects between now and March, 2015. But the thing is, these projects are all (with one or two exceptions) with people whose aesthetic and character I know and like and respect. Most are friends.
So, here are the ground rules (or, they should be the ground rules, if I weren’t such a weenie). I’ve lived in San Antonio now for a decade. If you’re a local artist (in any discipline) and our paths haven’t crossed, I want to know why. You don’t know who I am? I don’t know who you are? Well, I throw my net pretty fucking wide. Maybe you’ve recently awoken from a coma? Perhaps have been released from prison? No? Really? If you’re just getting into a creative career, or you’ve recently moved to town, I completely understand. Otherwise, take a number, because there are so many brilliant, community-spirited artists who I am dying to work with—and many have said yes when I’ve asked, or, better, they have reached out to me because they like my work; and, best of all, so many of these collaborations are already falling into place.
Strangers with promises of money and grand ideas they’ve taken to label “art” is one of the main reasons I unplugged myself from the San Antonio film “community.” Too many gormless individuals with dollar signs in their eyes and not one iota of aesthetic. To be less dramatic, I don’t feel we shared the same values.
And it suddenly occurred to me that today is Father’s Day. I am reminded that my unreasonable and irresponsible approach to life will most likely mean that I will die poor—perhaps evening poorer than I am at the moment, if that’s possible—and that these behaviors of mine which result in financially poor choices were most likely learned from my father. Though I doubt if he were alive, the either of us would think twice about these decisions. His or mine.
So, I sip my coffee and wait on a phone call for a potential paying gig I plan on wriggling free from, under the assumption it won’t be fun. (And, I could be wrong. And maybe this person has no interest in working with ME.) I check on the eggs and return to making notes for the dozen other projects I have in the works between now and March of 2015 which I’m fairly confident will be quite fun, though not so financially rewarding.
[Later edit: Oh, yeah. The guy never called.]
Jump-Start has begun a series of performances for the months of June. Cafe du Jump: 8 x 8. Eight nights of eight, eight minute performances on an eight by eight foot stage. Admission $8. Performances begin at 8pm. You get the picture.
My offering is a performance piece titled “A Freezer-Full of Atrocities.” It has been changing each week. For week two, I brought a couple of company members on stage to help out. I also added some video projection. I’d like week three and week four to each become more complex and layered. For last night and Friday night I was also doing tech. So I had to set the lights, audio, and begin the video before climbing down from the tech booth and getting on to the stage. But, the truth is, we are all doing multiple tasks.
Also, I was asked by fellow company member Pamela Dean Kenny to write a monologue for her. I asked her if she had any ideas. “I do. How about an eight year old girl giving a Ted Talk on silverfish?” I can so do that! And so I did. She was perfect!
Two more weekends. I wonder if I can convince the rest of the company to extend the 8 x 8 through July.