Friday, November 21, 2008

Daunting

Today is the first day I feel a little down. Los Angeles is so big--it takes such along time to get things done. An entire day can go by just driving. I did find a place where I could resume my morning walks, but that is only for a short time, as I'll be moving once again soon. I have found several places on Craig's list, the most promising are warehouse and loft spaces in the downtown Los Angeles Arts district. To save money and time, we may rent a space down there and go in and build out the theatre space. If I didn't have such a great group of people assembling, this would be daunting, doing theatre is so much like pushing a boulder up a hill, and so far, all I can do is walk around the boulder and look at it. I think it is why life is so difficult at times, so often it seems one feels entirely alone staring at a great thing that must be moved. If the energy is there, if the enthusiasm is there, it does seem easier, but so often as humans we are consumed with just meeting our needs from day to day and surviving. Being the leader of pushing something so large, you are charged with rallying the cry, but so often the cry is a weak one. 

Still, here I am up and moving forward, even though I don't feel like it--therein lies the order of faith, doing something when you don't feel like it, hoping the feelings will come if you just can keep your feet shuffling along. I often think, however, where I would be if I was not willing to make some bold declaration--speaking is the first order of action, and then its move, move, move. As I get older, it becomes more difficult to move. I have to rely on others moving as well. I was telling Kent at this time in my life I feel like a boxer who has fought a hundred fights. Although people will still come to see me fight, I've definitely lost a step. Do I become a trainer instead? Do I find another job? Part of this journey has been to create another job for myself. To become a performer again, creating something people want to see. 

This summer, I went back to performing in an upscale restaurant, and someone ask me if doing what I was doing is draining. Yes, it is. There were some nights as I would throw my guitar in the back of my pick-up, I would get this overwhelming weariness, (like I have right now) as though the 'all of me' was resisting what I must go and do. I learned from experience, however, that as I warmed up and started to play, the weariness would always go away. Why is this? The very thing we love to do becomes a point of resistance and weariness. Again, it is the intellectual act of moving the feet and 'getting to the mountain'. I once devised a lesson to teach over two weeks on 'how difficult it is TO GET TO THE MOUNTAIN'. Once there, climbing it isn't so difficult. As out bodies warm up and we start up that narrow path that takes us to the top, we become more enthusiastic as we climb. There will always be obstacles that attempt to keep us from getting there. 

I also would feel this most every morning before I would go and teach at school. It is mind boggling to realize that I got up everyday and dressed myself to get inside of a ring with teenagers, and quite often during this boxing match I would get knocked out. I had to be cagey to have the upper hand. My goal was to have friendly sparring, and after ten years, I feel as though I learned to be fearless in a ring with teenagers. Each day, when lunch time would approach, I would go into have my lunch with other teachers who had not learned the art of boxing. There were so many cuts and bruises that I saw in those ten years. Although I will always count teaching as something I learned as a craft and will continue to do, I had enough in a more formal setting. Now I face that huge transitional period to find my way into another arena. Aaaaa! to be thirty again! To have boundless hours of energy and enthusiasm. Alas, I have what I have, perhaps experience will get me through. 

So, today I will talk to several people with downtown space, and tomorrow will go and look at the possibilities. The possibilities. What is possible? We learn that all is possible. We are taught that anything is possible in America. I pray for President Obama today, I wonder if he wakes in the middle of the night and says to himself, "What have I done? What have I declared? How will I survive this boulder I must push up this hill?  What brought me here? Can I get up tomorrow and assemble a team for this task? God help me..." 

3 comments:

Gerry said...

Well, this will be a time to test your strength, to see what is possible, or what you want to keep on trying to do. I think going to a big city like Los Angeles is daunting, and right now it must be especially so, after the city has just been hit by a terrible devastating firestorm, so as you are working, keep this in mind, to give them comfort and hope with art that will move the soul, because all these people who lost so much might feel like they can't push their boulders up the hill right now, too. I know that you have the will to go until you have accomplished what you came for even if you modify and change what that will encompass, you will still get something out there, and you will learn about performing from that, and being determined! Just don't get too tired each day. Get your sleep and exercise and keep on truckin' Mom

Pamela said...

You are going through a lot right now. Just take it one day at a time. If you need someone to take you on a driving day and show you around, let me know. There are all kinds of different ways to get around here.
Pam

Joss said...

Ahh!! Downtown L.A.? good luck...when I was there in July, a friend of mine wasn't too smart when booking our hotel and we ended up staying right on the border, partially crossing into LA's famous Skid Row. Ick.

I'd love to come out and see your play when it is ready and opens.

Teenagers...You have to admit though, out of all the years you taught, those first couple years and the 2.5 years I was able to share with you(even though our class were assholes sometimes), was probably some of the best times you had. To me it seemed like, after I got long term suspended and the school moved, it just wasn't the same atmosphere. I run into Metro students now, from this current school year and they just aren't about "art" anymore...I know i shouldn't judge, but it's sad watching a good school(which does still have SOME good students, but only a few), turn into a school of posers.

As Steve from SLC punk says "We're -ALL- fucking posers..."

P.S. This is just for you...
"What is this fascination with truancy? What is it that gets inside of your heads? There are some teachers at this school who look the other way at truants. It's a little game you both play. They pretend they don't see you, and you pretend you don't ditch! Now, in the end, who pays the price? YOU!" --- Mr.Hand