Do you have to be an extrovert to be a performer? Reflections on Moving Arts Lab 2017

I've recently been inspired to reinvigorate this site after quite a long hiatus. I've always had trouble with the idea of "marketing" myself as it places my spirit too close to capital, and I don't want to be a brand or just another object for others to consume. So, I sort of let this fall to the wayside because I just didn't have the energy or interest in going around sounding the horn of "ME ME ME!" 

I still feel this way. 

But, I recently attended Moving Arts Lab, and despite a lot of complications with my health, travel arrangements, etc. I had a wonderful time! I've only very recently decided to incorporate movement and dance into my artistic practice, so I was there to do a lot of things that I have never done before - to see if it sparked anything inside me. (Spoiler: It did! Ha.) 

One thing I found out is that I feel really natural as a performer, which was really strange and unexpected. I'm usually kind of a quiet person in life, and I guess I thought performers were those boisterous extroverts who are always talking about something and making everyone laugh. Truth is, some of them are, but some of them are more like me.  

What I found when I was working on these performance art pieces, is that it didn't matter how I identified "me" in life because that's not who was doing the performance. I was able to slip into this other space that I have trouble describing. People I've talked to about it say they feel like they slip into a character, and I guess it's something like that. But, I felt more like I could identify some core feeling I wanted to express, and then I would just become it completely, and "me" would melt away. 

Another thing I loved about Moving Arts Lab is the way all of the workshops were framed. Each teacher had a focus and a series of questions/topics/exercises that they invited us to think deeply about. So we would go off and do our "research" on the topic, and then we would come up with a performance that expresses what our research lead us to think/feel. 

God, I wish school had been more like this... 

It was such a relief to not have to write a fucking term paper - to not use words at all, or to only use them briefly and poetically, or to just think/feel them while you moved. I did this really cathartic performance where I communed deeply with this tree. I performed a kind of massage on its roots and did a short dance laying on the ground, and ended on my back holding its "arm" and looking at the sky like two lovers or best friends. That was the result of my research on what makes me feel safe, comforted, at home. People liked that one. (: 

So, now I wanna do more "research projects," and I want to share them here, but not because I'm sounding the horn of "ME ME ME." I don't think I'll be there, actually. Maybe I'll just be a mirror. Many people have been mirrors for me, and they are my greatest teachers. So I'd like to return the favor - but consciously, compassionately, with all the love I can muster.

Stay tuned! XO. 

m