Saturday, July 6, 2013

creating a/broad, July 6, 2013

The Young'uns and Me
by Cameryn Moore

I think I have spent more time this year occupying the first reading of the title of this column: creating abroad. Without any clever visual/typographical puns, I have been dwelling on my creative process as it relates to art, community, festivals, and other strange lands, both inside and out. What am I creating? New works, new relationships, new models for joyful release and collective engagement.

But for the past couple of weeks, hell, even the past few months, the second aspect of my column title is emerging clear as a bell: creating a broad. Creating me.

Not from scratch, no. I’ve lived in other countries, and I’ve worked on tons of creative projects, I am not starting from nothing; actually, there’s a lot of pre-existing material here to work with. But this is not passive clay or unresponsive cloth that I am working with. It is unpredictable, malleable me-ness, receptive to the many experiences and lessons, overt and otherwise, that I am swimming in as I move through this time abroad. Everything I do reflects back into me, so that sometimes I get confused about whether I am living my life or my life is living me.

The more I practice listening, the better I am at hearing. That’s a useful development.

New and humbling experiences in hosting shows… oy. Those have brought me face to face with my own ego, vestiges of insecurity and scarcity mentality welling up instantly, shocking the shit out of me, to be quite honest. I thought I was done with that, I’m 42 years old, for fucks’ sake, shouldn’t I be past that, past a naked greed for my own time on stage? Nope. Apparently not yet.

Even while I struggle with my occasional cluelessness, I want to acknowledge that I am getting better at listening, overall. Phone work started getting me there, but over the last few months I’ve had enough encounters with other artists and audience members, really deep, core connections full of stuff that I didn’t want to miss, so I’ve been able to settle in and really listen, without necessarily thinking of what I’m going to say next. The more I practice listening, the better I am at hearing. That’s a useful development.

So is another aspect of serious internal renovation, where I am creating a holding space in myself for the complexities and contradictions of relationships, and my own feelings about those relationships. I don’t even know what to do with this whole mess of feelings and concerns and questions that I have about what the fuck I’m doing, with my husband and my lovers, and IT DOESN’T FUCKING MAKE SENSE SOMETIMES. And then other times it does, and I just get confused, and that’s okay, too. The funny thing is, I didn’t necessarily set out to make that space. I think it was just a reflexive, semi-conscious response to A Lot of Serious Things Happening, and the experiences and questions just went ahead and carved out a nice, if slightly bewildering, storage room for themselves, where they get to just sit until I have the time and energy to pick them up and examine them again. I’m learning to wait, that I don’t have to have all of the right answers right away.

During the first two years of my touring I looked around at all the young ‘uns and thought, holy fuck

As insecure as I can still be, as shaken as events and reviews and occasional walkouts can still leave me, there is still an emerging sense of … skills being developed, or given room to bloom. These are things ranging from my street-promo geekness to sidewalk smut to solid OKCupid protocol. It is not so much that I am getting good at these things, doing them and thinking about them, but that I am excited that I still have those things to learn, that surely something else will come up during my travels or creative work, something that I will have a pressing need to get good at, to immerse myself in, and those recent additions to Things I Can Do Well tell me that I can still learn and get good. I’m not too old for this fuckin’ sport.

There. That’s the big one. I’m not too old for this. I’m really not. That is the main thing that I get to sit with these days; it’s been a major internal shift for me. During the first two years of my touring I looked around at all the young ‘uns and thought, holy fuck, I don’t know if I can keep up. Events have proved that I can and love doing it, but like so many other issues in this piece, it’s less about doing the actual thing, and more about making room for what doing the thing means. It’s less about me having the physical stamina or “youthful” vigor for what needs to be done as a touring solo performer, and more about acknowledging that I can, as a middle-aged person, choose this path, make it a priority, get all single-minded and one-track about it, and that’s okay. 

Before, I thought I was an idiot for doing this, I thought I was sowing my wild oats or maybe just, you know, checking something off the ol’ bucket list. But now, I’m taking myself seriously, even while having the time of my life, and that has made all the difference, to creating myself as a woman worth reckoning with, a broad that I give so much in order to be.
Cameryn's Moore's piece, slut (r)evolution, is playing, currently, at Montreal's Zoofest

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.