Saturday, June 28, 2014

creating a/broad June 28, 2014

This Shit Is Just Starting
by Cameryn Moore

This tour isn’t over. It isn’t even half over. The halfway mark—I calculated it last week, in a brief but productive fit of homesickness—is July 1, and that’s just for my time in the UK. When I get back to Montreal, I will have a week of rest, and then it’s back on the road for another three months.

And then I’m planning more shows for April and May, and contemplating the merits of developing some fan base in the UK and expanding into northern Europe and…

… this shit is just starting.

I don’t know where it ends, either. I don’t know anymore exactly what I’m aiming for, when I will have 'succeeded'. I used to believe that I did. By 'used to', I mean as recently as last year. I used to believe that I could pick a target goal for my life and launch in that direction, plan it all out, all the steps, that that was the only way to get anywhere. This does work for short- and medium-term goals, projects that have external deadlines, shows that need to be written, cities that need to be visited somehow. That does work. I am very goal-oriented, deadline-oriented, and this approach really does work to get me off my ass. But I think I’m reaching the outer limits of effectiveness with it, when I try to imagine where I’m going next.

So I ask other people, right? Where they’re going, and how they decide how to get there. I don’t have to do it exactly the way they do, hell, I can’t do it the way they do, but it’s something more to work with than the swirl of possibilities that refuses to sit still inside my head.

In my world, I don’t know who is up there in front of me. It feels like I am always making a path for myself.

A couple of fellow Fringe artists, well ahead of me by all standard metrics of showbiz success, told me their lodestone: “We look at artists in our field, who we admire, and we see where they have performed, what venues and festivals, and WE try to get into those spaces.” I tried applying this principle to my own circumstances and ran into a bit of a brick wall. There are performers whom I admire, but they’re not in my field. Or they are in my field, but they’re staying on the Canadian Fringe. I do not see any sex-themed solo artists way out in front of me doing their own shit. They’re all on the Fringe with me. These friends giving me advice are in comedy music, they have people who they have grown up watching, people doing roughly what they’re doing. In my world, I don’t know who is up there in front of me. It feels like I am always making a path for myself. Maybe I’ve missed the obvious. Maybe I need to look around some more.

Earlier this week I had another conversation with an acquaintance, the person who found me my first week of Manchester billeting, a friend of a friend of a friend, a musician and spoken word artist. I had already unloaded my career planning anxieties on him a little bit, and he indulged me in a little bit of the talk therapy that I do, just talk and talk and lay out the pros and cons: do I go back to the Canadian Fringe circuit, do I expand on the UK connections that I’ve been making last year and this, are those two mutually exclusive, are there other options that I’m not seeing, what is it that I’m trying to do exactly with all this performing and writing, and what is the best way of doing all that, WHERE DO I WANT TO BE , AND WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT TO GET THERE? That is basically what all those questions boil down to.

And then I asked him, what were his goals? He kept looking at me with a slightly puzzled furrow between his brows, and I rephrased the question, and rephrased it again. What’s your ideal day like? What’s your target? Okay, what do you want to be doing in five years? And then his brow cleared. “I don’t know,” he said, but he was smiling. “It’s going to be something that I have no conception of right now.” And then he recited a poem to me:


I can only hope
That in five years' time
I am as disgusted with myself
As I am now
Disgusted with myself
Five years ago

(Alabaster Deplume,

That feels about right, for this unexpected life. Five years ago I was writhing in the pit of loathing. I was broke, so broke, just started out doing phone sex, what the hell was I doing with that? And I didn’t know what was going to happen at all, I didn’t know, I just had to get through, get my food stamps sorted out, get woken up at 3 in the morning to talk some wanker in California through his orgasm. I didn’t see this coming at all, that I would be performing a solo play (!), let alone four of them (!!!), around the world. I didn’t see it, anymore than ten years ago I would have imagined myself doing phone sex at all.

Life shifts and changes and we do not always see what is coming, we sometimes do not have control over where it goes. The best thing that I can do for myself right now is go back to my motto of YES, saying yes to opportunities, keep taking those chances. This is how I ended up here. This is how I will end up there. I don’t see any other way of living with this chaos. 


If you have liked reading my column, please keep following me on Facebook or join my mailing list over at  Creating a/Broad will be continuing, in some regular form or another, for a while. As I said earlier, this shit is just starting.

ED - We just want to say thanks Cameryn for your  always insightful excellent columns. 

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