I had a troubling day, Thoth too. I woke up to these words: “I feel like I’m going insane.” from my husband. My poor baby. There is nothing I can do for him when he gets that dark. He said he felt lonely, like what he’s doing has no use, and that death is coming soon and he has nothing to show for it. He has been doing this unique work for 30 years and really what does he have? He has me. Everything else is unstable and uncertain. No home. No medals. No awards. No recognition. No security. Just his creativity, his willpower, and me. How hard could that be for him I imagine?
My deepest fear is we will end up not having accomplished the things I want us to accomplish. I want us to have a theater space where we can develop and perform our works and people would come to see us. To have a community of other actors, singers, musicians, dancers and circus artists to work collectively on a performance, on our operas. People gathered to help us tell our stories, instead of us being all alone in telling them. I fear it will never happen. Right now I doubt we’re not good enough for it to happen. Cirque Du Soleil did it, why can’t we? We have every ability to. Am I just impatient? Anxious? Scared? Doubtful? Yes, yes, yes and yes.
I am not yet doing what it is I really want to do with my life. I want to be making my own theater in an indoor venue with lights and sound and silence and space. I want a place to rest my head that is mine and no one else can tell me what to do there. I want privacy. I want people around me I love and respect who I can creatively collaborate with on a daily basis. I want to be able to travel abroad without being cramped, uncomfortable and unable to sleep for two days. I want to have people around me invested in me, believing in me, relying on me, trusting in me and supporting me to create beautiful, original theater. If we just had the opportunity! How long do we have to wait? It’s a dream I know I can do, if only the right circumstances fell into place to make it happen. Our lifestyle is not sustainable. We can not be street performers for the rest of our lives. We need a team. We need stability. We need a venue. We need investors. We need money. I can’t live like an outsider vagabond for the next 60 years. I will do whatever I need to do to continue making art, but I want to be indoors and have some respect for what I’m doing.
I spent the day with my friend Will and talked through everything. Thoth cheered himself up a bit by talking to our friend Michael on the phone while I was gone. I need to talk to people when I’m feeling sad and doubtful. I don’t do that. I write a blog or make a vlog or post something on Facebook. I feel like an island. Aren’t we all islands? Each alone in our own little worlds, in our own little heads, in our own little fantasies. In our own little dreams and desires and fears and perspective and messed up, fleshy, complicated little bodies.
I feel reality hasn’t really hit me in the face yet. I fear it will. I can’t live like this forever, can I? Making art every day. No real responsibilities accept for paying our rent, buying our food and paying for our plane tickets. Yes, of course I am responsible. I take care of myself, but Thoth takes good care of me. I don’t have the responsibilities most grown ups have. A car, a house, a mortgage, bills, health insurance, car insurance, life insurance… It’s not that I avoid responsibilities, but we have to keep our life simple. We can’t afford to have a home of our own or a car. We can’t really even afford to settle down. By being home for a month (we’re leaving a week from tomorrow) I’m seeing all the things I don’t have. I do want privacy. That would be nice, but we can’t afford it. We couldn’t even afford to rent a one bedroom. We can’t live with roommates for the rest of our lives. No one can. No one does. Everyone eventually has their own space and takes care of themselves somehow. Thoth hasn’t. Yes, he takes care of himself, but he doesn’t have all the things people at his age are supposed to have. He has dedicated himself to a life of art and creativity. Will he suffer for it or will he benefit from it? Will he ever see the rewards of his hard work and dedication to this work he is doing? Will I? He’s burned all his bridges, so he can’t go back.
I realize now how singularly different and unique our work is. It’s normal to me, but that’s because I am me and I’ve been doing it for 8 years of my life. How is it we make a living doing it? How does anyone relate to it? We don’t sing in English. The story we’re telling isn’t clear. How does anyone understand enough to show their appreciation? They do, continuously somehow, but we might as well be aliens to them. No one really has any idea what we’re doing, what we’re singing about or what the context of our work is. All our audiences respond generally in the same way. This month here in Nashville has really made me question and doubt what I’m doing. It’s made me wonder if I’m not crazy or if I’m doing the right thing. I am so laser focused on it when we’re doing it regularly. I have to be. It takes everything out of me, but it doesn’t matter to anyone. It doesn’t make people wonder how much we’ve had to sacrifice to make it happen. How are we able to do this work and continue to do it and live? I don’t know. We have tunnel vision.
In the end, we could change any aspect of what we do. We are completely capable of doing whatever we need to do. I have to trust in myself, in my intuition, in my gut. I always have. People have always called me crazy, and things have always worked out for me. I have to trust and believe things will continue along that line and our karma is clean enough that no horrible calamity will befall us and we will be taken care of. I didn’t have any idea how I was going to make a living when I was 20 and moved to NYC. When I met Thoth, I just knew I had to be with him. I followed my heart and here I am. I have a loving husband, the ability to travel and eat pretty much whatever I want and see my friends all over the world. I couldn’t do that 8 years ago. I have gained a lot. I can’t give up. I just have to keep going. That’s the only way.
I write this blog hoping that someone who might read it can feel solace to know that I am an human being struggling and coping with life just like everyone else. That despite all my fears and hang ups, I manage somehow to go out and make art in my own unique way as much as I can. I feel doubt and fear and hopelessness, yet I find someway to keep going. I am fearful and terrified of what might happen, yet I go out every day and make art in my own voice. I try to be honest and open and vulnerable and real with people. I am a human being. Here I am. I am alive. I feel. I fear. I dread. I love. I am. I am. I am.