Practice makes practice.
Updated: Feb 13, 2019
"Practice without hope of fruition."
– Terre Roche, "Fretboard Vitamins"
In 2010, I drove across the country with my best friend from Seattle to Philadelphia to become a professional experimental theater artist. Or at least, that was the plan.
In the 9 years that have passed since that road trip, I've made about a dozen original performances, either alone or with other people. Most of those were performed in warehouses and garages, but one was performed at MIT, and another at St. Germain-des-Prés in Paris. I'm pretty proud of that. The most recent was presented as a work-in-progress showing at Skidmore College in 2017. I was also pretty proud of that. But I haven't made a performance since then.
I'm sure to many two years doesn't seem like a terribly long time to take a break from something. But to me it has felt like an agonizingly long purgatory, and a time in which I have lost my path.
Why exactly have I stopped? If I knew how to answer that, I don't think I'd have started a blog. In fact, I'm not entirely confident I'll ever be able to answer that question. But I do suspect that one reason I stopped was because I didn't feel I had a practice: I only had a profession. And I think I had some rather common but potent fantasies around what it would mean to be an artist.
My life now, instead of being about experimental theater, has become about wading through the muck of ideas I inherited and beliefs I invented around "creativity." It's more or less all I think about. And I started this blog as a place for me to put those thoughts down in the hope that in doing so they'll start to accumulate some meaning for me and other people. At the very least, this blog is a place to put sign-posts along my journey into the woods, as I consider what a creative life is, and try to figure out how to nurture the creative spirit.
I'm hoping this blog will include conversations with other people, snippets of works-in-progress from the studio, as well as some responses to work I come into contact with that stirs something in me and in the world around.
The title of the blog, then, is aspirational: with practice, with patience, I hope to hush, at least a little, my troubled soul, and order, at least a little, my wild mind.
And while I forge ahead with no expectation of resolution, no "hope of fruition," I do also hope that in fumbling my way through this limbo publicly and honestly, I'll find some nuggets of gold that will help other people serve their creative life too.
Here we go...