I attempted to start a separate blog with words on it, but I can barely keep up with one, so this is a repost of something I wrote at the end of October and am still feeling.
Feeling valued and validated as an artist/creator-person is really hard, and this month has been full of feeling both devalued and so supported. Who am I supposed to listen to? The people who blow me off, don't understand what work I do (dramaturgy, of course), and don't support my projects? Or do I listen to the people who invite me to events, come to me with questions or work, and want to collaborate?
I don't know!
And do I trust myself enough as a person who is trained in art and kind of understands the weird world in which we live to actually set out and accomplish what lofty goals I have?
I don't know!
A bit on my trajectory as a creative person:
When I was a kid, I used to engage in what my mom called dumpster diving. By this I mean that I would hoard trash and make projects with it, like a caterpillar out of an egg carton, etc. Then I started writing, short stories, mainly. I have a vivid memory of making the decision to perform a musical revue of The Lion King for my parents. This was pre-Arizona so I couldn't have been older than seven. I put two chairs in my room, set up my stuffed animals and a ceramic zebra on the ground while I timed a flashlight beam to the opening song as a sunrise. During Hakuna Matata, I held a baton and did a little dance that ended with me stepping on and crushing my zebra, thus ending my first attempt as an actor/director in a fit of tears. As time heals all wounds, that wound was healed when I joined the drama club in high school, thus sending me on a path to obtain a BA in Theatre Arts (and Film, but that's another story). I wanted to act. Then I found out directing was a thing. Then I learned about dramaturgy (oh yeah) and devising (heck yeah) and ensemble-work (woo-hoo). And worked at a regional theatre. And got really jaded by the system. And season programming. And unearthed all these big and lofty ideas about theatre and what it could be and should do and simply isn't.
And now I'm looking at grad school and don't think a theatre masters would help me - a masters in the ONE thing I have been doing since I was 13. Can I even make the art I want to make if I don't deeply understand different disciplines? How can I make art to make change if I don't understand public policy or lawmaking or irreconcilable anthropological differences in culture or the structures in place to avoid allowing all the nonsense going on to continue? Is it enough, for me, to sit in a room and make art and feel things and read theory without fully integrating it into the world we live in?
I don't know! But I'm going to try.