Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Church Basements in Midtown Manhattan.
We're all artists here, right? Is that what's happening? And by "Artist", I mean you wake up and get to choose or create your attitude and outlook for the day. Some of us turn it into a painting, a vase, or a an overture. Others use it to cultivate a safe pathway to work so they don't have to get harassed by the same construction workers as yesterday.
This month, I feel so much churning inside of me. This project is doing nothing short of holding me completely accountable. And only to myself. That's the best part. Wait. I'm responsible for myself? I've spoken with a lot of artists, like me, who have spent many years waiting to actually work on their craft. Take the note. Follow direction (hopefully from a good director). And there is definitely something to be said for putting your entire self into your own work as well...as difficult as it may seem to take on such an endeavor. It also has the power to create a bit of animosity in a community of fellow artists and creative types.
Firstly, artists are weird people. There's a belief that says "Don't do several things really well". It doesn't apply to me. It never sat well with me. I've always had a desire to do several things at once. To learn as much as I can about things ahead of time. However, competition, or measuring yourself against the path of someone else can be something we all fall victim to.
Interesting fact: I don't get invited to sing many places. My therapist and I have worked on my feelings about that for years. Recently, someone asked me to be a part of a group of singers featured at a place in midtown Manhattan called ...um "51 Below" or something like that. It seemed like a very fancy church basement, with very high-priced wine. Very "top-drawer" as Phoebe would say on Friends.
I, as the kids say, "Let them have it". Really, what else was I going to do? Afterward, some of the young theater children in attendance came up to me... I say "children" because I'm placing 30 year olds in a brand new category. They came up to me and said,
"OMG! So, like, who are you?"
(Always a very fun question)
"Like, why don't I know you?"
(Father, God. Don't let me have to school this child in a church basement.)
"So, are you, like, in anything? What show are you in?"
Ahhhh..... That's what was important. See, that's what wins. I told them, and I could hear my voice escalating... "I'm in my own show. It's a show that I write. Myself. That I've performed, produced, and presented ...all over the country ...quite well ...for the last 5 years!"
Without missing a beat, one of them said "Oh. My. God. I fucking love The Last 5 Years. Jason Robert Brown is like my Jesus!" I didn't have anything to say. Nothing that wouldn't land me back in jail. I still don't have anything to say.
A simple rule of thumb, though.
Stay out of church basements in midtown.