“The nature of love is to create.”
– Fr. Cecil Zinger, C.S.B.
There have been some recent situations where I’ve been asked what I “do” – that old chestnut. Sometimes saying I’ve worked on a legal marketing client database for nearly five years is enough to steer smalltalk elsewhere. If there’s a sincere desire on the asker’s behalf to know who I am, though, I have to follow up with the information that, after high school, I studied acting.
I’m an actor.
It’s true, even though I haven’t taken a bow since 2010.
It’s true, even though I’ve officially auditioned exactly twice since then.
It’s true, even though saying it feels more inauthentic than saying I’m in legal marketing (so much imposter syndrome, all the time).
And sure, I’ve done some producing and directing with reasonable amounts of success, so maybe I can claim some of those theatrical merit badges.
But I’m still that thing I decided I would be when I was 17 (crikey), despite any appearances to the contrary. The Sorting Hat took my choice into account and here we are.
So, I’m lurking in my general fog of dissatisfaction (put it on the internet! that’s original!) and I look around and feel driven to create… something. And/or destroy everything.
I should probably write a thing (play, web-based thing, whatever) for myself to be in – I know a whole bunch of actors I respect who’ve done that – but all of my story ideas involve roles in which I wouldn’t cast myself (thanks, brain!). I should—
Basically, there are a lot of “I should”’s streaking in crisscrossing patterns across the open sky but, and here’s the rub, I’m struggling to find “I want to”’s. I’m in a weird place where I’m trying to find enjoyment and a creative outlet, but I also just want to start screaming because I’ve worn down my tolerance for creative frustration to a nub. I just don’t have it in me right now to do the work required for something that’s actually “good”.
That quote from Father Zinger at the beginning of this ramble was part of an elaborate description of The Holy Trinity, but it’s stuck with me (since I was 14!!!) out of context. I agree with it. There’s definitely something about my current malaise that feels a lot like an unrequited passion. And I’m a romantic. And an incurable optimist (despite my penchant for wrath).
I saw this piece and was inspired by the steady, reliable approach taken in this project, by one of my favourite artists, and I’ve decided to do something creative and destructive and ridiculous and completely unoriginal… involving blackout poetry.
I’m pretty sure I can commit to seeing this particular subject through. I’m going to share it online, ‘cause I’m a performer and I like the accountability that adds. I’m going to post reflections through the process, so it’s kinda blog-y too. Who knows? Maybe, when it’s done, I’ll be glad I documented it.
And if you feel inspired to join me on this journey and do some version of the same thing, please do.
Or if you want to stand at the side of the track and shake a cowbell, that would also be greatly appreciated by my insatiable ego.