Friday, June 6, 2014

inevitably long winded . . . (part one)

an acquaintance of mine recently asked me to contemplate why i no longer design lighting, production manage, stage manage, stagehand or participate in any way with the production of staged theatrical artistic events . . .

this query caught me off gaurd & while i have been dwelling on the question (in the quiet far too few moments when my mind is my own) i have yet to answer her . . .
this is my first attempt at putting the thoughts into words (words being the door through which i entered "the arts" in the first place thirty three years ago) . . . 

my first answer is the easiest one : money 

i do not mean to imply that there is no money in "the arts"

i do mean to infer a deep seated insistence that "knowing what one is worth" & "placing a monetary value" on that "worth" is something (in my experience) in "the arts" that is frowned upon

. . . while frowing the phrases, "i am not being paid," or, "i do this for the love of the art," or, "the actors / dancers are not being paid," or, "do Not see it as a lack of funds view it instead as a challenge" have been issued to me by several producers, directors, choreographers, executive directors, artistic directors & friends when i began my journey away from "the arts"

this "answer" (as all answers inevitably do) leads to a longer list of topics & questions than i am willing to get into here (or at all for that matter) . . . 

i will say this again - money - is the easy answer 

my next thought is a tad more personal though still not "the answer" . . . i lost my "heart"

there is (based upon my experience) a requirement for a certain amount of "love," a certain "willingness to go above & beyond," to "call in favors," to "get it for free," to "work something out," to "do your magic" that i lost

losing whatever this "was" hindered my ability to "see" & as a lighting designer "seeing" is mandatory

i did not want to "black out" between scenes - i lost all interest in "building a cue that mimicks a sunset on the cyclorama," the thought of focusing one more down pool for the "dramatic effect" (read "ailey-esque") made me want to puke . . . 

when this "loss" began i found myself drinking, quite often (more than i should) & still recovering from the night before showing up hungover, smelling like the worn soles of a barback & actually sitting behind "the tech table" attempting to write the "ugliest cue imaginable" . . . 

i spiralled out of control, lost my job, my wife, my family, my self-respect, my drive, my ingenuity, my creativity, my self-worth, my ability to see color in the deepest shade of grey, my ability to see texture in the flattest landscape - in short, i lost me

i burned every bridge i could see & some i did not even know were there - i set fire to all around me & justified my arson by wallowing in self-pity for the next five years

then an actual fire consumed everything i owned
& covered seventy percent of my body in second & third degree burns 

this event was the first event that shook me - not losing the aforementioned things - this one, that almost claimed me

to be clear - this "answer" is about "losing" whatever it was that was "me" that made me able to work thirty hours straight for little (if any) compensation that made me demand a moving light package in the nineties for an unknown dance company; to push for newer technologies instead of settling for the par-can backlights; that wanted three follow spots for a two person play . . . 

whatever it was (i realised laying in the hospital) was gone & i needed to let it go

so i did or so i told (& still do tell) myself

i ventured into it a few times - for friends - each time being called out for my lack of whatever it was they were used to seeing

i became formulaic predictable - bright washy & blue . . . 

i lost some good friends during this transition
. . . folk i still miss to this day

so, why have i continued to steer myself away from a life of theatrical production ??
what was lost ??  

i honestly do not know

i am just beginning to "see" this as it is

there will be more
but for now

i am stopping

6 june 2014
chelsea, nyc

Friday, September 20, 2013

greenpoint 09.20.2013

sitting on stoop
listening & watching children play
couples walking
hipsters on bikes
smelling freshly burnt pot waft down the street 
it is slightly windy
the sun hits magic johnson's building bouncing around all boogie woogie style (truly ugly building)
there is a man arguing with another man about dog poop & a woman in a mini-van parked in front of my apartment complaining, "i have not been this broke in a long time. i mean like, broke."

i am not going to miss greenpoint much
- not much at all . . . 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

some green on this grey day . . .

another post from another site worth a read . . .

nyc environmental year in review (2012)


something different . . .

continuing a ritual i dabbled in while i wasted my time on facebook . . . here is a link to a page i think it well worth your time to peruse :


happy new year

Saturday, December 15, 2012

numb but thinking . . .

yesterday has me at the moment silent & equally aware i have been silent for a very long time . . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Masochism . . .

in the constant quest to grasp the very personal concept of identity i have started to read "Masochism" (Zone Books, 1991) with an essay by Gilles Deleuze & "Venus in Furs" by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch . . .

a fascinating forward is all i have managed to read to date

so far, i am impressed