Last year, I examined, in an armchair statistics way, what Seattle theatre was like based on SeattlePerforms.com and how many of the theatres’ websites still existed.
This year, I don’t have that much to say. Aside from the Intiman crumbling, which I’ve been blogging about pretty extensively, there hasn’t been much development. Not that I’ve seen, anyway. So I’m going to write a more personal post than I normally do about where I am in the theatre, from the past year, and what’s coming up.
Last year, I started off working on a production of Ear to the Ground’s Not All Clowns are Bozos III: Clowning Me Softly. I was the production manager, and it was a tough but worthwhile endeavor. Later in the year, I became more involved with Ear to the Ground in general, and am currently serving as interim Board Secretary, as well as assistant director for the upcoming Not All Clowns are Bozos IV: So You Think You Can Clown.
I feel like working with clowns has changed my perspective on theatre a lot, in many subtle ways. I’ve become a lot more passionate about locally created and sourced theatre in the past year to year-and-a-half, but I had been feeling rather burnt out in “dealing with” Seattle theatre. I didn’t know as strongly what I wanted to do with myself or where to start, but I did know, starting with my movement class in the summer of 2010, that I loved physical and ensemble theatre. When I went to Chicago later that year, I finally got to see a show from the Neo-Futurists, and I feel very strongly that I want to learn their style of theatre creation, and bring it to Seattle. I haven’t had a chance at the second part yet, but I hope to soon. Anyway, working with the clowns has helped rejuvenate by drive and self-respect as an artist, which in turn makes me feel more stable, more like I can ask for and achieve what I want. They are very appreciative of my help, and they are equally appreciative when I tell them “no” to certain jobs (especially if I do so before I’m asked). They are an amazing group, too – very friendly, open, always teasing each other and making jokes to the point that, yes, it can be hard to get things done, but meetings with them are never painful or slow. Also, working with this group will eventually help me develop ensemble-work skills. I’m looking forward to eventually transitioning into more of an artistic associate role with them.
I put up two productions of “best-of-craigslist: live!” in one year, which is kind of an amazing feat. The first one was a full-length (over an hour) solo version taken down to the Portland Mini-Fringe Festival in February, and the second was a late-night, less than 10-minute version for Annex’s Spin the Bottle in early December. The second was much more successful, which gives me a clearer idea of how and where I should pursue this in the future.
I directed a short piece for Freehold Studio’s Showcase called “Gated,” written by a good friend, Scott Maddock. It was great to work with him in a more intimate way – he’s a kind-hearted, talented writer who believes strongly in collaboration and the director’s vision, and I tried to offer him the same respect. I was proud of the final production of “Gated” in a way that, because of burn-out, I haven’t been proud of my work in a long time.
I didn’t get to dramaturg with Taproot Theatre in 2011. However, I am, so far, going to get to dramaturg a show with them in the late spring in 2012. I’m excited, because I thoroughly enjoy working with them as a group, and dramaturgy is one of my favorite aspects of theatre.
Although I attended theatre a bit, and thought about theatre a lot, over the summer last year, I didn’t do much in the way of theatre work. In my personal life, I moved from the north end of the city to the south end of the city, had my house broken into about two months later, took on more responsibility at work, and started going to The Samarya Center for yoga as part of a much more vigorous workout regimen because I’ve decided I’m tired of being weak, chubby, and sick most of the time. And to change that in a preventative way, I need to watch what I eat and exercise more. The “watching what I eat” part isn’t easy for me and I’ve focused on that less (especially with the holiday insanity), but I have been going to yoga 2-3 times a week, blues dancing about 2-3 times a month, and riding my bike more, which are all good things and I’ve felt better for doing them. I am also, although it pains me in an existential way, interested in training to be a yoga teacher. But I’m also interested in training in the Facial Action Coding System. It takes time for both of these things, but I am going to take steps toward both of these goals this year.
Also on the personal front, my partner and I are looking at going to France for his 30th birthday, which is in 2013. So we’re looking at when the trip will take place and how long we’ll be there, and I’m going to start looking into residencies with theatres. Oui, je suis etudiant le langue. Mais, mon mots, c’est terrible.
Anyway, so all of that also happened last year, and will continue into this next year.
I’m also taking Marya Sea Kaminksy’s Solo Performance class at Freehold starting in mid-January, which is going to push a serious number of my boundaries in a short period of time. I’m terrified and excited about the challenge. I hope to figure out a time to travel to Chicago to visit the Neo-Futurists again this year, and see what I can do with them volunteer-wise. I look forward to working with the clowns for another year. I’m looking forward to a lot of things, and I hope 2012 is a good year for me, both artistically and personally.