For some reason, it terrifies me to state outright what I want. (Apart, of course, from my Tumblr proclivities.) I'm not sure why. Fear of failure? Need to please? Neurotic (for sure)? This aversion has even put my toes in the fire once or twice (including one especially memorable high school moment when my girlfriend yelled at me in the hall between classes, "You don't know what you want and that terrifies me!") yet I've not changed it significantly for the better. So when a career survey I was working through tossed a few questions at me, I thought it might be interesting - success or failure - to post the results.
Interesting to whom, I daren't contemplate.
1.) What do I want out of life?
Well, (I love thinking-pauses in text) I want a storied experience. Preferably those stories involve overcoming adversity and making things a little better than they have been, but even failure and disappointment can make for good stories. My personal definition of success has changed repeatedly over time, but coming out of it with stories has always been redeeming. To me that means taking as little for granted as possible, and saying yes to any opportunity I possibly can. I want to create stories, and for my personal story, I want to create a family. That's a part of my story I've known I've wanted for a long time.
2.) What do I want to give to this life?
Everything? I don't want to leave anything undone, or have regrets about the efforts not attempted. There's balance in how much one gives and keeps but in terms of anything related to my life, I see no reason not to give my all: time, effort, aspiration. If there's something to keep, I'd say perspective, or at least sanity. And even sanity is overrated in a number of situations. If I'm going to be as specific as possible in responding to this question, I'd say I want to give love. (Lately I keep thinking of that amazing line from the film Adaptation: "You are what you love, not what loves you.") Sorry to take it down a bit of a golden-brick road, but anything done with love really does come out fantastic, and there's all different kinds of love. I think love is a decent legacy in terms of what one gives to the life they want.
3.) What is it about the world that I dislike, am most bothered by, or hate the most; and would most love to correct, fix, or eradicate if I could?
When it comes to little things, this list is pretty endless. When it comes to big things, I get overwhelmed before the list can become endless. From petty annoyances like people who rush into the subway without letting people off, to, you know, War, there's plenty to change. In most of the work I've done for myself, I've aspired to break people out of windows. I see our world as one in which people have become too comfortable with the idea of personal distance and routine, experiencing stories on a cold plastic screen (as though through a window) and ignoring anything around them that isn't a practical part of getting through a day. I hate - in myself most of all - that sort of appetite- and survival-driven zombie-ism. I'd eradicate it if I could. As it stands, I try to create experiences of perception and gratitude to counteract it.
4.) What product or service does my community or the world really, really need?
I'm going to try to answer both of these, to see where it leads.
A service is the easiest for me to conceive of, since that's essentially the role I perceive my theatre work to have been. Theatre creates a communal, personal experience that transports people through an idiom with which they are generally comfortable (audience/performer relationship) into personal connection, imagination and discussion. But if I were to name a new service that my world badly needs, it would be a conduit to this sort of experience - be it theatre or some other live art, church or a wicked karaoke scene. In other words, a service that connects audiences with genuinely new experiences they really want to have. What it means to be a "community" has been rapidly changing, and needs a service that is a new connective tissue.
All of that invariably leads me to my notions for a product. I'm drawn toward technology, naturally, as it fascinates me as much as anyone else within my demographic. Yet I also value artifacts - physical objects that are unique and tactile. We need a product that really exists, without being divorced from computer-based application. An "app" is not enough. It would be very nice to figure out some new and appealing social-networking software, but our miraculous "phones" are still windows, barriers of glass, illuminations of connectivity, and not the community itself. My product would be some kind of compass to community, but one that opens your eyes rather than keeps you staring into your palm.
5.) What is it that I would love to do more than anything else in the world?
Absolutes are tricky, but I most often pass satisfaction into the precious world of fulfillment by way of creating or improving things with rigor and attention to detail, as well as broader implications and effects. This activity most often takes the form of inventing comedies and characters, but also applies to writing in just about any form and other things, such as marketing and entrepreneurship. More than anything in the world, today, I'd love to write and critique and teach . . . with perhaps the occasional opportunity to perform.
6.) What is it that most energizes me? What work most exhausts me?
You know, I think exhaustion has a place. Working on shows usually does both of these, and I think that's part of what's so appealing about it. I believe I'm exhilarated by the innovation and collaboration, and exhausted by the chaos and collaboration. I'm energized by projects and newness, be it work at a computer terminal or bouncing around outside, and I'm exhausted by disorganized, maintenance work. What tires me out is a hopelessness that comes from a lack of direction.
7.) What turns me on the most?
Beginnings, effective communication and emotional content. I crave an audience at all times (probably especially when I least wish to) and so working in a group is as wonderful for me as a solo project, so long as what's taking place involves listening and caring - caring about what we're aiming for and caring about how we get there. I'm excited by things that transform people's perspectives, and offer challenge and reward in some kind of accessible balance. Great words and great movement turn me on, and a sense of rhythm (kind of like a sound procedure or protocol) will carry that excitement forward indefinitely. I like ideas. Scratch that. I love ideas; I adore them. Amongst people who enjoy thinking creatively, challenging themselves, is hands-down the best place to be for me.
22 March 2012
09 March 2012
|Acquired here; well worth a listen.|
By the way, I learned from the interview that the above caption links to that she also attended high school in and was traumatized by Fairfax County, and she nearly attended VCU Theatre a couple of years ahead of me. Unbelievable.