Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Day Three: Taking It Slowly

Today, I'm making my (slow, slow, ever-so-slow) return to the land of the living. Well, the land of the gainfully employed. The thing about sending a mass e-mail saying "I'm back in town" is that you get a whole whack of responses, and then you have to respond to them, and then you make plans to catch up with people and all of a sudden, you've gone from an open appointment book (or Palm Pilot) to a very full dance card. Where's the balance? Where's the easing into it? Not for me, I guess.

I'm back in the living room. My stepmom is practicing piano (she teaches music). Man, it's like being a kid again, huddling in my room, listening to loud music while my stepmom does something classy and cultural. I fight back with eardrum-rupturing blink-182 (okay, it ain't Anthrax, but it'll do, right?). Take that, Mozart...or whoever.

I guess this is living with my folks. People who have never fully accepted that I can actually live on my own. But, then again, I'm 31 (almost 32) and not living on my own. Who's right here? Hard to tell...

But today, I was the dutiful family person. Called (almost) all of my immediate family to let them know I was back in the city. I have a large-ish family that's a bit...well, estranged isn't a bad word, but a little strong. We just don't know each other well. Not really. But I called my older brother, my younger sister, my mom. I was going to call my brother's sort-of-ex-wife, the mother of my niece, and my other sister, but I didn't get to them yet. That's this afternoon's work. And then maybe some writing.

My brother, who's a fine artist, and I were talking about art and the difference between the fine art world and the theatre world, which I work in. I'm not sure if we were clear about what's different, or even right. It's hard for those conversations to not turn into "the [art/theatre] world sucks because I can't get ahead in it." But there are some pretty stark differences. Differences in attitude and expectations. I feel like the art world expects its artists to be inscrutable, distant and complex. The patrons like the feeling of not really understanding what the hell they're looking at. Whenever my brother talks about his world, his work, any of it, it all sounds like term papers to me. Snippets of doctoral dissertations.

Theatre, for all of its many problems (like
this), feels (to me, anyway) like accessibility is more important. The patrons want access to the artist, they want it to be enjoyable and present in the room. At least in the mainstream circles (the more downtown circles are more like fine art anyway). But, then again, that may be the view from the other side of the candy store window.

PS: So that link there, that's my first attempt at hyperlinking. Hopefully someone, someone somewhere will use it and make me feel special. Or at least let me know that it worked.


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