I didn’t actually know if I would like it– the click of cameras, the goofy, exuberant poses, the drama of the costumes.
I haven’t done my Job, the Thing I Though I’d Do Forever, since before the pandemic (with one exception). And it’s a weird thing to feel like you may be faking it at your own life, acting the part of a ghost rather than being alive and real in the present.
I still don’t know what comes next: when will gigs feel like me again? Will they ever? Does it matter? (And how will I know if I’m holding back because I’m afraid or because the old ways don’t fit anymore?)
But this morning, I had fun. In a black and white polka dot shirt with extravagant ruffles, and black and white skirt edged in gold. I held a giant flower, nearly as tall as me, like a staff. I tipped a hat jauntily over one eye. I changed into what I call my 80’s prom dress and turquoise Barbie shoes (with matching eye shadow).
And a class’s worth of students took pictures while the light screen popped and flashed. And it felt good. To collaborate, to improvise and take direction; to be looked at with focus, not as an object but as a shape, as an energy, as art. It felt good to extend feeling out to my edges, to play, to know myself as art, as lines and colors and movement. To be, mostly, unselfconsciously seen.
I don’t know about my career. I don’t know so many things about my inverted, stripped down, reinvented, largely rebranded life. The long planning feels almost impossible, but the driveway photoshoot before it was even time for breakfast, the piles of potential costumes draped on the deck railings, the shared vulnerability and experimentation and learning– that all felt good. And I’m thankful for having folks play dress-up with me.