Cultural Compass

Today is the first time in several months I’ve had a block of time to work on the May 18th Marsh Rising show. Holy Moley, it’s a month away!!!! The orange clock in the kitchen ticks. I set up the video camera. I angle my boots in front of my chair “just right.”

Harpoon. Check. Boots. Check. Performer. Unh unh.

Despite vowing I would be on my feet today, not rest on my you-know-what whittling down the years, I sat at the kitchen table and wrote out a rehearsal schedule instead of rehearsing. I would stick to it like a flea on a dog.

But when I finished with that phhhhhhttttttt. That sound you heard was the air going out of my inspirational tires. What had gone wrong? I had SO looked forward to time with myself and my script.

After a few mini-hearted attempts at afixing blame (my new day job, asthma, the Republican primary circus) I pulled out my Superpower cards and rifled through them. My heart ears pricked up when I got to Cultural Compass.

I’m paraphrasing here…

“You need a reminder of who you are at your best. You need encouragement to stay true to yourself.”

True to myself.

So why am I spending time and treasure doing this? Why is this show, The Moby Dick Diaries, important to me?

This show is important to me because like many young artists, without a trust fund, rich husband, doting parents or fat paycheck career, I learned the hard way that a level-playing field in not what the Arts in the Bay Area happen to be. Thirty-six years I’ve kept going except for six months working at a full-time job and some months when my two children were newborns. This show is important to me to connect with my younger artistic self and my hopelessly deluded full-steam ahead engine of desire.

This show is important to me because when I was a young artist, freshly minted from UC Santa Cruz and before that the Central Valley, I had days of only a bag of white rice, a jar of salsa and a backyard patch of chard to eat, a rat-invested Berkeley student house to sleep in, teaching kids dance and gymnastics constantly sick with walking pneumonia and no health insurance and too poor to afford the prescription for antibiotics anyway. This show is important to me to reconnect with that person who managed to keep going by hook and crook.

This show is important to me because I had a dream. To always dance. I was sure dance would keep me alive behind the eyeballs. I didn’t see many people past the age of 16 in Porterville with eyeball light. I found light in the dance department at UCSC. I was hellbent to LIVE!!! Every single minute. Because I loved someone who died at twenty.

This show is important to me because there is Allison at my day job who hails from the Central Valley. She’s chock full of spunk and ambition splashing around in a bucketful of naivete. She wants to be a theater director. And she will.

Because Allisons are why The Moby Dick Diaries is important to me.

Please join me May 18th at The Marsh Rising in San Francisco at 7:30.

Buy tickets here:

Marsh Rising

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