self-blogerential, theater

An overwhelming question

1:23 am, the day before something new: time for a State of the Blog post. I’ve been running this site for over a year now, and I thought it was time to finally cave in and look at my traffic statistics. I was inspired to do this by stumbling onto Steve Pavlina’s website, hearing him talk about his mammoth stats, and wondering how I measured up. It feels a little bit wrong – like looking at your Amazon sales rank, or your grades as compared to the rest of the class. Pulling that narrow green ScanTron sheet out from under the manila folder on your teacher’s desk.

I’ll just say that there are more people reading this than I expected, so thank you, if you’re one of them, and I will try to keep keeping it interesting.

I have been going on job interviews all this weekend, and many employers have looked at this blog (which I post on my resume and in all my emails) as a way of learning who I am.

Q: What exactly is it that you do?
A: Whatever it takes.

Usually, I say some variation on “I work in theater” and “There are many different paths within our field, and I’m still exploring many of them.” But that’s the truth. Whatever it takes, whatever it wants, whatever he (or she) suggests – he being poetry, she being theater, some of the time. And it’s often less of a suggestion, more of a command. I have told several people about hearing a repetition of WRITE RIGHT NOW, WRITE RIGHT NOW, for the past few months – and sure enough, I’ve been doing a lot more writing.

Here’s one path, one answer to that persistent question: I’ve been experimenting with writing poetry where I write to the poem, addressing him (he has been masculine a number of times) and this personification of the poem has helped me deal with my own issues about motivation and inspiration. It’s powerful. I’ve written lots of stuff lately coming just out of the opening “Poem, I say…” and saying something to him. It’s definitely a rip-off of “Sing in me, Muse.” But it works so well. It opens dialogue. When I get really frustrated with the way my life is because of the career I’ve chosen (unsettled, broke, etc.) I speak directly to the poem. Or to theater. And I let them speak back.

Poem, I say,
how do you feel about being on my blog?
Weird, he says. If you must know.
Fair enough, I say.
And he sticks out his tongue at the camera.

Tonight, I was telling a friend of mine that I felt like I had made some poor choices for the sake of theater – for the sake of one play in particular. I phrased it badly, something like “The play made me do X.” I felt out of control, as if I was at the mercy of theater. He looked me in the eye and said “No, you made the play do X. You are in control. That was your choice.”

It’s important to remember that although it often feels like we are at the mercy of these childlike beings we bring into the world – plays, poems – they are, fundamentally, our children.
We make them what they are.

And on that note, having this blog has helped me have more perspective on them.