Thursday, July 1, 2010
The Point Is
I make autobiographical theatre, memoir shows, that use my own life as a device to open up larger discussions on the nature of power, disenfranchisement and the struggle for rectification. I write these shows because if I don't, no-one will, I do it to prove that I'm here and to acknowledge my own existence from the sidelines to which I am constantly relegated. There is a whole queer history that is unrecorded, that gets eradicated every day, if we don't take the time to record it, it will be as though we never were.
I don't do it because I think that my life is wildly interesting, but because I think everyone's life is. And furthermore we can extrapolate out from the specific to the universal, but we need a place to start, ie the personal. It's not easy, and it's not always entertaining, but entertainment is for clowns and strippers who do it far better than writers. It's unthinkably hard to say the things that have to be said to talk about the terrible, horrible things that happen, and to do so without ironizing them, to be frank and poignant and respectful.
Anyone can make a cheap joke.
It's hard to sit through weeks of self-doubt as you write out your script, then weeks more of rehearsal and anxiety as you try to hang it all together, wracked with the fear that it's just no good. Harder still is going onstage to talk about the most profoundly personal things, trying to connect with people, make a spark, and knowing that all your work is at the mercy of their mood.
But the worst thing is to be maligned by petty people who are apparently in the trenches with you. It's like being stabbed in the back, it is being stabbed in the back. And it's so stupid, it's divide and conquer, this is how the majority rules the minorities, through their own ignorant, fractious behaviors. Why must the bullied go on to bully? If we got together to help each other we could achieve far more than we can in our vacuous bubbles of self-importance, no? I've seen so much mudslinging of late, so much deliberate slandering and deliberate degrading of people's work in entirely unconstructive, vindictive manners that it makes me want to ditch this whole process and start auditioning for soap operas instead.
But I won't. I'm going to stick it out, participate and celebrate everyone for everything they do.