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There’s Always a Choice

Those who operate in near-Travis orbit will hear me repeat phrases and motifs repeatedly as I hammer out a life’s philosophy before I die. “All we have is time and people” for instance. Or lately there’s been a lot of “design for your budget dammit, don’t design as if you had money and build halfway”. On-line it’s a gentle thrumming of “the repetition of asynchronous communication drives me crazy” and #neverbedark and being an advocate and talking about what’s good.

I understand that I’m repeating myself and I promise it’s not some sort of crazy-uncle disease where I just keep telling the same stories over and over again. Consider it me getting off book for The Show. And forgive me for another recurring theme: my repetition of the fact that I don’t have a career. I’m trying to figure out what that means to me and for me.

As a long time generalist I don’t really fit anywhere. It is after all a system made of specialists (on the paid side). But more to the point, only the work qualifies you for the work, and frankly I haven’t done enough to qualify me for anything. I also am unwilling to give up my security for an unpaid internship at this point in my life. That choice limits on-ramps to the paid universe.

Kate Powers asked:
Do you feel like it’s too late for you to dive into a position at an institutional theatre? (assuming that path interests you)

The answer is

Of course I feel that way,
of course it’s not too late, and
I haven’t invented the position and institution that I will be part of yet.

I am not the me that will be hired somewhere yet.
The me that is ready will have 51% answers to 49% questions.
The me that is ready will have an answer to “what do you want?”
The me that is ready, in knowing what it is I want, will be ready to sacrifice something for it.

I believe that the best fit for me will be in an umbrella or ASO type institution that advocates for new work and new work creators. That position will come about as a result of work that I initiate on my own in support of my desire to advance new work.

The obstacle is: That advocacy is rewarding for me. It is ultimately rewarding. But it isn’t fun. Part of my hesitance to move in that direction is that theatremaking is still fun. The idea of giving that up to advocate for others still rankles. It harkens back to my days at the Exit Theatre guarding the doors while others made art.

That’s the sacrifice I’m afraid to make.

There is a place for me in the machine. But that place isn’t as a theatremaker it’s as an advocate and I’m not ready to leave Neverland just yet.