via Otis Ike and OUTsider Festival

via Otis Ike and OUTsider Festival

I attended the OUTsider Festival again this year in Austin, and again they totally hit it out of the park. Five days of fabulous queer art and community here in Austin. So much discussion about the relationships between sexuality in art, queer space and place, diversity and representation in art, art and activism. I’m still processing and I’m too busy to really review the performances like I did last year. This year was just about soaking it all in. But I think queer art can really push boundaries and taboo spaces in our culture in a way that no other art does. It’s vibrant and vital and challenging and uncomfortable and glorious.

And once again, the festival has me rethinking my entire life. Being surrounded by so many amazing queer artists gets me itching to perform again. I don’t think doing the occasional open mic night is enough. And right now, I’m already planning workshops and events, so what’s one more? I think I may have enough flexibility in my schedule right now to really go for it.

I am hosting four events in March which feels like enough, but in April I am going to think about where and how I can have a regular event for workshopping performance pieces. For the past several years, a lot of my creative energy has been funneled through here. But what I’m really interested in are face-to-face interactions. Transforming my thoughts and stories into performance art.

Plus, I don’t think I can really be a teaching artist without being an artist first. If my creativity is blocked, how can I truly facilitate the art of others? I need to be embodying what I am trying to teach, which means being vulnerable and out there and telling my stories. Leading by example.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be keeping up with this. But what it does mean is that I’m going to rethink my Patreon campaign and how I use it. I think the first contribution level will remain connected to my blog, but higher levels of patronage will allow access to drafts of pieces that I will be performing in Austin. Content which isn’t available elsewhere online.

The only way I’m ever going to be able to create a one woman show is just to do it. To write bits and pieces of things and perform them and see what sticks. There are people holding space for poetry, improv, and comedy in Austin, but there isn’t exactly a space for performance artists that I am aware of. But I can’t be the only one out there.

I can start writing now, and then have something ready by the time I find a space willing to host me.

I still think drama therapy will provide a more accessible means for helping others, but I also have to help myself.


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