It’s been a very busy year for me. I’m in the process of redefining how my scholarly identity fits in with my work life; frankly an invigorating process. I submitted abstracts to a set of conferences and found myself overextended (they all got accepted. Whoops.) and, for the first time in my professional life, I’ve withdrawn myself from a conference I was to present at.
For folks who know me, there is a moment of shock following hearing a statement like that (I overextend all the time – now I finally figure out how to say no?) but I find it an encouraging thought. Though I must say, I’m very sorry not to get to this conference that will have a bunch of folks I’ve been wanting to hang out and talk with for years.
So, job situation? Transforming. Scholarship? Progressing and, similarly, evolving. And to top it all, my improv theater teacher moved back to town a month ago and I see myself finally having (some) time to start performing more seriously again. Like, on stage. Sometimes even with a musical instrument, like I was trained to.
Except that I think my performing is
changed transforming, too. Practicing is no longer just practicing, but clarifying my performance toolkit so that I can go on stage and do my thing. I’m starting to mix up the palette: last night I brought in a (bad) poem that I’d written in high school that became so much artistic baggage over the years and used it as a mechanism to talk about what I’m writing about here. (Note: If you watch the link, turn up the volume on your speakers. I’m never loud enough.)
Mostly it works, but I think this still qualifies as a work in progress. Still, it’s a step in my performing evolution; while this was an improvised piece, I did plan out a couple of elements ahead of time, i.e. the poem itself and one or two images that I use to anchor the story. Like any improvisation, this will improve as I clarify which tools fit in this kind of story.
I start to see a future where my research is the structure, my performance is trained improvisation, and my job becomes the fuel for both. Which is what I always wanted. Which is how a box becomes something to launch from. Except that I need to edit for better syntax.