I haven’t written a blog in awhile. I have to say it’s been a nice break- one that’s been needed.
Between the last blog and now I’ve relocated to Brooklyn from Seattle, taken on an Associate Producer role with Wasabassco, headlined 3 festivals, competed again for Queen of Burlesque in Vegas and joined a band, Empire Beats. In my “off” time I study esotericism, try to be a good wife and love on my sweet dogs. The last 7 months have been intense. I’ve been trying to keep up, be better, do better, be EVERYTHING.
That’s why my unlikely project “#Determined to Suck” has come up for me. I need to let myself suck at stuff. Since I was a wee child, kindergarten age, I’ve been struck by the nasty bug of perfectionism. My teachers used to write my mother about it and about the tantrums I would throw if I didn’t get a math problem right. It never got much better, though I stopped outwardly crying and stomping and mostly stuffed it all inside.
For the last four years of my almost 10 year performing career I have treated every instance of performing as an indicator as to whether I was a worthwhile human being or not. For the previous six I was in the beginning just too jazzed about burlesque to think about being better yet, and then I was drunk for a lot of it. I’m sure that some of you artists that are reading my blog right now will feel a kinship with me over some of this. We all also know that it’s not healthy. But as a human that picked the arts and creativity as my career path from a very early age it’s a natural evolution unless you do something to stop it, or you’ve had a healthier childhood than I (and I hope you have).
Last week as I was at my second ever gig with my band- a 250 person wedding- I found myself in a little conversation with our sound tech, Seth. He seemed to me to be an artistic overachiever- playing instruments and working with artists in studios, I was floored by his enthusiasm to play multiple roles in the artistic path and with one of them (I think it was painting) he said “I totally suck at it”. When I affirmed to him that maybe with time it would get better, he made it clear that it was fantastic to suck at things. And that stuck with me.
So- I’ve been thinking about it since then. And today I asked myself what would be a fun, not super-expensive thing to suck at? Watercolors, I thought would do the trick. I love pretty colors, the possibility of different brushes and that I could take as much or as little time as I wanted to create a piece of terrible terrible art.
It is my intention with this project to let myself suck at it. And to have fun doing so, often- I hope even every day. I spend too much time trying to make just the right decisions for my performing career (especially when I’m creating a new act as I am right now) and beat myself up for every little flaw that in my estimation I’ve grown stagnant in a way.
I’ll be painting in my art room that I share with my husband, Scott- who happens to be a ridiculously great artist, so the contrast will always be there. It will be unlikely that I will ever be able to convince myself that I am good at this. Ha!
So, though my blog before has focused on advice- and I still very much give it when someone asks (you can still email me questions to Glitterwonderland (at) gmail), I re-dedicate my blog to the exploration of being successful as a creative entity in this world, writing about the journey, it’s hits and misses, and in general trying to allow myself to be perfectly imperfect.
So here’s my first attempt at being okay with sucking: Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.
More blogs on being a “weirdo declaring her humanity publicly despite being a perfectionist” later. I’m sure at sometime during the middle the night I will wake up and want to erase this. Liberation is challenging, I say.