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Thursday, March 11 2004

Performance Artist(s)


For the past five years, I’ve built up a career as a “Producer” of both TV and Radio. It is/was/has been a great and, fortunately, sustaining career, although at present I am not doing much that would provide me with such title(s) or money. That’s because, even though I have great stories, great friends, and a great community because of my work in “entertainment,” I was never satisfied with what I was doing. I never felt complete. I wanted to be more, I wanted to be me.

When I first went out to San Francisco last fall, I was leaving with a clean slate. While I had taken a job as a TV Producer, I knew that eventually I would be able to walk away from that title, especially in a new place with less pressure than NY. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, I didn’t need to walk away from that job, it fell out from under me instead.

So I spent months not doing what I said I was going to do in San Francisco. Instead I had an amazing relationship, which, in retrospect, was something I needed just as much as changing careers.

Now I’m back in NYC. But before I ever left, I spoke with two of the most amazing women I know, Veronica Vera and Candida Royalle about performing, and how to make the transition from Producer to Performer. Both of them have, at one time or another, been known for their performance art and are respected for their contributions in this and other arenas. Veronica told me a story and said that if I wanted to be a performer, all I had to do was believe I was one. She encouraged me to scream at the top of my lungs

I AM A PERFORMANCE ARTIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I walked right into the middle of Astor Place, where Lafayette meets Cooper Union, and I did just that…and it felt good. But not that good because that was all I was doing about performing.

Well, last night, thanks to my number one fan (my ex and current roommate Leslie) I went full force. I had written this piece about masturbation, one that I was minimally proud of, and I worked it into a dialogue. And I PERFORMED! At an open mic at Collective Unconcious on the Lower East Side, I got up and talked about self love. And it received an overwhelmingly positive response, and it made me want to do more. To move on. To perform. My own pieces.

I put myself out there and now I know I can do it.
I am not a performance virgin anymore.
I am a performance artist.

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