With my usual sense of moderation, I am helping Another Country Productions through the leadership transition, working on the board temporarily, in rehearsals for 2 slam plays (as writer and writer/director respectively), teaching the Full Training, trying to follow our stocks as the market swings like crazy, being sad about Steve Jobs, doing mindbody stuff…
But, as Lyndsay Allyn Hicks and I figure out how to collaborate on this piece I wrote, which is also made work, composed of the body as image, movement, and a little text, as we meet to figure out company transition, then I go to class in a rockin’ good mood and the class is more fun than ever…I start to think, “Yes, finally.”
In other words, I’m having days where what I do for work makes me so happy I could jump. Up and down. Repeatedly.
And this is just the beginning.
First of all, I love making work. I love the wild creativity of all the artists ideas, I love being the person who helps select and shape the visual and the movement, I love not knowing what’s coming next moment to moment, I love the surprise and beauty, I love finding out how creative other people are. It is pure joy. When I’m in it, I don’t want to do anything else.
Except that was Tuesday night. On Wednesday I met with Lyndsay, which I really enjoy. Which must be about who she is, because I have never enjoyed figuring out business stuff…well, okay, when I’m starting businesses, I enjoy it because it’s creative. It’s the sustaining of business work that makes me want to pull my hair out.
Anyhow. The making work rehearsal was Tuesday. Wednesday, yesterday, I met with Lyndsay and then taught the Full Training in Meisner, which is AS MUCH FUN. This is my favorite class to teach, because it’s twice a week, and when I get a class like this one, in which the people really bond, and there’s this forward momentum and growing, cascading creativity, as one by one people get it, and sometimes I get to just take a little extra time with one person or another as they get through their blocks…it is also joy.
Then I go home and write on one project or another, or think about actually getting to do Time Stands Still with Julia Short, who, whether she knows it or not, is one of my very favorite artists to work with because she’s direct, reliable and honest as well as talented…
It’s like being let out of prison. I keep saying to Lyndsay, “I don’t want your job!” Of course, I’m still technically and practically in the job until December, but freedom is starting to come in waves…like what I’ve always dreamed of, which is to work with artists who share an aesthetic as well as a sense of social justice, might happen and I don’t even have to be the leader!
Artists are so weird. We know, we absolutely know, that these bursts of freedom come when you work in the arts, or practice an art. We are attached to them, we want them, we tell ourselves we have to endure all kinds of bullshit to get to them…and we are willing to endure much, because unfettered joy is not something you experience every other minute. As I grow older, if not more mature, or maybe even more mature, I know that you can’t force those times of unfettered joy, and you can’t hold them. All you can do is set the conditions, all you can do is get out of the way.
The conditions: like-minded people who are not consumed by ego, who care about having fun and about each other, who understand the container for the work is held by everyone involved. The conditions: taking only the jobs that feel right to you. The conditions for one Lyralen Kaye: not clinging to producing as the only way to create the conditions. Because guess who hates producing and being responsible for everything?
Metta for Lyndsay, who has a real vision and passion for the work she plans to do. Metta for everyone at Another Country, that we may continue to set the conditions so joy may have its way with us and leave us pleasantly exhausted and satiated in its wake.
That sounds so sexy. And I suppose it is. Joy is just so, so sexy.
Metta for me, as I grow up or not, as I am joyful in one day or another, in between freaking out about couples therapy and other things that matter less when there is joy.