Friday, February 23, 2018

HOW DID YOU MAKE THAT SHOW?

An awesome workshop participant suggested I put up a blog post about how I came up with my "solo" show Butt Kapinski, so that in moments where somebody asks me that question and I don't have time to have a coffee with them, I can say, at least there's a blog post!

Well, it seemed like a nice idea.
But the truth is, I kinda have no idea how I made my show. Or rather, I have no idea how far back in my life story to go to start the answer to that question. Do you want to hear about the clowning and improv classes I took when I was six? Probably not, right?

I also think there usually are two sub-questions inherent in that question. There's how did you create that character? AND how did you decide to wear a light and make the show interactive/immersive? And, really, when you boil it all down, the question beneath the question is probably actually How can *I* make a show that makes ME feel the way I imagine YOU feel when you're doing your show?

Well, I can try to answer some of that, anyway.

First: Butt Kapinski the character is a very organic distillation of a whole lot of me-stuff: film noir fandom, slight gender dysphoria (misogynistic-societally-induced or organic, who can tell), childhood speech impediments. When the character came out of me, I was not expecting it, but it made absolute sense right away. It immediately felt like the most logical direction I could go in. It was the easy choice. It was obvious. It was and is utterly me.

The wearing-my-own-light concept probably came from going to Burning Man a few times in the early aughts. It blew open a lot of things for me: the artistic aesthetic was three-dimensional, inviting interaction. I saw how spaces could feel electrified, how costumes could blend function and fantasy. And I saw a lot of creative use of light, people wearing lights. Mostly to illuminate themselves, not others. But it did get me thinking.

Then when I started really getting into clown work, I felt hungry to interact with the audience and too limited by the stage lights and, frankly, other clowns. I said to my boyfriend at the time, What I really want is a light that I can wear so I can go anywhere. And he said, That's what you should have, then. And then my dad, who has a degree in electrical engineering, designed it, and my lighting designer friend built it. And so it was born. And the light's creaking sound just developed through use; none of us knew that was going to happen.

All of the material for the show was developed either in performance or in rehearsal with friends acting as audience members. For the first two or so years of doing Butt as a solo thing, I just did 10 minute bits at Variety and Burlesque nights, which gave me a lot of experience with different audiences and some confidence that what I was doing could and should be a longer piece. 

And like I've said before, being a high school English teacher was my best training for clowning, and for doing a full-length solo show. The day-after-day practice of putting together an interactive performance for the classroom, that really did it for me.

So... that's how I made my show.
How should you make your show? Uh... (shuffles feet, looks elsewhere)
Well at the very least, here are four ideas I would throw your way:

1) Slaughter the 10-minute bit first. Like, totally slaughter it. Like, have them hooting and cheering and begging for more. Maybe get your 10 minutes so good that you get paid for it sometimes, or at least, sought after. It's a strong indication, if you have an amazing 10 minutes, that you might be able to have an amazing 20, or 34, or 57. 

2) Think about the experience you want an audience to have. Beyond just sitting there, what can you give them experientially, so that they are able to put a piece of themselves into your show, and be rewarded for having been there. The world already has enough just-sit-there-and-watch-me shows, don't you think? Fourth-wall theater is dying. Make it an event, or make it for Youtube.

3) Assume that you might only have ONE character in you, ever, that anyone will ever love. Why make that assumption? Because I think that makes you realize that you better put everything you got into that character. Don't save shit for that character down the line. Everything you have now, everything you are and ever were, use it now. Make it about you, deeply—where you're from, what makes you tick, what your obsessions and loves are, what gives you pleasure, what you want most of all. And don't forget the shame—shame is probably your most powerful tool for creating a character that people can laugh at and feel catharsis through. I still feel shame every time I perform; I cultivate that shame, because keeping it around, and going forward anyway, makes me brave. But you can't be brave if you aren't sharing something that some part of you would prefer not to share, not to have others laugh at. No matter how good a performer you are, you can't pretend vulnerability. It's either there or not there, and the audience can smell it either way.

4) Consider getting into teaching, if you're not there already—especially teaching students you have to work a bit to win over. Maybe teaching will satisfy your solo-performing needs and then you won't even need to make a show!

Ha ha ha ha ha!



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

SHOULD YOUR COMEDY CLASS BE A SAFE SPACE?

Sooooo, last summer a participant asked me if our workshop was a "safe space," and I told her it wasn't. That was probably a lie.

What does it mean, safe space? This is a big messy subject, and chances are I'm going to get stuff wrong and miss stuff, because there's so many nerve endings that this issue touches, and I know I'm not going to touch them all right. Anyway, we'll go in together.

If we choose to define safe space in the most broad terms, as in, A space in which you will not be bullied, harassed or assaulted, then of course, our workshop is a safe space. And in these times, I'm going to venture a guess that most comedy workshops are.

But that's not what my workshop participant was asking. She wanted to know if our workshop was A wink-nudge SAFE SPACE wink-nudge, which probably means something different, something more along the lines of, A place where intolerance is not tolerated.

That is where things get very sticky, because then how do we define intolerance, how do we define not tolerated, and for that matter, how do we define IS... you see where I'm going here.

The truth is, I haven't had to think very much about this question, due to a very excellent screening process that happens almost independently of anything I'm doing. First of all, I'm a female-coded person (as the kids are saying)—so whoever has signed up for my classes already thinks that a female-coded person might be able to teach them something about comedy. That disqualifies a whole buncha douchebags right there.

Second of all, I'm teaching a class called Naked Comedy. People signing up for such a class are both (A) not freaked out by the idea of nakedness; and (2) already very open to being vulnerable.

That seems to be a potent cocktail in terms of getting ideal people to my class. Who knew? It doesn't appear to be a particularly elaborate screening process, and yet, my classes are full of really awesome people, like, almost without exception— awesome after awesome after awesome. That's just who signs up. Just because of my gender and my class's name.

So what I'm saying is, you can ask me if my class is a safe space, and I can squirm at that idea and get all rabble-rousin' and Del-Closey and bray out, Naw, man, this shit ain't SAFE! We're all punk rock and Not-Safe-Spacey round THESE parts!

But I'm full of it.

I'm playing with a majorly stacked deck (and you should see the stack on this deck! jk).

But, see, there are plenty of other comedy classes. Those classes are called "Generic-Sounding Comedy Training" with teachers' names like CHET and CHAD and CHEVERETT. Those classes might not have the same self-selection in their signups. Are those classes safe spaces? Should they be?

I'm going to venture a guess that, in times like these, most comedy classes are going to strive to have some safety in them. Comedy schools are no doubt doing everything they can to define safe space as Not Inviting Lawsuits.

A variety of people sign up for "Generic-Sounding Comedy Training." Some on the woke-r side, some maybe less so. But the comedy world is generally, as we all know, full of liberals (ed. note: I'm using the Amurkin definition of liberal here, which is synonymous with leftie. But it is fun for us to remember, Amurkins, that liberal elsewhere in the English-speaking world actually means conservative. Whooda thunk?) So while there might be a few non-liberals in our comedy classes, no doubt they will smell the leftie-leaning odors in the room and keep their dumber instincts to themselves. Mostly. Maybe.

Everyone is coming into their comedy class carrying varying amounts of privilege and garbage, both. And how do we create an environment that checks our privilege and garbage, that doesn't perpetuate the same-old same-ol? How do we create the space in which it feels like the master's tools are available to everyone?

I wonder sometimes about the safe spaces that are safe in some ways and unintentionally problematic in others. Comedy is still largely a rich man's game—it's changing, but there it is. Most of the "comedy authorities" out there are, at this point, still privileged men. Do these men know how to cultivate the funny of those different from they? Some do, right? But some...? You've been in those classes, right? Where it felt like the alpha white dudes were the only ones the teacher really "got," because he himself was an alpha white dude, and so, while he really wanted to support, he just didn't have enough of the master's tools to loan out.... And so we all paid our money and did our time, and nodded our thanks, and left the class saying, "Yeah, it was ohhh-kay..." But we felt like we were watching somebody else get to use the fancy hacksaw. And that feels unfortunately familiar.

It's not that the space wasn't safe. It was safe. Nobody got harassed, nobody got abused. But still. It wasn't enough.

Should your comedy class be a safe space? Obviously.
Should your comedy class be a wink-nudge safe space? Yes and no.

Yes, your comedy class's infrastructure and facilitation should be making every effort to privilege the voices of the less-privileged in a way that doesn't single anyone out or make anyone feel weird. That is a mighty difficult balance to strike, but it's a priority. Affirmative action is necessary for our comedic evolution. We need different voices, desperately, right now. If your class can only cultivate the comedy of the privileged, then it might be a Don't-Sue-Me safe space, but it's not a Ultra-Mega-Major-Fluffy-Kitten safe space. And maybe, we're all at a point where Ultra Mega Major Fluffy Kittens are mandatory.

But no, your comedy class should probably not keep you safe from the potential ignorance or unconscious violence of other participants in the class, provided nobody's doing anything on purpose to be an asshole. Our comedy classes are an ideal battleground to meet those monsters. If you feel challenged by somebody else's comedy in a comedy class—whether they're being misogynist, racist, phobic or just dumb—it's an opportunity. And your class environment should provide for and welcome those opportunities. That's why the right facilitator is so important: making sure that the space is held in a way that allows us to all try out and test and fail and explore and confront and see.

Our comedy deserves a cozy environment in which to breed and grow. It is our armor, our great weapon against all the little psychological blows in life, and it can get bigger and tougher the more we use it. It's time to use it. We have the scimitars of resistance, the martial arts of mischief. It is the time to kick comedy ass and wipe the floor with somebody else's ignorance or unconscious violence. That's the only way any of us will truly be safe.

We are here for the soft battle, and we are ready.





Tuesday, November 21, 2017

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?

Sometimes as a working artist, you have a meeting with an Industry Person. This is someone whose job is to buy the work of performing artists. There are plenty of nice ones, so I'm not knocking them per se. Without fail, though, they always ask this question:

"What's next for you?"

They want to know what your next project is, what your next show will be, the next direction for your work. Why do they always ask this? Probably a few reasons. Not being an Industry Person, I have to hazard guesses.

Perhaps one reason is to take the pressure off the work you are currently trying to sell them. Maybe Industry Person feels the truth of things: that selling one's performance work is stressful and it's a buyer's market and that sucks because that's a lot of pressure pressing down on something that just wants to flutter and breathe and be. Maybe the conversation got heavy and the Industry Person likes it light. So they try to focus on the future, hoping it's less confronting to talk about than your current present.

Also, they probably want to know if your next product is something they might want to buy. Either in addition to or instead of what you're currently offering.

Hey, who can blame them? Industry People want what we all want: good working relationships with colleagues. When they find someone who meets the basic requirements for Good Colleague—you answer emails, you can spell, you treat them courteously no matter what's going on in your life—they want to know if they can continue to have a working relationship with you. It's way easier than trying to find someone else who is courteous and can spell. They want the nice option they already know.

The problem is only for us, the artists. Frankly, thinking about our commercial viability, thinking about our work as a series of products, well, it might just kill what we do—kill it dead.

Here's an example I can think of: um, myself! I came up with a good show. It's cheap (solo, with minimal baggage), innovative, and fun. It's led to a lot of touring and performing opportunities all over the place. I did one good one! I win! But of course you never win. The thing is, that might be the only show I've got in me. Seriously. I mean, maybe, at least. I definitely might not have another solo show in me—see every blog post I've ever written about how fricking lonely solo-touring can be. These days I'm focusing more on teaching, exploring local performance opportunities, writing. I've also become way more interested in interactive experience design, escape rooms and games. All of this boils down to me not being able to tell an Industry Person What's Next.

This is what I tend to say: "You know, I still really love doing this character and this show—it still feels really fresh to me, and although I'm interested in a lot of different things, I don't actually know what's next."

Sure, it feels momentarily bad, when you realize that you might not be a viable product, that you may not be an Industry Person's best bet for those long-term relationships, that if you don't have a What's Next, in their eyes, you barely have a What's Now.

But we have to honor where we are, and what the Muses have already given us. We can't get too greedy in this life. We don't have to apply capitalist principles to our art-making, just because other people do. Just because it feels gratifying to our capitalist veins, our capitalist capillaries, to have those moments of capitalist blood beating through the body UNHHHH, SOMEBODY'S PAYING ME MONEY FOR MY ART UNNNHHHHH. Yeah, it's fricking awesome. Does it mean you need to think of yourself as a product farting out products on somebody else's idea of a schedule? Yeah, have fun with that. You see what happened to Season 3 of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (and if you haven't seen, for satan's sake DON'T WATCH SEASON 3). You see what happens to every artist who has to crank shit out on the regular. Art does not respond to factory conditions. I mean, neither do people, once we start really going for this train of thought. But seriously.

Maybe it's fine to not know what's next. I'm not saying it's fine, like, you'll still get Industry People to return your emails. Most of the time, I have no idea how to get Industry People to return my emails. They do when they want to, they don't when they don't.


I'm saying it's fine like you're still probably a worthwhile artist, even if you don't have another Insert- Artform-Here all ready to pitch. You've made something valuable that gave you and a lot of other people joy. Once in a while, in your dark nights—with the unknown unfolding in front of you, like a ribbon from a future birthday party for a friend you don't yet know—focus fully on what you've already done, and let it surround you, and just sometimes, let it be enough.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ARE WOMEN "STUPID" ENOUGH ALREADY?

Soooooo back in the olden days, right, there was a King, and there was a Jester. The King was a man, and he was the Establishment, the Power, and all the patriarchal Patriarchy you can shake a patrician pater at. And the Jester was also a man, but he was a little man, relatively speaking. He was not the Power, he was the "fool"—and in the fool we see all the important stuff that makes up clowning: high ridiculousness, physicality, willingness to be the joke, willingness to subvert, mock or at least hold a lil' mirror up to the King so that he can see himself. The fool is Humanity: an embodied reminder that the human experience is about more than Civilization and Hierarchy. It is about the madness and glory of just being alive and going through this ridiculous shit called Life!

All amazing shit, and pretty wrong-headed that it's in the "disempowered" figure that all the truest lessons live. But that's the patriarchy for ya. I'm wondering, though, if maybe I can keep the patriarchy offa my clown for a minute.

I'm going to use the word "clown" in this blog entry, even though I try not to use it in mixed company. We're among friends, right? We'll define "clown" as the comedy realm which is without a fourth wall and rooted in vulnerability. And we'll try to go back to Never Using The Word Clown directly after.

In my clown world, I hear the word "stupid" a lot. Clowns call each other "stupid" as a compliment, a signal that a clown is really in the zone, really being human. I hear myself using it too. It's useful; so much comedy is trying soooo hard to be clever. When you see the opposite of that kind of cerebral comedy—body comedy, heart comedy—maybe you have to call it stupid, just to signify the refreshing contrast.

Nonetheless, "Stupid" or "Idiot" never really felt good to me personally. My particular frequency of clown has never been activated by the idea of being a stupid idiot. If I may speak of "my clown" for a moment, ahem ahem, my clown is brilliant, my clown is a mastermind, my clown has lots of determination, my clown will get it done, my clown cannot get it done because the world, man, but hey, my clown abides.

And I've been wondering about that idea of calling on the clown to be stupid—whether it's really a call from one man to another to be anti-patriarchal, to do the anti-male thing and be vulnerable, and fail, and be loved. But here I've been womaning along my whole life and nobody needed to tell me to do all that, or rather, that's what everyone and everything has told me to do all the time. And so to call my clown stupid might be, essentially, in this fucked-up world, maybe a little fucking redundant.

I get activated by words and phrases like Ferocious! Monster! Killin it! Wipin the floor with it! Destroying it! Slayer! Who's a slayer?! You're a slayer, you big slayer! Triumph! Conquest! Roarrrrr!
Big fierce words make me want to get out there and really go for it. Of course I'm still gonna be vulnerable, that's a given. I'm so vulnerable maybe don't call my clown stupid to my face. Maybe that's some locker room talk, some macho shit, maybe some other clowns need that, and I need something else.

And yet, I get that it totally still makes sense to talk about the clown being stupid or an idiot. If only because you're in comedy class, or comedy circles, and those cultures should be funny, and sure you can say "oh, that clown is so HUMAN, so VULNERABLE", but it's not as funny a thing to say as "That's fucking stupid, amiright. That person's an idiot."


So I'm just asking the question. Answer it as you like.  

Friday, November 3, 2017

WHEN YOUR HEROES ARE HYPOCRITES

My first love was a senior when I was a sophomore, and he was really good at Model U.N. He was already in Early Decision to a good college, and he wooed me with elaborately constructed mix tapes and slyly effusive notes done in cursive and colored pencil, and the kind of banter I had only dreamed about and watched on Moonlighting. He introduced me to Elvis Costello and Woody Allen—I mean, my teenage heroes. He had a girlfriend at another school, which was confusing for me—actually, really shitty and confusing—but he was my first love and I didn't know any better. He would take me out and cuddle me and hold my hand but never more. And after months of this, when I was like, what the eff—he cut it off, sort of, but kinda also led me on for maybe another 5 years. It was a bad first love, frankly—and it was made worse because the music and movies he turned me on to became my music and my movies. So it was hard to get rid of him, without that lingering feeling of gratitude which can sometimes be confused for everlasting love.

Elvis Costello, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Philip Roth, Raymond Chandler... I look at these artists who shaped my voice, who helped me understand my voice, my anger, my funny, my clown, my me, and they're pretty much all woman-hating assholes. I remember reading an interview with Elvis Costello when I was 16: "People look at my lyrics and they think, He's a misogynist. But I love women! Honestly." What could be a more misogynist answer than that? Even then I knew, I guess, but what could I do?

That's what I grew up on, artistically: I grew up sucking on the woman-hating teat of angry white male artists. I grew up forming my artistic anger, my existential rage, coloring in the outlines that they had drawn for me—a world in which, frankly, women suck, and men suck too, but maybe not as much or not as cleverly, not as indelibly. My artistic inspirations flowered in the soil of a white male ecosystem, a white male eye.

And sometimes a moment comes along—when you re-read the interview, or you really see the teacher you've learned so much from, or the man you thought you could trust—suddenly you really see them and they are so small and broken—and you realize, whoa, have I been conditioned to see these guys as mentors and leaders my whole life, has my entire being shaped itself around the worship of these flawed, flawed little boys....

And then #metoo doesn't feel enough, because to say #metoo is to say that it happened to me, when what I feel is that, along with and worse than that, it happened inside me, from age 15 and long before, when the art inside me joined with what I thought was the Divine Truth of the art of all of my influences—their words and music promised liberty to me. My soul thought it married a fellow victim-saint, and it really married a perpetrator. And to see that both that liberty and that sainthood are so tainted, to feel how rotten they are—how rotten I am...

That's the problem. That's the moment when you wonder why you didn't stick with the Indigo Girls and Jeanette Winterson. You wonder what was it inside you that picked the wrong men, in literature, in record stores, in life. Or were there ever any right men to pick? I picked men who echoed my sense of powerlessness and anger and urge for personal freedom, men who all would screwed me over had I known them personally, and the ones whom I did, did.

And in those moments when you see them for what they are, sure, it is a growing time, it is a good time to transform and spend more time listening to Bonnie Raitt and reading Zora Neale Hurston. Sure. But in those moments when you long for your past, for those teenage moments in which you fell in love with music and books and movies, and for that matter, men, you realize that those moments are kinda gone for you. And all the little Harveys inside of you don't have a home anymore, but stagger around, lost, plucking at their little-boy suspenders and wondering whom they matter to anymore.


I think it's probably different now, for other women artists. Or it must be. Soon. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

PERFORMANCE AND DEPRESSION AND ME AND YOU

There's never a bad time to tell everyone you know that you live with depression. They all live with that shit too.

It is, of course, a question of degrees, and a question of how we manage it. Some of us manage it way better than others. I have had times in my life of not managing at all. In my late teens and early 20's, depression ate my soul. It wanted my body, too, but I didn't let it have it.

DEPRESSION is a terrific word. It really does capture the experience of having an elephant sitting on your life force. Maybe nothing so cute as an elephant. But something big and heavy is pressing you down, and you don't feel like you are even in there anymore, really. You've been pressed away.

I've been lucky, in that meds and therapy worked when things were very bad, and now, exercise and breathing and mindfulness do a pretty good job keeping the elephant cute and manageably-sized. Sometimes when I'm running on the treadmill and a particularly inspirational 80's pop hit comes on I run even faster and my blood beats in my brain: I'm alive, I made it, I got through and I do it and I do it for that little back-in-the-day Me who didn't know if she was going to get through. I run and run for her.

Unsurprisingly, or maybe surprisingly, but probably not, working as a performer can bring a lot of dark shit right back to you. I don't exactly understand the brain chemistry of it, but I have theories. The kind of performing I do seems to cause a big rush of chemicals to flow through me, so that, afterwards, I'm high as a skyscraper off my own brain. But the next day, especially a few hours before my next show, it's like the skyscraper was never there.

At first, I don't think I really understood what a weird cycle I was on. Showbiz! my mind said, and I went on drinking coffee, eating sugar, checking my email in bed and doing whatever-the-fuck.

I keep a show journal. I journal before each show, done it for years. I started it to clarify my thoughts, get my head in the game, write out any new jokes, priorities for the show, but then I started to notice that entry after entry started with something similar to I don't want to be here/ I don't want to do this show/ I'm so unhappy. After flipping through pages and pages of this garbage, I thought, what the shit?

The shit seems to be that my brain goes through a cycle of some kind of pre-show depression and post-show euphoria. Nowadays I think of my brain as cleaning house to make way for the post-show chemical party. But it took at least a year or two of journalling for me to really see the pattern. And of course, now that I've seen it, the mood swings are less dramatic. The euphoria is less, sure, a little, but that's fine, it was kinda crazy in there anyway. And the depression is less. That is the most exciting thing.

Here I am at the Edinburgh Fringe again. Last time I was here, two years ago, it was hard, mood-swing-wise. I didn't feel in control of the chemicals in my brain. But I've done a few of these big long festivals now. It's all about self-care and exercise and journalling and rest. Does that make me boring and uncool? Of course it does! Does it make me sane in my brain? Yes, it does that too!

And I run. I run for the Me who couldn't run. Then I get up in front of people and we hit the highs and lows together. We do it for those who can't. We all do it for those who can't. We run for everyone.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ARTISTIC ANGER


When we’re kids, we have far fewer choices. Being a kid means that you have to spend your time filling workbook sheet after workbook sheet with polynomial solutions. It means you have to listen to someone talk at length about the economy of Finland. Sometimes it means canned peas. It means you have to endure things that you didn’t choose.

When we grow up, hopefully, we get a lot more choices about what we want and don’t want to endure. And yet, when it’s time to sit in an audience and watch a show, sometimes we end up feeling like we’re twelve and it’s Fish-Hatcheries-In-Helsinki all over again. 

Sometimes, not liking a show can make us mad, with all the madness of years of a child’s lack of power. We wish we were the kind of douchebag to unwrap a candy or let a cellphone ring. We want something to happen! We don’t want to watch the show anymore! We scan the room for life, everyone seems glazed over, wanting to be somewhere else——we become filled with righteous indignation. Especially if we, too, are artists. We take it personally. 

I have taken some shit personally in my life. I spent the early aughts in New York City being furious at the improv comedy scene there. Seriously, I was so mad. Who was I mad at? No one, of course. Nobody did anything to me. But I bristled against most of the art that I saw. And then I went off and got pregnant with that anger and birthed an art baby that’s pretty interesting to me, and in general, I like the artistic path I’m on. And actually, I credit my anger, or at least, I give it its due as a shaping force for my child-artist soul as it tried and still tries to figure out what it wants. 

But I wish someone had told me then that I could calm the fuck down and let some of that anger go. Or that it was okay, that it would all lead somewhere. 

Anger, as they say, can be healthy. If you are not a Angry-all-the-time person, that is. It is healthy to have feelings, to allow yourself to have feelings, even when they aren’t cute and cuddly feelings. And it’s good to be passionate about things! Look at you, having strong opinions! That means you’re alive! That means you’re invested! That means you’re not passively receiving your experiences like a defeated automaton, not you! You’re engaged with life! Go on!

The downsides of artistic anger, however, are many. Your anger is so personal that it really feels like the artists responsible did something to you.  You see them at a party and avoid them. You act like they stood you up for coffee. Douchebag! your heart cries silently, to your own childhood, to the world, to no one. 

It wasn't fun, but watching improv comedy for years that made me mad made me better. It put me on a path of clarifying what’s important to me on stage, and getting better at delivering it when it’s my turn to get up there. The artists who anger us, for whatever reason, do not deserve our personal animosity; they’ve done nothing to us directly. They’ve opened a dialogue between us and ourselves about who we are and what we like. And this is a blessed thing.

These days, when I’m watching something that doesn’t tickle my taste, I “play at home,” to quote a friend. I consider the possibilities for revision, reconstruction, improvement, enlightenment. I can practice my art from right there in my seat. 

Of course, it’s still your time, and your time is valuable. You’re right: some people shouldn’t be charging us money to watch them do their art. I know. But geez: some people charge us money so they can build weapons of mass destruction. You paid twelve bucks to watch garbage that isn’t hurting anyone? You lucky puppy. 

We have to have so much gratitude for artists of all types!
Thank you and may Satan bless you, everyone, for sucking and not sucking, all!