Interlude: Professional Spectator

with GoddTodd at Damned show SlimsSF (pic by me)

Short version:
The start of this blog, was the start of this project. I’m sharing the part of my process that I usually keep to myself. I’m doing loads of thinking, talking and research which don’t translate to “blogging”. Hope you’ll hang in there, shoot me some feedback and maybe, pitch in!

Longer version:
Daily outward output relating to creative projects falls outside my muscle memory bank. I work through the “problem” until I feel I’ve got something clear to communicate. I tend to guard and cherish this time more than any other part of my process.

I’ve been told by some this presents me as being diluted. That is, it comes across as an inability to focus and/or delve deeply into ideas/projects/concepts. When presented by this, I was initially taken aback because it just didn’t connect to how I see my experience. I’m constantly thinking, feeling, considering a spectrum of things. On further reflection, I realize just how little I share, not only of my process, but also the finished work. Without insight to my thought process, it makes sense it’d be difficult to see much happening.

Voyeurism has come to be my primary form of public expression (a state coined and anointed to me by GoddTodd as ‘Professional Spectator’). I go to exhibits, theatrical and experimental performances, visit *many* sites. Taking it all in, I mull these experiences through my minds eye mortar, like spices in a bowl, mixing, reflecting…repeat. Slowly, I blend, stopping every so often to consider, add a pinch and continue to work through as each addition presents a different perspective enhancing my understanding and knowledge. I imagine my father mashing garlic, onions, cilantro in a worn wooden bowl. Each twirl and pressure of the pestle filled with intent. Or my grandfather (a chemist), throwing in pinches of this and that to make the perfect elixir to cure your ailment (which I unfortunately never got to see).

I’m in love with the process. Yes, literally in love. Discovering new ways ideas have been translated into tangible pieces. Understanding the roots that delivered that moment…cultural influences, artists or artisans, patrons…politics.

I do still make stuff – mostly informed by what I described above. My clarity that translates to the final piece comes in bursts and odd times. I’ll be in the middle of a conversation about some current event and suddenly I’ll get an image/idea/process that clearly captures how I want to manifest something. It’s this kind of tangential traipsing that delivers me to my destination. I’ve nurtured this approach through my visual, written and performative expression, because I relish each of the moments that make up the experience. From concept to initial sketch…the silence and distraction. The “final” piece (nothing is ever finished, just declared done.) I find every part exiting, sometimes angst inducing and ultimately, transforming.

No piece I’ve ever made turns out the way I first (or second, or third, or…) imagine or articulate it, but I always reach exactly the place I intend.

This blog, it’s a sharp departure on my part from the above. Why did I then? Because I know that filmmaking is a community effort. The response from those I’ve shared this has been incredibly positive. And I’ve had bursts though definitely still in the heart of ‘process’.

These past few weeks have been part of the quieter points for this documentary project. I’ve spent some energy on other parts of my life. Other moments, I’ve discussed the higher level aspects of it.

For now, I continue to focus on laying down the roadmap to reach that final goal. I have a feeling, I’ll be talking to a lot more people in the weeks to come. And this time, I think that’s going to be the best part. Well, until the next awesome thing happens :D

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