04 April 2012

Artistic Crisis....Again

I learned last week I've been selected to perform in the first Santa Cruz Fringe Festival. The Festival runs13 July through 22 July and my suffering has already begun:  insomnia, loss of appetite, panic attacks, ....

A crazy voice screams non-stop from a room in the attic of my mind "I can't! I can't!" Specifically, I can't write. I have nothing to say;  I've never had anything to say.  Yes, I've performed original work before but it was a fluke,....I don't know where it came from. I don't remember writing it. Did I write it?

Last night, I dreamed I was simultaneously driving a car and explaining to someone, as calmly as possible, why I must decline their invitation. I ran the car off the road in the process. It ended up nose down in a wide ditch. When I stepped into the ditch to survey the damage, I discovered there was another town under the road. With courage, I could get back in the car, put it in Reverse and safely reach the other town. I entered the car and put it in Reverse but my courage lagged and so the car wound up in a mechanics shop after hours. Now the challenge/task was a) to exit the car through a window, and b) to exit the after-hours shop through a window.

I am among three solo performers invited by a fourth to share a 90-minute slot on a TBA stage. Participants in the Festival will perform a minimum of 5 times over the 10 days of the Festival. Partly in response to my terror, I have thought perhaps I will improv for each of the 5 performances, in that way mostly bypassing the writing. But this choice is unsatisfactory. Today I realize the reason:  I am afraid AND I actually want to write a piece.

This is the illogical nature of fear.

The next day:
I slept like a baby last night and woke up three hours before the alarm with clear, detailed images in my mind of myself, on stage, calm. Moving and saying something. I feel the theme of the piece from the expressions on my face in the vision but I still don't know, in words, what the piece will be about.

The panic is gone. 

OK.  So eight days after learning of the gig, calm came.  I wonder if this is a pattern.