This week Lexi read out loud, played with leftover tape wads, sang with rubber chickens, and slayed a cockroach. Sean made a chair! All in 15 minutes.
Monday September 26
Instructions: Read Chapter 5 aloud.
Why? Had pizza with my friend Jason and discussed how his father, Thomas Crane would be stepping into Jason’s undergraduate communications-related class to lead a discussion on Chapter 5 of his book with Larissa Patrick, The Heart of Coaching. I worked myself to the bone for the Adams Ave. Street fair which took place the 24th and 25th, and I essentially needed to pull anything out of my ass.
Rehearsal discoveries: I woke up at 4am to a flood of regrets on my leadership downfalls from the day prior. Having slept about 3 hours, I knew I needed to clean the studio. I hydrated and did some light sigh warm ups in order to utilize enough flexibility in my voice to not damage it while projecting to the outdoor audience without a mic.
Performance write up: I believe there were 3 or 4 artist friends who came to support this day. I was both thankful and in dread of their presence, knowing my concept was un-hashed and uninterestingly simple. All the while, there were many conceptually interesting floating truths taking place throughout the piece.
Firstly, there is great value in the chapter itself. It offers insight on communicating feedback more productively in the work environment. The experience was akin to a lecture in its tone. There was a bit of irony in the audience presence of Natasha Kozaily, a 10 year mentor and colleague of mine with whom I have, many times, exchanged feedback.
Following up on the video the weekend of October 1st, I decided to delete it because of a combination of content overload and feelings of meaninglessness in this performance. I regret deleting the video. I believe the spirit of this project is receiving karma now, because after deleting this video, I went on to delete all the content I have uploaded for these past few weeks and accidentally got rid of my favorite Adams Ave. Street Fair performance, “Cane Stealer.” Anywho, at the time of deletion, I found the performance to be embarrassing, watching myself stumble in a hazy, unrested state to read fluidly off the iphone PDF image. I saw in the video my inner dialogue of feeling boring and unprepared. Rather than seeing the value in witnessing this particular struggle and keeping the video, I fed into the headspace of it becoming more and more meaningless in the dense cloud of 85 and counting videos I have uploaded onto Youtube. This past weekend (I am writing this on Oct. 5th) my spirit and relationship with content experienced a major shift. I figured no one would care whether or not this video existed, and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of adding titles, exporting, and uploading.
Tuesday September 27
Instructions: Play with the spherical tape wads left over from “thank you, sorry,” the white curtain track left over from the actual Tenam stage curtain install featured in “Discipline enables freedom,” and add the color yellow in somehow
Why? This one aligns with “vibing out with the orange electricity cable” or “Sheets and Limbs” from day 1 performance. It’s about play. Access to play and creative exploration with anything around us.
Rehearsal discoveries: Thought through the concept of debuting each item ahead of time. Did perhaps a moment of child’s pose.
Performance write up: I was inspired by “under the spell, endure the wanting” play and other moments where I have stuck my hand/puppet/an object through the curtain to provide an image of solely the item rather than myself interacting explicitly with it. I believe it was an effective dramatization.
Perhaps the most important part of this performance was having legitimate fun. I had fun. I want others to see something like this and grant themselves with more accessibility to fun. It was impulsive. I wanted to tackle and leap like a predator onto the items at some point, so I did. I practiced the act of improvisation which is an act of trust/faith. For these reasons of trust and faith, practicing improvisation is heart warming and joyful.
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Wednesday September 28
Instructions: Vocal improv with a rubber chicken
Why? “Rubber chicken” was one of the jotted idea points written on my “Tenam Performances” google doc.
Rehearsal discoveries: The largest rubber chicken is the most sensitive to touch. I was reminded of this when I went to pick them up from Lucy “Loop.” The first time I learned of their sensitivity was the time I bumped into a 3 pack of large rubber chickens around 2 or 3AM when people were all trying to wind down for sleeping after my birthday party. Oof. Being careful requires “care” and “fullness.”
Performance write up: I was planning to wear a ballgown and dramatize the performance as if it were a prestigious concert. I could have rehearsed an art song. I wish I had acted out this way more, but I fell into the regular ‘ol habit of experimental intuitive vocals rather than characterizing with some bel canto prestige of sorts. This was, of course, due to burnout and half-assery following the street fair weekend.
View on Youtube ---------> https://youtu.be/jqB_LTxpuoA
Thursday September 29
Instructions: Perform bullfighting with a cockroach
Rehearsal discoveries: Logistics were the forefront of rehearsal. I thought it was as simple as acquiring a cockroach and creating some mini matador, but then I realized cockroaches are great climbers. Lots of fear that the cockroach would escape led me find the most vertical plastic container I could then grease up the corners and sides of it with the olive oil I have at the studio. Also, I wanted an audio layer, went to look up what music is typically played at these events, stumbled upon the history of Bette Ford and a mariachi band who dedicated a piece to her, then defaulted to playing music recorded by that band for the performance.
Performance write up: The concept was funny, but the execution wasn’t as good as it could be. I should have watched an actual match. I thought by catching the cockroach, I was being prepared, but I was absolutely not prepared. Literally, I still haven’t seen a bullfight. I was trying to come up with some entertainment layer while performing for 4 other artist who are all amazing performers to me, and I was essentially choking most of the performance with mediocre acting in and out of breaking the fourth wall in an “I’m not taking this seriously anymore” sort of way. Emiko from ROBYKO mentioned how I could possibly have put something the cockroach was attracted to on the matador, and it may have made for a more interesting match. I may try this with a different bug.
I should comment as well on the guilt I experienced. At first, the cockroach was pretty undisturbed by my matador, having spent the night in a small tupperware. I imagine it was relaxed at first. By the end, just before its death, I saw its antennas quivering in a different way than before. I felt pretty terrible. Killing it was terrible, but made funny because of the dumb sword I painted on the wood. I imagine this speaks lightly to the brutality of this practice. I am not a supporter of bullfights. I’m not sure how all this comes across to others either. I heard the comments “good thing PETA doesn’t know/isn’t here” and “good thing there’s no Buddhists here.”
Listen to the pre performance audio fears and post performance discussion ——> https://www.patreon.com/posts/chair-event-and-73640829?utm_medium=clipboard_copy&utm_source=copyLink&utm_campaign=postshare_creator
Become a Patron to View -----> https://www.patreon.com/TenAmStudio
Friday September 30
Title: “Chair Event"
Feat. Sean Francis Conway
S. F. Conway measured, sawed, and nailed a chair together. He dusted the chair area off to then sit on the chair for about 1min before the performance ended. There were moments of struggle and cheerleader-like investment from the audience.
Listen to the post performance audio Here! ——> https://www.patreon.com/posts/chair-event-and-73640829?utm_medium=clipboard_copy&utm_source=copyLink&utm_campaign=postshare_creator
View on Youtube ---> https://youtu.be/sf_JUZYM3bs