The other night I was walking home from a friends house after an evening of tea and chats that filled my head with dreams. It was dusky out and the music playing in my ears, fit my feelings perfectly, in that way that makes you want to carry on walking, to disappear, to runaway with an idea and see where it takes you.
It hit me like a tonne of bricks: I haven’t felt creatively alive in months. Sure I’ve been writing, making, working, but never in that woman-on-a-roll-and-a-little-obsessive kind of way. When I want to stay up all night making notes, when I type thoughts into my phone the minute I get them for fear of them disappearing, when I feel like calling up this person or that person and saying ‘Hey, I’ve had this idea for a show…’ regardless of time, place or appropriateness.
I’ve really missed that.
I’ve missed walking home in the dark.
Who would have thought it? All those late night shifts were in their own way feeding my artistic nature. Making me, me.
When I first started out making theatre, I used to avoid the term ‘artist.’ It felt fraudulent in my mouth. I dreaded some one demanding to see evidence, asking me to prove it. I felt like my hair wasn’t crazy enough, I hadn’t taken enough (any) drugs, I hadn’t been to enough shows, gallery’s, spoken word nights to label myself as that.
Two years later and I have met a lot of people that fit the above description of an artist to a T. Some of them were incredibly talented, hugely intimidating, artistic tour de forces, the majority of them, went about being an artist like it was a tick box affair. Spending more time looking and talking about being an artist than, from what I could see, they did making art. But maybe that was their art, maybe they were making an art out of not making art. Who am I to judge?
Now I know that being an artist isn’t about a label, it isn’t about the genre you work in, how many shows you’ve made or what books you’ve read. Being an artist is about thriving on something. It could even be something that isn’t traditionally creative. It is about having thoughts and feelings that feel inherently you and acting upon them to produce something. Whether that be a way of life, a business plan or a blog post.
I am an artist.
I am a theatre practitioner.
I am a writer.
I feel most alive when I capture a feeling or an image or a thought, and I start formulating a way to put it into words, to recreate it, to present it, to pass it on to somebody else. That is my art and my natural high, like when you can feel caffeine whooshing through your blood stream or the adrenaline you feel at the top of a roller coaster before the big drop.
That is who I am, it is what makes me, me. For a while there I almost forgot, for a while I didn’t walk in the dark.*
I’m really glad it all came flooding back.
Live life & be the artist x
*I am in no way shape or form advising anyone makes a habit of walking alone in the dark, and Mum if you’re reading it was a well lit street and I text a friend to let her know when I was home.