So I managed to get through yesterday, which entitled waking up in Honolulu at 10AM, flying to Chicago (arrive 5:30AM local time the next day), and then continuing on to Boston (arriving 9:40AM local time) going to my dance company’s rehearsal and exploring the possibility of a month’s work with them if Taiwan is truly screwing me out of that fourth month of work; I’d be in there as acrobatic/circus consultant, co-director for a new piece. Plus, they gave me the personal contact info on all the promoters for the Boston area. ‘All’ of them amounts to a grand total of three, but it is a hell of a lot more managable than the millions in Tokyo.
Business in the arts is a very strange thing. When I sit at home, depressed and alone, when I train in a corner of the gym, I feel like a failure; like I am skillless and useless in the world. but as soon as I have a project; a CREATION project, I feel like I am really doing something that few people can do. I can look at a piece, at a theme, at an artist, and just know what has to be done to make that piece, theme, or artist effectively move an audience… but there is that important ingredient of the other people there. All alone, I am like a waterwheel in the desert.
Then it was off to MIT to meet with my former acrobatics partner from Bulgaria. Strange, strange, strange. It is like looking into a mirror in which your image from six years ago is reflected and superimposed over what you now are. It was very interesting talking about her studies (system complexity), a Balkan’s view of the United States, and Americans and MIT in general, culture, cultural norms… and all in the context of sitting there in America with Americans all around us… we were able to switch back and forth from English to French to Spanish as the spirit moved us, and as the sentiment required.
In the end, we realized that six years ago, we really had nothing in common. I was an ignorant American, and she was a culture-shocked Balkan in a new environment. Oddly enough, six years later, we have travelled to the same countries, both learned French, both started drinking, and are both looking at our “successful” lives and realizing that we feel like we have nothing in our hands… that our choices have not been choices so much, but improvisations from moment to moment, and we only see ahead to the next junction.
Something that my friends at the Tabata refugee camp can surely relate to.
I can’t stop thinking about The Model and her visa problems, and The Political Scientist and her visa silence… my biggest fear is returning to an empty or emptier house…
I hope for the best every day, and think of them often!
I ran into an ex-girlfriend completely by chance in the hallway while looking for a bathroom. Her first words to me: ‘You asshole! I knew you’d do this!’
I guess she thought I was trying to be cute by not telling her I would be in town and then showing up unannounced at her lab. later on, I’d realize the absurdity of this presumption, as though I would research the work address of a former lover just to hang outside and stalk her… but then when I told her that it was just chance, a happy chance, she said that it was even worse.
But come on, we are not best friends, I have only so much free time this trip, and my main reason for coming was to talk about my friend’s death with my two closest friends in Boston and to meet a woman whom I never really got to know when I had the chance… realistically, I could not contact every friend I ever had in boston and schedule 15 minute coffee-breaks with all of them…
Then it was to the gym where I trained with my former acro partner… the last time we had trained, she was helping me get into circus school. Needless to say, I had improved a bit, but we still had a good time. She had not done acro since our last practice together six years ago, so I was helping her relearn a lot of her moves.
Then it was wine and Indian with her and her roommates. I had a million things to talk about with her roommate from Hawaii, very introspective, talking about racial identity of the hopelessly mixed like us, the social structure and climate, good and bad, of the islands, old-time Hawaiian pop culture… history, it was a good conversation. the other roommate was a little overbearing in the American sense, talking about how her greek friend should stop worrying about her relationships and just change herself to fit with the guy she is with, that love is worth changing yourself for, and that the Eastern European marrying-for-the-right-reasons is too mental, akin to arranged marriages, and that her Greek friend should be able to adapt to the Hollywood romantic ideal of pushing yourself into the mold of a reltaionship. I got tired quickly of this and smiled. Finally, at 4am I went to sleep on the couch (9 pm hawaii time… 36 sleepless hours) only to wake up five hours later to drive my friend to class.
Two bottles of wine between the two of us, but consumed over 5 hours of good conversation with roommates, and I had my first allergic reaction to American Indian food a la what happens every time The Political Scientist takes me to an Indian restaurant in Tokyo!
I try to find a place to nap now, maybe get a haircut, something to eat. It is strange being in America, my friends. It is like walking around Disneyland after working backstage for years. There is no magic left, or what magic that is present is too easily understood.
Business is good, company is good, and I feel busy… just the way I like it on vacation!