Saturday, June 7, 2014

PWD: Performing While Disabled

Speaking of performing while disabled, I want to revisit what it's been like for me to be alter-abled in show business lately. The answer is: particularly rough, chameleon in appearance, still promising.

I posted this on Facebook about a month ago:

"My 5 year burlesqueversary came and went last week. While I haven't been able to perform as much (or as well) as I would have liked to over time, I've remained connected to the community by attending and otherwise being involved with as many shows and other events as I possibly can. I nurtured and raised TaTa Hari in Olympia and am feeling positively about returning to this fierce, compact arts community in a full-time capacity. Let's grow some more badass art! However it manifests!"

I maintain a near-constant state of cautious optimism that I will soon be able to book, rehearse, and be polished for a show (burlesque, music, or otherwise) without having to cancel due to sudden illness. Even though I've finally been able to start gathering costume and prop bits for an act I've been dying to finish for a couple of years, my optimism is having a difficult time sticking. I feel like I'm going through the motions to spend time and money on yet another act I'll never get to perform. I've also had to skip the last couple of shows I had tickets to see because I didn't have the spoons or was otherwise too ill to go.

Tonight, happily, I was able to attend a brilliant show! The Cabiri have been weaving mythological tales through theatrical performance for the past 15 years. 15 years ago, I was a performing member of The Cabiri. It was one of the defining moments in my life. They carry the momentum of a divine, ethereal battle for eternal balance. I wanted to live and breathe and cast mythological spells over the masses with all the splendor and vitality I could muster. Tragically, try as I might, my body sputtered and stalled instead - again and again. This and other life events spelled the end of my time in Cabiria. Of course I moved on, but I was crushed. I'm still crushed when I think about it. I continue to attend their events because I believe in what they're doing and they're damn good at it. Each show leaves me feeling partly jazzed, partly wistful, and partly in need of rebandaging my heartstrings. In other words - they make me feel truly alive! (TEWAZ is breathtaking. It runs at Cornish Playhouse through June 14. GO SEE IT!)

Fortunately for my optimism, I have a new strategy for my upcoming act. It will see me radiating, but using quite a bit less energy than usual. I also set up a photo shoot for this particular outfit, so I will have had fun with that even if performing the act never works out. Stay with me. I promise it'll be spectacular!

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