Spring Semester 2007 – A Modest Proposal
I was satisfied with my work in the Fall semester, but I wanted to help my audience find a way in, so, through workshops and writing exercises, I wrote up a monologue where I addressed the audience directly, suggesting we transform the theater we were sitting in into a captive breeding program space for the very fish I was so interested in. I explained that a contact at the Aquarium told me there was no room for a captive breeding program there, and that our school’s commitment to a just, sacred and sustainable world required us to make this kind of sacrifice. At the end of the monologue I added a detail about how keeping fish helped me survive my adolescence. My plan at the end of the semester was to have two pieces I could merge in the summer session for the final show.
At this point in my life, several bizarre things were going on. I think the challenge of the school work (and maybe not having any B-12 in my diet) was making me go a little nuts. For example, I wouldn’t walk through doors, even in my house, unless I felt authentically motivated. Classmates remarked that my conversations seemed to trail off into nowhere. I threw my glasses into a fire because I was upset about something. I would spend three or four hours with bills and paperwork because I felt I had to give my full attention to each sheet of paper for an “authentic” amount of time. I was compelled to pick up garbage wherever I went. I confronted strangers about spitting in the street, talking loudly on the bus, and littering because I felt the generous thing to do was give them the benefit of the doubt.
There were great things, too, about this semester. I was exercising a little more. I read “Feelings Are Facts,” Yvonne Rainer’s amazing autobiography, and a few pieces on Anna Halprin. I read poetry by Rilke, Robert Hass’ “Sun Under Wood” and his translations of Czeslaw Milosz’s last book of poems, “Second Space.” All this set the stage, I think, for a period several years later when left this straightjacket mentality behind and started to actually enjoy the performances I was participating in and seeing, instead of trying to understand how they fit into a theory.