many several days back now, i traversed the I-5 corridor to the land of SE Portland for a 4 day intensive artistic residency at PerformanceWorksNW. 'twas an enriching experience all around, i must say. rehearsals brought new insight and inspiration, art events attended brought new connections and further inspiration, and outside extracurricular activities brought even more insight and, no, well, just insight really.
specifically, my sunday night late night outing to devil’s point for striparaoke (sic) (the points they lost in the not so sexy portmanteau, they made up for in. . . other ways.) striparaoke is, to clarify, your regular run of the mill karaoke, but held at a strip club. you stand in the far upstage left corner of the small, 3-poled stage and don’t budge in inch and sing while fancy lady in not much clothing does her thing on the 97% of the stage that is not occupied by your nervous, little, fully clothed with sensible shoes body while other patrons of this art hoot and holler and drink and rid themselves of low denomination paper money. not what you would think to be a hotbed of personal growth education, but let me assure you, many things about herself was learned by me. for example:
lesson one - i love me some efficiency.
strip club AND karaoke bar??? in ONE convenient location!! AND there were food trucks literally across the street! and not even across the busy way, but the low key residential way.
lesson two - there is no such thing as sharing a stage with a stripper.
i could have been standing there wearing a full body banana costume singing jingle bells with a helium affected voice and no one would have even noticed. given the option between staring at a modestly dressed thirty-something year old stoic-ly singing the 80’s classic ’99 luft balloons’ and staring at a tall twenty-something year old with nary an article of clothing on that couldn’t fit in the palm of my hand while she spins and teases and whatever else she was doing that i missed because i was staring at the karaoke screen, pretty much everyone except for that one woman from tacoma chose the latter.
lesson three - of all the things i enjoy sharing with a stripper, a stage is not one of them.
when i step onto stage, i am doing it for two reasons. 1 - as a stage hand to do stage handy things, or 2 - as a performer to do performery things. for me to step on stage as 2-performer only to be have the level invisibility that i can only dream of as 1-stagehand was nothing short of, well, kinda annoying. in like an Oh Look I Have Feelings And Expectations Around That kind of way.
and so, a week now has passed since that trip transpired and my library of self knowledge still sits bursting at the seams. so if you’ll excuse me, i have some metaphorical digesting to do. in the meantime, someone tell me why, when i took the careful time out of my schedule to update the wikipedia entry on ‘Serendipity’ to share the details of my journey so that others may benefit, my photographic documentation* keeps getting rejected as 'inappropriate'?? how am i to fully elucidate my learnings without an image of my teacher? she was instrumental in my learnings!!! sigh. some battles are just not worth battling, i guess. never fear, my dear Serendipity, your image stays alive in my heart always.
*jk there’s no photography allowed inside. mad respect for my one-on-one life coach.