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May 30, 2013

Finished up auditions for The Tempest tonight.  I always enjoy seeing the people who come out to do each show.  I try not to overplan in advance of actors because for me, hearing the voices reading the play is where we get ready for launch.  Exciting.  Terrifying.  Amazing to be directing my 15th Shakespeare show.  A little crazy that it’s The Tempest, which I directed the second year of Theatre Under The Trees, when I knew so little, but I wanted something spectacular and The Tempest is that.

I feel like I’ve been working on it all year.  I have two starts to the year.  One is the Lunar New Year, when I spend the festival working on art related to the animal of the year (this year:  water snake).  The other start to my year is when Theatre Under The Trees performs its last show of the summer, an indoor matinee for people who prefer their theatre indoors.  I navigate memory by shows not years.  And once one year is done, I start thinking about how to do what I’ve chosen for the next summer.  And because I knew The Tempest would be complicated, I got other people involved in the process much earlier.  So we’ve been seriously talking about dance and movement and magic since January.  Which is a long time to talk about a show in advance of actors.

This was a year I planned to make a lot of progress in animation.  Instead I decided to give up writing, stopped posting Wednesday and Sunday art, haven’t posted anything on the Blink Kitty Love band page in months, haven’t fooled around in FlipBoom in longer than that and had the best time tossing ideas around with my nieces and nephews at a comic convention, which triggered a return to Wednesday and Sunday art.

I am much better at being in the flow than planning.  And far too good at worrying about my erratic income from art.  And although I was very serious last November about sharing parts of my personal history, I had a crisis of confidence where I decided since I didn’t write like Calvin Trillin, personal essays were not the medium for me.  And I pushed the fantasy novel I’d been working on to the side, when I really wanted to see what happened to the characters.  I let other people’s successes affect how I measured mine.  And I stopped blogging.  Haikus happened less frequently.  It’s the kind of slump you don’t realize you’ve hit until you’ve managed to step outside of it.

And here we are at the end of May again.  The beginning of a new adventure. I’m back to having fun doodling again (and posting regularly), am seriously considering taking a new step with animation and writing is back on my to do list.  How I got back to here, I’m not sure.  But it involved reviewing what is important to me, having a few people willing to listen, finding music that cheers me up, paying attention to the artists and people who inspire me, respecting my own efforts.

But first there is The Tempest.  At auditions, one of the scenes involved this line so it’s been looping in my brain for two nights:  “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”  Which I think is what happens in my head sometimes, and maybe in yours.  But Ariel is quoting Ferdinand, jumping into the sea to save himself.

So I’m jumping into The Tempest.  Auditions always excite me.  People willing to pick up a script, cold read Shakespeare, get involved in making wonder happen onstage…that’s what inspires me.  Shakespeare’s magical Midsummer enthralled me at the age of ten and the more I learn about language and people, the more I want to share that feeling.

Right ho, thanks for reading.  And stop by to see if we end up on a friendly shore.  Good night all; dream well.

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