I am on a journey to write it all down. To write about my life, my feelings, my experiences, my emotions, and to do so more honestly. To create a thread, to weave a narrative, to allow others to follow the story and to connect my voice to theirs.
As an institutionalized and studied writer, this should come naturally, but it’s much harder than you would think. I worry about confessing too much, and then I fuss over sharing too little. I go back, I go forth; I delete, I insert. I copy, I paste. And on and on and on.
It’s a balancing act, I know, to use or not to use my filter.
This year, I learned how the art of creation becomes a practice, like a chore: it’s an act I must rehearse daily to improve. When sitting down at a desk, putting a pen to a piece of paper and creating something unique, insightful or passionate doesn’t come easy, I draw upon my city, my neighborhood, my community for inspiration.
On Saturday evening, I received this type of spark from “Spring Awakening,” a musical about questioning the pillar themes of life. It’s a coming of age story in a time when society told people how to behave and what to think. It’s also a story about love, sexuality, maturity, abuse, and loss.
I had no expectations before the show began. I knew about the Tonys, had heard some of the music, and had seen the posters around town. But I had no idea how closely this production would mirror many of the topical events occurring right now in today’s world, nor did I expect it to mirror my own life so acutely.
The story weaves its central narrative through rock band style performances and direct to audience monologues, and at times, the actors talk and sing about sexually explicit acts and even disrobe on center stage. Several days later, the impression the show left still lingers.
Only now, during my quest to be more free and vulnerable with my own art, can I begin to appreciate what it takes be completely bare, literally and creatively, in front of others. To put yourself in front of a crowd and allow others to view this vulnerability is a brave, bold step in the process.
Naturally, I wonder about the journey of other artists and the agony and stress they encounter along the way. I think about where they begin their creative process and what they feel when they find themselves at the finish line because I want to know how mine compares.
I aspire to be like those actors on stage, baring it all, for the entire city of Los Angeles to see.