Dearest Readers,

Presently I am in Vancouver attending the PuSh Assembly on behalf of Sour Brides Theatre. Last night was the opening of the Assembly and the keynote was an artistic “manifesto” delivered by a performance artist named Julie Andrée T.

This young woman walked on stage with a bottle of wine and a glass and said, “I’m super scared,” and told us she was using the wine to help her deal with her fear. The bottle had been half drunk already.

Over the course of an hour she spoke to us occasionally, read to us from her laptop, played back recordings of manifestos by other artists she admires and made mournful sounds on a viola that rested on her lap. Slides of her naked and manipulated body in various compromising positions were projected behind her.

I am an artist and I have learned how to appreciate the work of other artists even if I do not “get” the work. Every artist is expressing his/her creative Self the only way he/she knows how. Some of us are stranger than others. Performance art is not easy to “get”. It doesn’t make sense to most of us the way a painting or a narrative play does. It challenges everything we know about our relationship to art and to one another. It takes us out of our comfort zones.

Probably a good thing, right? I suppose. Yes. In fact, emphatic yes. On the other hand, I’ve reached a point in my life where I am in need of art that inspires, uplifts, and transcends the darkness. I desperately need Light. I really do. I didn’t use to. All of my earliest plays are dark and full of despair.

Julie Andrée T. said, “I like the dark side. It inspires me.” Fair enough. I was the same. I still write about the pain and the grief. But now I offer healing and hope because I am healing and I have gained hope. So this is my process.

And this is why not only do I offer it to the audience but I seek it as well. I look for healing and hope in films. I look for it in leaders and mentors and other artists. I need to have my experience validated and I need to continue believing in transformation. It is what helps me to keep going, to give back, to feel joy and thankfulness in a challenging world.

I have a ticket to Rouge tomorrow night, Julie Andrée T.’s performance piece here at the festival. I’ve decided not to go. I do respect this woman. But I think I’ve seen enough.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Today I will seek the kinds of experiences which uplift me and validate my healing work. I will continue to choose things that bring me to the Light.