once i got the winter 2011 emerging artist residency through the field in december, i thought that would be more than enough until the end of the season. there's a lot of work involved. we have weekly meetings, i have weekly rehearsals, and there are consultations and talks to consider, along with a final performance at the kitchen on march 21. january found me trudging through chelsea's west side in the snow and freezing cold to the warmth of an open studio space and fresh ideas, to flesh out whatever was inside me. i spent my days buried in rewrites and running lines aloud in our harlem apt to bounce them around and make them come alive somehow, leaving the house for twice daily boxing sessions, church and occasionally groceries. my self-imposed lockdown was complete.
nevermind the fact that i have to finish recording and mixing my black country rock album, that i've got the "billy meets billie" project in february at the university of the streets to rehearse for or the salon's anniversary bash at the edison ballroom in early march. i'll get to those tidbits later.
the thing is, i had every intention to stay in lockdown until my father's birthday in march. but inspiration is a funny thing. it can't be partitioned off or legistated or controlled. once something triggers it, it simply flows. in the best of circumstances -- that is, if i get out of the way and don't undo things -- it keeps flowing. once the ideas started to run over me from one project, they started to spill onto everything else.
i'm not afraid to fall through the ice and drown. thanks to my time in nyc as an outsider, i know how to swim very well. there may be an undertow, but that's to be expected when the pull is this strong.
if you've been reading this blog, you already know this -- so for the uninitiated and/or uninformed, here's something you should know about me as an artist.
i'm not a replicator. i'm an originator. that means most of the work i do comes from what i create. everyone that calls themselves an artist doesn't do these things. as a matter of fact, most of the creative folk i know patiently wait by the phone for it to ring so they can make a living. for most of them, developing and executing their own ideas is unthinkable -- for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that they don't have any ideas in the first place. needless to say, fear of so many things -- one's own potential, for example -- can sometimes play a stronger part than anyone would care to imagine. but i digress.
i'll tell you what i'm working on later. for now, all i can say is that i'm working. hard.