The Creative Capital deadline is coming up and more than a few artists have been asking me for help. You guys! I don’t really know anything about grants. I just apply for a lot of them and some come back to me.
It’s nice when people think you have the magic touch. But really, it’s just perseverance. I’ve written many many many grants. And I get turned down for a lot. Grants are like auditions, except there is more logic in who gets them– but like auditions, it’s also random who gets them.
I think I’m losing it. I’m tired of the haul it takes to get work as an artist. (Have I not mentioned this a hundred thousand times?) I’m sitting on a grant panel in two weeks and am getting a nice stipend to sit on the panel. But then I got the grant binders from the foundation! Whoa! There are like over a hundred applications in a stack that’s 8 inches thick! I have to read each and every page of this! Blech. My stipend is well earned.
Today the REDCAT Now Festival application was due. I started it late last night and decided to use it as an opportunity for creativity. I’m tired of trying to prove my post-post modernism and how I’ll save the world in one fell performative swoop, I decided to enjoy writing every word of this application.
From now on, I’m writing grant applications that are fun to write and read!
Here’s a sneak peak at choice bits and pieces from today’s REDCAT proposal narrative for the presentation of my new work— “CAT LADY!”
“‘Cat Lady’ is a 20 minute performance piece intersecting the personas and rituals of cat ladies and male pick-up artists to create surreal moments of human isolation.”
“…cat sculptures that are spoken to throughout the piece like old familiar lovers.”
“My first golden shower…”
“I frantically sniffed all the cushions in the house…”
“As I slowly forfeited to Oliver’s fecal violence…”
“dangling hairy lymph nodes…”
“The cat lady. Was that mythical persona of the unmarried woman living in the lonely world of filthy catdom becoming my reality?”
“…an animal psychic who came well recommended by our lesbian friends.”
“…my set as a menagerie of cat sculptures made of newspaper and felt…”
“…i speak to them, dance with them, and enact my own obsessive compulsive thoughts…”
“…attempt real connections with the audiences and my cats…”
“…concurrent to Oliver’s urinary woes…”
“…struck by his boyish eagerness…”
For all you artists who keep asking me to send copies of my proposal or grant applications to you, feel free to plagiarize all of the above!
I spent today– laughing, crying, getting angry, feeling freaked out and alone, feeling suicidal, and then feeling great again. It’s kind of like this whole year of my life wrapped up in one strange last day.
I’m off to a New Year’s get together at Helena’s place.
Not sure what will happen at the end of 2008. But I can only hope it will be as good to me as 2007 was. I’ve had few years as good as this one.
I must be exhausted from having been in SF for the last three weekends but I’m getting absolutely nothing done this week. Aside from my talk at Cal State San Marcos yesterday I am very slowly slaying my work.
My friend came over and I made her and Luis the plumber watch 2girls1cup.
I kind of wish that I didn’t ask Luis to watch it, because I think he misinterpreted it as a “go-ahead” to tell us all the adult video stories he has in his memory bank. It was a little scary how much he decided to “open up” to us about his knowledge on the subject of enemas, etc.
Anyway, I have a funny story about my talk at the college yesterday. There were all sorts of technical difficulties with my DVD and I found myself vamping a lot as we were fiddling with the technology. One of the students in the class was like, “Hey, so tell us about your time writing for Playgirl.”
And I said something like, “Yeah, it was a really exciting thing for me as a feminist to be part of trying to revive a magazine that could possibly change that women saw their own sexuality and it was exciting to write for a magazine that attempted to create porn for women.”
Then the hole I dug….
“… and yeah… I really wanted to push an Asian man issue to them. Because Asian men in porn are always taking it from behind and it would have been great to have an Asian guy on the cover you know like, here I am. (I gesture) Because there’s this stereotype that Asian men aren’t well endowed and that’s not really true you see…. um…. um….”
I turn red. The class of 60 students starts to laugh.
“…um… so, back to the DVD I was trying to show you.”
The nice thing about the San Diego gig was stopping in San Clemente for a lunch by the sea.
I’m in the San Diego area now. It’s just past midnight and I’m doing a presentation at Cal State San Marcos tomorrow morning at the ass crack of dawn. Professor Judy Bauerlein has invited me to speak to her Theater 101 Class about my work.
I was telling her about the “Two Girls One Cup” phenom and caught her reaction to it…
Here’s Judy’s surprisingly calm reaction to 2girls1cup.
There are so many things that intrigue me about “2girls1cup”– not the video itself (there are other words I have besides “intrigue” to describe how I feel about it.)
What is so interesting about this 2girls1cup phenom is this whole culture of people recording their reactions to such a disgusting video and people forcing their friends and family members to watch other people eat poop. It’s become a community of shared shock and reaction that I feel a part of. That I am in on some sort of secret, some collective experience.
2girls1cup is a community of shared trauma. We laugh because we are all in on it. We are horrified together. We share and enjoy watching each others reactions because we know what it is they saw too. There are so many parallels to the 2girls1cup community and how people came together after 9/11 or after any shared trauma in our history.
My questions are:
* Is that where we are as a culture. That it takes two girls eating poop to get us to be horrified? Is what is happening in the world already not horrific or interesting enough to react to?
* Now that so many people have witnessed poop eating, what is the next “2girls1cup”– what’s the next even more horrific thing for us to really react to?
* What collective trauma in our national history will it take for Americans to be horrified? What will shock us in 10 years? What will shock us next week?
* Are we so bored that we turn to “2girls1cup”? Or is this part of our healing? To distract ourselves with something that seems like a roller coaster ride? Like celebrity gossip, do we get involved so much with it because it’s a roller coaster we can get off? Because it’s like someone else’s fiction– it’s low stakes to us?
What I think is interesting is: * How people are attempting to outdo each other in these reactions. The ones that get the most hits are when the viewer barfs, when the mother or father (people you typically would not want to share these videos with) are asked to watch. The reactions themselves have to be shocking for people to want to see them.
* The reactions are residual mirrors of the original which cannot be shown on Youtube. The reaction is only as good as the original. If the reaction isn’t good, then it perhaps reflects the original’s ability to create emotional impact.
* The reaction will never be as “good” or as “real” the second time around. The viewer has come to expect what they see. They have “rehearsed” the emotions. And slowly it becomes normal or anticipated. Much like what has happened in our world.
So here it goes. A series of videos Judy and I made tonight. We aren’t trying to “perform” but capture our real reactions of watching other stimulus, stories, and moments.
Yes, they are boring. Very boring. But unfortunately, we were already familiar with these stories already. No surprises.
Here we are reacting to the Writer’s Strike. I guess if the writers would eat some poop, we’d be more interesting to watch.
Here is a reaction video of us watching a news item on Dick Cheney’s heart condition. Surprisingly, Darth Cheney’s face alone isn’t enough to make us puke.
Here is a reaction video of us watching a amateur video taken of the twin towers going down on 9/11.
A reaction video of us watching archival footage from 2003 of the opening day of bombing (Shock and Awe) in Iraq as covered by CNN.