Archives for posts with tag: art business

At the end of September, I went to Zagreb, Croatia for a week.  I was dancing naked in a show. And then I went to Paris for a week. I walked around for hours every day, ordered a lot of “veh” and muttered “Je suis desolee. Je ne parle pas Francais. Parlez vous Anglais?” to people who chose to talk to me. I did it so they would like me for my American modesty. OR. If they weren’t sold on that look, then maybe the classic “a girl who is sorry.”  I felt embarrassed to love France so much and to be so dumb in the mouth.

I’ve been home for a week and a half.

The hardest thing and the only thing I am obligated to do right now is work on my own musical web series project. Which is why I’ve been trying to find lots of other things to do. Like, I enrolled in a French class.

Also, I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed and found an article somebody had posted: “How Capitalism Can Save Art” by Camille Paglia.  One of Paglia’s claims is that young artists don’t have any vocational skills. They don’t actually know how to do anything with their hands that doesn’t involve a computer. And that this creates a really sterile liberal-upper-middle-class-studio-art BFA/MFA alienation from the rest of the world. Paglia’s very “THE SIXTIES MEANT SOMETHING REAL.” And I felt very YEAH about it.  I immediately google searched “trade school NYC.” I wanted to find something along the lines of fixing a car or making a tiny stool out of wood—a class I forfeited in middle school to take keyboarding. So the first thing that came up in my google search, of course, was a conceptual trade school, a school that operates on a barter system, being run out of a gallery at the New School.

Forgot about the stool. I took a two day course called “Digital Cinemantics: Movie Making in the 21st Century” taught by a guy who renamed himself Noemi Charlotte Thieves after moving out of his Mom’s house. He had a Muslim name, and  as a thirteen year old in post-911 Florida, he got detained at the airport for hours every time he tried to fly anywhere since.  His old name included parts of four of the suicide bomber’s names. His first name is now the same as my Grandma’s. She died when I was really little so it felt pretty special to be at the table with another Naomi as a big girl. In exchange for his grandmotherly 21st century digital filmmaking knowledge, I brought potato chips with ridges to his first class, and for the 2nd day of the course, I will be making him dinner.

I also took an i-ching class. I brought Polish cookies and  learned how to read people’s fortunes with nickels using the oldest spiritual book people still care about.  I’ve been reading some of my fortunes too.

Yesterday, I held my nickels between my palms and asked the i-ching, “What can I expect if I choose to produce the musical webseries, The Dardy Family Home Movies, myself?” I tossed them six times. And this is what she told me.

Hexagram 7: The Army 

or Organized Discipline.

If you hold or aspire to a position of leadership, remember that the true leader captures the hearts of the people, and articulates a clear, simple vision that binds them together….  Only when the state is economically prosperous can the army be strong… Only when the army is disciplined can the state be protected from disruptive outside forces.

Modesty and generosity at the center can be a magnetic force that keeps the relationships intact.

Solidarity among all elements is essential for success at this time.

Steven is letting me borrow his snare drum.

Tomorrow I am taking a software coding class and a cyanotype photograms glass.

Then I am obligated to rally the troops. Rat a tat tat.

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Yesterday, we were girdled secretaries with glossy toes.  Gia was back and she bounced, and we squealed to see her.  We all wanted to take off our perfect costumes because the heat on the top floor of the castle is thick and sleepy and damp in mid-July.  Our hair bubbled up frothy on our heads, full of pins and bows.  Tonight there will be cupcakes and milk onstage.  Monday was jockstraps and leather somewhere off Castro Street.  We too are image makers and the impulse is deep and old and persistent.  Is this about money?  And yet it’s also an act of love.  But not the way they always taught: “love-making,” a phrase that never made sense to me.  This is not how love is made.  It’s concrete and viscera, the wet and hard and dirt and rope.  This work smells like braking trains and oranges and that’s a different kind of love.

“You’re doing a public service,” someone tells me, but it isn’t true.  As the power dynamics change, it only becomes more mine.

Ask me what I want on any given day and I can not tell you.  “Sleep,” I’ll say, or “popcorn.”  Nothing changes that, no matter what ceremonies, no matter what books and planes.  I want: 500 words a day, all pink everything, whiskey, beauty, complex problems to unravel.  I want wet and glitter and love.  But none of that illuminates a path.

It’s a new project now, being an ageless age and evil in photographs and the painful sorting of poems in Oakland with Joseph.  How can I be a maker?  500 words a day, minimum.

“I won’t put my makeup on for less than 400 dollars,” I once heard a woman say.

For 3000 dollars, my teeth get straighter.  A luxury.  There are so many ways to make sense of the world through math.  But which one is the right one?

The dog as usual sleeps about it and his eyelids move rapidly, his face squashed against my leg.  There are so many of us trying to make.   In the morning before makeup I think about journalists, consume so much of the work of journalists both clumsy and skilled and I think of what’s been written about me and by me and which of the words can teach me something.  What can I do? That is not rhetorical.

Outside of our house there are ginko trees, olive trees, eucalyptus.  All of the trees are green and silver like money.

I’ve been living in a luxury hotel for the last 40 days and 40 nights. There are routines here.

I am in a play. The setting of the play is a hotel room. Our production is site-specific. I live in the hotel room where we perform the play twice a night, five nights a week. So half of my home is covered in army netting, bamboo, tropical plants, a crushed velvet tiger painting and houses 28 chairs for audience members. It’s lush. There are fruit flies. The sheets have big flowers on them. Pink, Red.  I watched How to Marry A Millionaire here on Netflix Instant and Marilyn Monroe kept calling things Creamy.

Yesterday I was sick with a gross cold. I was in the other half of the suite. It is bleach white and charcoal. Plates on the wall. Faders on the light switches. The deepest bath tub in America. I spent 32 hours in a king size bed with a pile of dirty kleenexes, a casio keyboard that me and my sister and brother got for christmas one year, a sack of clementines, and some really slow wifi energy charges inside of my laptop computer.

I heard a maid come in. I heard her walk through where the audience sits, past the bed where I pretend to almost have sex in front of an audience eighty times a night Wednesday thru Sunday, and then I saw her peek her head around the corner to where I was lying with my kleenexes.  I muted the episode of Smash I was watching on Hulu. She wanted to know if she could clean the room. I didn’t know. Could she? Is it her job or my job to clean this up? If I’m sick, isn’t it my mom’s job? Could I go somewhere in my pajamas? Or could I just lay in the bed while she changed the sheets? Am I a quadriplegic?

We both had these “honor thy mother and father” looks on our faces like we were about to get the shit kicked out of us if we did the wrong thing.

“I’m sick,” I said. And laughed a tiny bit to let her know that being sick is…funny?

When should she come back to clean, she wanted to know.  In my congested nasal passages, the answer was Never, but I didn’t want to get her in trouble with mom and dad. I made up a time. 5pm. But I knew how Groundhog’s Day that would be. She’d come in at 5pm and walk past the chairs, the ferocious tiger painting. She’d turn the corner and see me still trying to stream Smash on Hulu at 240 pixels per second, but this time it would be obvious that I had eaten some microwave oatmeal.

So I backpedaled on the 5pm thing. And we hovered in anxious silence. Sad giggles. Neither of us spoke the other’s language.   I wanted to be honest with her. (And with everybody I would ever meet.) And once I remembered that, I knew what to say. I pointed to the phone.  “Oh, I’ll just call down when I’m ready?”

Our faces changed. It was like we were giving each other secret back rubs in another dimension.

“You just call them.”

Now we knew the things to say. We said them.

She walked back through the Tennessee Williams set and was gone.

Until the next day at around the same time.

When I was little,  my Aunt Pat gave me a a teddy bear dressed in a nurse’s uniform.  I looked at it and saw some kind of future.  I don’t mean that I explicitly thought I would become a teddy bear nurse or even a nurse, but that for some reason, i felt like a stuffed animal in an employer uniform was a weird hint. Aunt Pat was the only woman in my family who had a job.  My mom, Aunt Chris, and Aunt Ruth were all homemakers.  Aunt Jo was a nun, and that just felt like she was a different gender than the rest of the world, and that that was a job, and that  job meant having short grey hair, singing way louder than other people at church, and joyously playing Kings In The Corner with me and Granddad on Thanksgiving.

When you’re a kid, people want to know what you want to be when you grow up.  Given my options, I obviously wanted to be a nun.

(I think it’s important to note that a subletter in my apartment who does a lot of coke is doing what sounds like filing his nails really really fast in the room next door to mine.)

I’m not a nun. And I’m grown up.  I’m an artist who accidentally took the vow of poverty.

The difference between taking the vow of poverty as a clergy member and accidentally taking the vow of poverty as an artist, is that, as a clergy member, you get to make up a meager budget that covers all of your basic needs.  Rome pays for it.  Nothing extravagant.  Shelter. Medical. Food. Utilities. Car. Gas. Stuff like that.  You work related to what you specialized in, medical, administrative, etc. in the context of your spiritual practice.

Rome doesn’t pay for my art.

But here I am dressed as an elderly teddy bear. Reading a monologue at an art party. a few years ago.

Let me tell you how it is to be twenty-nine (minus seven).

It’s like having the stomach flu for five days straight and eating nothing but crackers and diet sprite, still hating David Foster Wallace, making phone calls from the gathered wrinkled sheet nest, not bothering to re-charge electronics, a productive day is re-polishing nails.

I am still an expert procrastinator, which is always what you read on the internet because this is where people go to procrastinate.

I owe stories all over the place, and can not bring myself to finish chapters by writers named in triplicate.

Also, twenty-nine means still forgetting to pay my rent on time.

Means still seeing my face in newly published photographs and trying to remember exactly where that was taken and exactly who was being blown.

Now that I’m twenty-nine, I’m still no good at asking for help with things like obtaining diet sprite for my ill belly, and I still want very badly to see the butterfly exhibit.

I’m thrilled to screaming by concrete slides ridden down on torn hunks of corrugated box.

I still, even now, want my mother to notice.

I want cake with buttercream and shoes with buckles.

I want your face in my hands.

I want three-flavor ice cream.

I want to learn how to do this.

If you ask me whether taking the Q to the J train on a Thursday in mid-afternoon in March shows you just exactly what New York wants from you I’ll tell you yes.

And if you ask me whether a monthly blood test leaves small bruises I will answer yes to that also.

I will tell you that the condition of having badly to piss in an airport or a nightclub or a highway diner or a school administrative building and not pissing from fear of harassment fills me with worry.

I will tell you that synthetic hormones still make my hate list even while I appreciate their uses.

I will tell you that I am comforted by both Josephine Bear and Hello Kitty and will continue, despite your belief that they harbor disease.

I will tell you : never again will I attempt to forge a relationship in a bar.

Things I have already given up include: black lipstick, the fear of eating, every color but blonde, the love of poverty, powdered milk, the fear of dancing in front of you.

Even if I do it badly.

Even if, at twenty-nine the only dance of which I’m confident is lap.

Things I will give up include: not calling, ill-fitting shoes, not bothering to look.

I will give up trying to keep the polish off my cuticles.

I will give up not telling my mother about my life when what I really want is to TALK to her.

I will give up being disappointed when she is quiet on the other end of the line with the television or her cooking sounds or the sound of nothing in the background.

I’ll send the pictures when I say I’m going to send the pictures.

What I won’t give up is: diet soda, reading in bad light, high heels, trying.

What I’ve learned is: how to be slow, lemon relish, the color of your eyes, I’m sorry, costuming, how to make a pirate sandwich.

What I want now, this year: an end to nausea, lettuce that isn’t cellophaned, your hands on me, things made waterproof – both mascara and  boots, a bright path home.

it is mine, and now it can be yours.  the first reading of my newest musical PLUS special San Francisco guests. Read on for details.

thursday, feb 25 @8pm

dixon place

161 chrystie

nyc

*****
THE DARDY FAMILY HOME MOVIES BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM
by erin markey

DIRECTED BY:
Ben Rimalower

STARRING:
Cole Escola (LOGO)
Bridget Everett (Joe’s Pub)
Elizabeth Hoyt (Under the Radar)
Joseph Keckler (New Museum)
Erin Markey (Hell)
Jeffery Self (LOGO)

The Dardy kids are leaving the nest, but they’ve forgotten their entire childhoods on VHS. Now mom, Molly Dardy, has to find a place for it all. Too bad everywhere is a good place. A dark musical comedy based in a small industrial city in dark musical Michigan: Saginaw.

*********
HOW ARE US?
tara jepsen and beth lisick

Turning an insolent gaze at the petty undertakings of femalia and regarding the chemical stink that is hormones and pleasure by Beth & Tara.

Tara Jepsen and Beth Lisick
have been lady comediennes together since 1999. They have performed at endless events, festivals and fundraisers, including Billionaires for Bush, NYC’s Dixon Place, Homo-a-Gogo, and in a vegan’s living room in Santa Barbara. Their award-winning short film Diving for Pearls was taken down from You Tube for an unstated offense, probably nudity or the portrayal of women as ugly. It is now here: http://blip.tv/file/2428930

Last night I took a trip to Fedex Kinko’s.  Guess who isn’t a good hostess?

It’s Fedex Kinko’s.

I wouldn’t recommend accepting her invitations to dinner parties.  Sometimes you think it would be thoughtful to bring a little something to share with Fedex—a Microsoft Word document or maybe a headshot. Just something to munch on before dinner. And so you spend a few somewhat feverish hours preparing it, because dinner is at 8 and if you’re bringing pre-dinner documents, you better believe that the other guests are expecting you early. They need your formatted snacks to soak up those cocktails.  Otherwise the night will blow it’s wad too early. And whose fault will that be?  probably yours. And that’s not something you want to carry around for the rest of your life.

But don’t terrorize yourself.

Because Fedex Kinko’s doesn’t even answer her door. She stands you up at her own house. You have a backpack full of the last several hours of your life and there’s an empty plate of glass between you and the guests inside having the time of their lives, wearing matching polo shirts, using big machines that wink and light up when touched.  But nobody will answer the door for you. Nobody will let you in.

SO YOU MISS THE GRANT DEADLINE.