I’m the artist that doesn’t do art

I love pop culture and the artists and creators of our time. Even cosplayers! I always wanted to be a performer. Because then I could pretend to be someone else.

When Robin Williams died, he was the only famous person whose death I mourned. I cried when he died. He was legendary. He was funny and made everyone laugh at how “crazy” he came across, able to just glide in and out of these different characters with such fluid ease. He brought such joy and light to people’s lives through his humour, and it was through establishing his comedic genius he was able to then amaze us all with his dramatic depictions of flawed, wounded and otherwise disturbing portrayals that we still… we felt bad for the bad guy in One Hour Photo. He made visible the profound pain and eventual “psychotic break” that can occur from experiencing such loneliness and vulnerability.

The pain I still feel for this fucking celebrity stranger is still tight and tender in my heart right now. My chest feels tight but I have to keep going. I have to continue the process in order to let it go… So, how I felt about his death brings up the same pain and feelings that I experience when I think about the hole left behind following the death of my own father. My dad.

I wasn’t really interested in being famous on tv or movies. I desired the STAGE. Because from the reactions of the immediate audience I could gauge my performance. Was I authentic? Did I touch people’s hearts or minds with “whatever I did while up on stage”?

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If I wear sunglasses, you can’t tell I’m dead inside.

I was involved in a lot of drama performances and shit when I was at school and when I used to be part of a church. It was finding worth in fellowship, belonging in company. I was talented at acting and singing so of course I “got a part” or whatever. I also remember being devastated and bitter when I was relegated to just the chorus. So I bitched about it, quit the chorus – but instead of being a full blown diva and storming off, I just took pleasure in being part of the back stage and production crew. Make up, props, curtains, morale.

I’ve been posting pictures of Jim Carrey in this series of posts because his hilarious, irreverent antics as Ace Ventura was one of my favourite movies growing up. My high school friends and I would often quote movies and Ace Ventura was one of those damn awesome films. And come to think of it, a lot of my behavioural mannerisms can be seen in Jim Carrey’s films and Robin Williams’ stand-up. I’m theatrical in my gestures and voice, because I think it’s fun. I like to be silly because it makes me smile, and I laugh at myself.

I’d do a little dance to a song stuck-in-my-head while standing around to alleviate the boredom, maybe someone might smile. Walking around the shops one time, I just sang a little “la la la la la la” (again, just for fun) and Jain gave me a quick jab and scolded me for being such a bitch. “What?!” I exclaimed. Apparently a lady wearing a niqab was walking past us just at that precise moment and shot me a death glare for being racist.

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Yippie-ki-yay mother fucker

I know I wasn’t because I had no idea she was there, and I was singing “la la la la”, not making any proclamations about any god or their supposed will. And I would posit it’s also pretty presumptuous to connect the two via Xena’s war cry when she was supposed to be Greek. That says more about the judgments of other people than me.

I don’t take myself too seriously because the world is serious and depressing enough without me contributing to it.

I guess that’s why so many of them, artists I mean, succumb to drugs and shit. Anything to numb out the senses. To blur the divide within themselves that they constantly have to fill. And when they are sated, the despair within themselves when they are unable to maintain the expectation that comes with the label of ARTIST. Would an artist that can not create art still be regarded an artist? Do they then deserve to maintain that exalted eponym?

I wish I was an artist but I’m not. I don’t create anything. I don’t act, I sing to myself, I don’t dance. All I do is write. “Ah! But writers and poets are artists too!” you might exclaim. And I would agree with you, they are. But what makes me different? There is nothing creative about what I write. It is logical and methodical deconstruction of another person’s art. I do this not out of spite, although I guess that maybe deep down I do… I do this in search of that spark. That missing piece of the puzzle that prevents me from reaching godhood…

I’m not from the world of the artists. But neither do I feel like I belong here. I’m relegated to that liminal space in between, neither here nor there but yet I am somewhere.

I get to be the artist-scientist. I’m Dr Frankenstein. I tear apart the earth in search of worms, scour the textbooks for the mysteries of alchemy. I will create my monster and I will bring it to life one day, roaring in triumph at replicating the magic of life. Only to then recoil in horror from the mangled visage of my creation.

How do I begin to create my great work when I feel immense guilt and shame at the mess of my process… Despair overwhelms me if I indeed was successful in mimicking the creation of god, my creation would be the perfect disgusting reflection of me.