Block 158: July 25, 2013



Thursday! It’s almost Friday!

So, my sewing machine kinda kicked the bucket this morning. This now begs the question… do I find someone to repair it or buy a new one? I found a good Singer on Amazon that was on sale for just over $100. Would it cost more than that to completely repair a machine?

Date: July 25, 2013

Crane: 158

Days Spent on Project: 158

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Erin D.

Erin was a friend who really solidified during that last year at Kenyon. We had always known each other but, somehow with the merging schedules or the shared history in the drama department or the time away studying abroad or what-have-you we suddenly found ourselves in the same close group of friends.

My main group of friends, the people I went to hang out with, consisted of Katie, Ilona, Erika, Angie, and Erin. We were all quite a group.

Erin was also a Drama and English major. She asked me to design the costumes for her senior thesis. I forget the play, but I remember we dug out what she and her one acting partner would wear one evening in the costume shop. It’s crazy to believe we could do shows without much of a budget, without any resources, and things always turned out okay. No one went crazy over the reality of the look or the design or the skill in its execution or its theatricality. We were still at a point, or at least I was, where theater design was about making do with what you have and then putting on the show.

Erin and I also spent a great deal of time studying for our the Senior Theater Exam, a test that each major had to complete over the course of two days. Everyone spent the entire final semester cramming for that test, trying to remember any little thing that had happened over the course of All Theater History, so we could write about them for hours. It seemed epic at the time, now it seems like common knowledge.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today I’m listening to the album Hadestown by Anais Mitchell. It’s a contemporary folk opera about the Greek myth of Orpheus and Euridice. I’m trying to wrap my head around how to modernize Greek myth, without making it “concept-y” for a project.

I should also read the play Polaroid Stories, on that note.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Continuing on that thought…

Do we think there are any original ideas anymore? I’m working with a group who’s trying to develop a play that may involve Greek mythology at this point. It also might be a dance piece. It may also be a murder-mystery.

And it’s all fun right now. We’re still at a point where we throw ideas around, not sure what will eventually stick or stay or lead to anything.

But, as we do this, I’m becoming so very aware how much your life informs your creative work. It’s not only a question of “is this completely original if artists like Anais Mitchell have written a folk opera about the myth or Gluck wrote an 18th Century Opera about the same subject or Naomi Iizuka wrote a play about characters from Greek myths and made them about a collection of modern, urban figures… drug dealers and prostitutes and skinheads and runaways and homeless teens…”

It’s a question of how original is MY art if I’m drawing on things I’ve experienced or seen or conversations I’ve had or people I’ve met or a project I helped style or a show that I watched  and so on?

I suppose Art is not created in a vacuum.

Maybe it’s not supposed to be about the 100% originality of a piece, the “this Work has never existed and came full-formed and untouched” from the Artist’s own mind.

Maybe it’s about the process of taking the myriad ingredients and stimulants and inspirations and mundanities that we encounter in our everyday lives and then funneling them into a new piece. Maybe it’s about the process of restructuring the world around us into a new form. Maybe it really is about remembering an old friend and a dress you saw in a vintage photograph and a piece of a song you heard at a concert and then a fragment of a story a friend told you about their childhood.

Maybe it’s a process of collecting and repurposing.

Well, it’s an exciting conversation to be having anyway.

And, if I can’t get my sewing machine to work tomorrow and have to take a few days off from this project, so be it. I’m nervous about it, but we’ll figure a way to keep going!

Keep swimming. Just like we’ve been doing.


2 thoughts on “Block 158: July 25, 2013

  1. Buy another… microwave died… repair quote cost way more than a new one. Just have to wait for it. So now rediscovering pots, pans and stove. And what are those?

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