Block 704: June 28, 2015

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Happy Pride, everyone. The Great Work began and still needs to continue.

Date: June 28, 2015

Crane: 704

Days Spent on Project: 859

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Kirsten M.

Kirsten was the last student to work with us as an actor on The California Project. Quiet, I didn’t really figure out how she got involved… if she approached Vinnie or if he sought her out or someone asked her to join the ride. Whatever the reason, I am so glad she did.

Because of her, I rewrote one character completely and added two others that could be/would be infinitely more interesting and vital and visual.

From what I grew to understand, Kirsten was the oldest student in the group. She was, I think, 27 after having had a series of life events that kept her moving and stopping and restarting college. With those few additional years, I think she had more of a well to dip into and bring to the table.

Visually, I think she gave us more than we could have asked for. As an actor, I was impressed that we could “leave her alone” for long periods of time during rehearsal (and the two performances) and be confident that she would be doing things that were appropriate to the story, the character, the style of what we were doing, and the space itself. The last performance we gave, Vinnie made sure to bring a camera that took still pictures and videos. We made sure to document what Kirsten was doing.

If we end up figuring out a way to make The California Project happen again, we both agreed that Kirsten would be someone we’d be interested in working with again. Even though she finished her time with UCI last spring and I’m not sure what she’s doing or where she is these days…

Music I listened to while sewing: In the interest of staying current and trying to find new music to listen to, I dove into two Spotify playlists this morning… Top of The Charts and then The Top 100 Songs on Spotify. Neither really gave me much hope. I’m now listening to Madonna again. That seems more important.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: What to say today?

I go back and forth about my feelings towards Pride. On one hand, honestly, I wasn’t one to head to the Parade in New York, nor did I go out all weekend and celebrate much. I did a few times and, while it was fun and exciting, it was also a little overwhelming for me. (So many people!)

On the other hand, I realize how important it is to celebrate Pride and be present for Pride. Yes, it’s about having fun with friends and making new ones and so on, but it’s also about being seen. I’ve spoken about this before with other people, but I do think an incredibly integral part of Pride is showing the variety of the human experience.

Several of my friends on Facebook have filtered their profile pictures with rainbows. I, personally, think this is awesome; to log onto Facebook and see photo after photo colored with the ROYGBIV of the Pride Flag is incredibly moving. Strangely, several gay people (most of whom are in Portland) have stated on Facebook that they won’t do this… they don’t want to join the crowd mentality, they don’t feel it’s important to show solidarity, they don’t think it’s necessary. They also mention how straight people, choosing to do this, weaken what the Pride Flag stands for.

I think it’s amazing that straight people, anyone really, would want to show support. In the end, the flag demonstrates pride in that you’re here, in who you are, in your humanity, your dignity. It let’s everyone know you’re an ally. And I think that’s incredibly important.

(Just another reason why I don’t get the stand-offish-ness of some people in Portland; it’s certainly NOT crowd mentality for everyone here to get tattoos and grow beards and wear flannel and dye their hair blue or green… but celebrating Pride on Facebook is?)

Okay, I’ll get off my crude soapbox today. Happy Pride, everyone, regardless of your thoughts and beliefs. In the end, I think it’s good to remember how we all have dignity and deserve recognition. I think it’s good to remember that we’re all stumbling along, trying to do the best we can. I think it’s good to remember that no one wants to be alone or ostracized or forgotten. I think it’s good to remember that we’re all here together, whether we like it or not.

More Life.

Continue to do Good Work.

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