Underneath it all, I'm an actor. To the degree that we all write our own version of reality, all life is theater. We need each others' stories to learn, grow, heal, reveal, and win together at life. My underlying mission, when I am in costume, then, is to befriend audience members in a vital way, whether through comedy, tragedy, love, or anarchy - so we can share the journey well.
We all share the human body, with its universal emotions, structures, body expressions, and sense experiences. We each flavor our own version of love, wonder, change, etc. When I feel recognition and welcome between us, I feel in love and I feel alive. I've been taught that an audience that breathes with you is truly with you. I intend for my artwork to be "inspiring!"
As I travel the world, learning about how other societies live the arts, I act to bring the arts closer to the surface of our culture in the USA.
Street performers... can instantly change my mood 180 degrees. From a mime to a political puppeteer to an old-fashioned one-man-band to a young jazz combo - I immediately let them in and light right up. What the performers are doing is less important to me than the fact of their being there by surprise, bringing out artful expression in our day to day.
Street fairs... can make me sentimental. I once teared up on the side of Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine, watching a non-profit agency selling neighborhood pride T-shirts. I bought a shirt, of course, and wore it out. I like to see us outdoors and friendly, feasting, dancing, supporting kids on stage, and being a visible community together.
Performance Art... can open my eyes to magical, edgy expression. Derived from visual art, it claims human experience and the body as artistic mediums. While on the surface I have witnessed unusual events, such as a woman eating dry noodles out of a monkey costume, I feel through to the meaningful monologues delivered in sometimes outlandish forms.
Modern Art... can make me elemental. As a teen, I visited the Guggenheim with my Uncle Abraham, an abstract painter. I recall saying, "That looks like windshield wipers!" Now, as an adult, abstract artwork can wipe me clean.
Dance... can motivate me. I've learned that 80% of the communication in any interaction is non-verbal. I love watching dancers' agile bodies fulfill the outer aesthetic and inner expression of the dance 100%. You can't dance half way. I particularly enjoy acrobatic dance such as Pilobolus and Boston's Snappy Dance Theater.
Nature... can give me a reality check. My favorite earthly quality is symbiosis. No thing exists alone; every thing takes many "hands" - winds, sunrays, a family - to thrive. My grandfather lived with nature traditionally by hunting for food, fishing, and growing a vast garden. I'm watching as the expression of symbiosis in our world changes with modern life.