I haven’t felt this nervous in a long time. Maybe years. Maybe since I produced my play, GYNX, in 2017. The pressure was next-level… it was all at once exhilarating, excruciating and elevating.
Producing a play was, at the time, the peak of my artistry. There were so many firsts. It was my first time producing a full-length theatrical work, first time fundraising on IndieGoGo, first time hiring a production team, auditioning actors, contacting the press, entering into contracts with artists, managing a huge team of creatives…
…but most importantly, it was my first time consciously creating art.
I had manifested stuff before. Money, jobs, people. But art? Not until GYNX.
I spent 2 years working on GYNX. I’m not a mother, but I would liken it to gestating a baby made of visions and words. I could feel this art-baby developing inside me at every stage: from its conception as a single line of dialogue between characters, to its fetal stage as a table-reading… all the way to its dramatic birth as an (Off-)Off-Broadway premiere.
Sitting in the audience on opening night was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. Suddenly, the play I’d seen so vividly in my head for 2 years was actually happening right before my eyes, detail-for-detail exactly as I’d envisioned it!
“Thoughts create reality.” You’ve heard this before. Well, I live by it. Because that night, it was proven to me. I was given, literally and figuratively, a “peek behind the curtain” of Life. Into the machinations of how this strange realm operates. First it was a mere thought in my head, then it was a fully-formed event in the material world. Like magic. Not, not “like” magic — it was magic.
And right now, that magic is happening once again.
I’ve been gestating my debut album, Run Rabbit Run!, for 7 months as of writing this.
Right now, my sound engineer is mastering the final mixes. Which means this album could be born literally any minute now.
And I feel like throwing up.
(In a good way, of course! I’m just trying to keep with the pregnancy metaphor, lol.)
As successful as GYNX was (it won 2 awards!), it was only a showcase 3-night run, typical of new plays.
Releasing an EP that marks the beginning of my music career?
This isn’t a 3-show run — this is a lifelong commitment.
When this music-career baby is born, she’s born. Like, born-born. She’s mine to raise, and feed, and protect, and nurture, and discipline, and love, and teach, and learn from.
And I will be her mother until either she outgrows me (unimaginable) or I die (also unimaginable).
With all this pro-creation talk, I suppose now’s a good time to talk about my Manifesto. I wrote it when I was 18 and considered myself a “poet,” having given up on music back then.
It goes like this:
RULES FOR MAKING ART AND ALSO FOR MAKING LOVE
1. You must become vulnerable.
2. No rape allowed.
3. No masturbation allowed.
4. No condoms allowed.
5. By the end, a new consciousness must be conceived.
Feel free to interpret my Manifesto as you wish! Here’s my intention behind it, for the curious:
I have always understood art-making to be a deeply erotic experience, both in the sense that it’s a genuine turn-on for me (sometimes more-so than actual sex, if I’m being honest), and in the sense that art is an act of conception-creation, just as lovemaking can create new human beings.
And just as there are different degrees of consciousness in the conception of a human being (let’s be real: many pregnancies are accidental / mistakes / regrets, conceived in the darkness of unconscious behavior instead of in the light of consciousness), there are also degrees of consciousness in conceiving art.
You know this. I know this. We all know this. A lot of art out there is formulaic, mass-produced, self-aggrandizing brain-sludge non-sense (anti-sense, really!). And while such art may have valuable qualities (it can be catchy, provocative, sensational, etc.) deep down we all know that a deeper satisfaction is possible. We can feel the difference between inspired art and forced art. The word in-spire means “to compel to action; to breathe life into.” When art is made with inspiration, it, in turn, inspires you.
Now of course, metaphors have their limits, so let me clarify: I am not passing literal judgments on the quality of any human’s life based on how they were conceived. I gno in my Heart of Hearts that everyone has a purpose, a role to play, gifts to share, and the right to exist.
I am merely saying, that I personally would prefer to conceive art consciously, with the full understanding that art-making is a responsibility. I do not take my responsibility as an artist lightly.
Just like Sex and just like Love,
- What good would my Art be, if I kept it inside? (Stillbirth, death, barrenness.)
- What if I imposed it on you? (Violation, abuse.)
- Why bother making art if I’m only making it for my gratification? (Masturbatory, lonely, selfish, isolating.)
- If the goal is to create a new consciousness, there can’t be a barrier between us reducing possibility and pleasure. (Bye bye, “protection.”)
- If a new consciousness is not conceived after all this exposure to each other, at least we still had a wonderful time! But ideally we’d graduate in consciousness after experiencing the art-making/love-making.
Let it be known that I am resisting the temptation to apologize in advance for my art, to justify its existence, to over-explain the decisions I made on this record, the creative liberties I took, the “like-ability” of the finished product. Parents often fear being judged based on how their children came out, or so I hear. I am no exception.
But when I put my little ego aside, I see that I am fortunate to be able to make music to share with the world. I am fortunate to have anybody hearing to my voice in this volatile ocean of digital noise. I am fortunate to be fertile with ideas at this time when so many people struggle to conceive.
This EP is my baby, and she was conceived in (all my) Love, and she has the right to exist, and as her mother, I promise to love her for who she is and honor who she wants to be.
And here she comes.
I can’t wait for you to meet her.
Soon. So very soon.