Top Eleven Sources of Inspiration in 2009 and Resolutions for 2010.
1. "Ghostwritten," by David Mitchell.
2009 was not a reading-intensive year for me, I think I made it through just over a dozen books (compared to the over 40 books I read in 2008). This one book, however, has stuck with me. I loved Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas," and while this one isn't the piece of epic literature that "Cloud Atlas" is, it's haunting (and we know I like being haunted). I've only read it once, and it needs a second reading at the very least (as does "Cloud Atlas"), and its post-apocalyptic nature isn't apparent until the very end of the book but that's part of why the ending has so much impact.
On the subject of post-apocalyptic fiction, I'm stuck on it lately.
2. Leslie Jarmon, aka Bluewave Ogee.
Leslie knew how to make Second Life real, fun, accessible and useful for educators and artists. She was so inspirational in getting me to move forward (albeit very slowly) with Eurydice; in 2010 I resolve to apply for funding for this project and get it off the ground.
3. Dionysus in 69, re-created by the Rude Mechanicals.
I wasn't going to see this show. As much as I love the use of audience involvement and blurring the lines between audience and performer in theatre, it terrifies me. D69 was actually as safe an experience as it could have been, and watching the audience become a part of the show, being a part of that energy and excitement, was intoxicating.
4. Battlestar Galactica.
I have now watched BSG from beginning to end four times. I still don't really have the ability to explain its beauty, even and especially the last episode, which I can't watch without sobbing. What an awesome and powerful and truthful work of art that show was.
5. Sleep No More, produced by American Repertory Theatre.
I didn't see it, though I thought about getting on a plane to go see it. I read about it, and the concept is fascinating. Now all I can think about is the desire to stage a play or opera in a building, the whole building, allowing the audience to experience it as they walk through the rooms where different "scenes" are happening, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes metaphorically, sometimes synchronously.
6. "Anathem," by Neal Stephenson.
There seems to be an interest in quantum mechanics in art right now. This book doesn't warn you in advance, but slowly begins pulling reality out from under you as its main character begins to experience all possible timelines branching off from one event near the end. Which brings me to...
7. Terrible Things process blog, Katie Pearl and Lisa D'Amour.
Another piece of theatre produced somewhere else that I didn't see! But reading their process, their ideas in this blog was amazing. I've been using another application for online collaboration which I will get to, but this blog was a great example of how to allow the collaborative process to affect the finished product.
8. Google Wave.
I love Google Wave. I'm in the process of using it to work on a piece with Misha and DVT that will begin in January as an installation and work its way to an opera piece in the spring. It's not something I can run on my home computer yet - right now this laptop is having difficulty with this blog post so I'm not trying anything fancier - but having this giant white board to write ideas on, post photos to, etc. has just been FUN and has made the collaborative process more fun.
9. Misha Penton and Divergence Vocal Theater.
I contacted Misha early in 2009 after checking out DVT's website, and meeting her might have been the best part of the year. I love our collaborative relationship and hope it continues to grow in 2010!
10. Josh Meyer, Matt Hislope, and Rubber Repertory.
Lowell Bartholomee passed a long my name to these two when they needed an LD for Mister Z Loves Company back in April. Mister Z turned out to be one of the most positive theatre experiences I've ever had, and I look forward to more collaborations and friendship with Josh and Matt in the future. And they remind me a lot of...
11. Cupola Bobber.
Saw their production Way Out West, The Sea Whispered To Me at 2009's Fusebox Festival. I think it's probably the best theatre I saw all year, something I watched with an honest to god sense of wonder. If you live in Chicago, please check these guys out.
New Year's Improvised Off-The-Cuff Resolutions...
I resolve to be a better person - more patient, less reactive, healthier both physically and mentally, more supportive of those I love in my life and less concerned with those I don't.
I resolve to blah blah blah financial responsibility (for all values of "blah blah blah" that equal "do smart things and don't do stupid things").
I resolve to respect myself as an artist and designer - I will continue to seek out positive and fulfilling collaborative relationships, pursue solo projects, and learn how to better handle the more frustrating aspects of what I do. I will work towards producing Eurydice and also applying for the NEA/TCG Grant for Young Designers in 2011, always with the intention of moving forward with my artistic career and pursuing work outside of Austin or outside the boundaries of what I'm used to working on.
Now, to get some work done on the two projects I have coming up within the next month - The Selkie Project: Gestation with Misha Penton and DVT, and A Brief Narrative of an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits with Salvage Vanguard Theatre.