True

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True

A while ago for the first time, I saw a list of most common characteristics of an Aspergers female child. I was surprised that most of those apply to me.

It is water under the bridge whether I ever receive a diagnosis, since I seem to have adjusted and adapted to this mostly ridiculous artifice of society notwithstanding my “retardation,” as my first grade teacher described it. But I have taken a few of those online tests and each time I’m more honest, I score further into Aspie range. So I decided to go to an adult Aspie support group.

They use an app for people to RSVP. So I RSVPed. I was not brought up in a barn. I probably would have LIKED to be brought up in my own personal barn; but my parents (doing the best they could and probably wisely), rationed my “alone time.” If they had not, I might not even be in this neighborhood.

So, of course, having the good manners of a person who was not brought up in a barn and whose desire to never come out of her room was not indulged by her parents, I was shocked to see a long, contentious, weeklong thread appearing in my mailbox between the moderator and one of the Aspies about why do people have to RSVP. It was a heated, angry conversation – one that I probably had with my parents when I was 12 or 13.

I will not be attending. But maybe I will look into getting diagnosed once I’m on Medicare, since I did not un-RSVP myself.

Sylvia Toy St. Louis: C.V., 2014

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Sylvia Toy St. Louis: C.V., 2014

Actor, Video Artist & Blogger/Vlogger, San Francisco Bay Area.

I am an actor trained as a visual artist. I create video art/microcinema that crosses genre into nonlinear narrative. My movies are “solo productions” for the most part, composed primarily of scenes improvised directly on camera. My specialty as an actor is performing multiple characters.

And the bird has the last word

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Thanks to a Face book thread, I had interesting subject matter for my video project today. Wednesday seems to be the once a week day that I have assigned myself to take my camera and keep up my documentary shooting chops. Please listen with headphones.

This video was shot at Redwood Park, Sue Biermann Park and the deliciously ambient, cavernous Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, California.

Dear SEO Pros

Please stop trying to sell me your services to promote this blog. I have been doing publicity for so long that I remember having to hand deliver press releases for theater productions because some publications would not accept faxes or email. I do not believe that you can get me word of mouth.

It is not rocket science that there is more than one Sylvia Toy trying to get exposure on the Web. The reason the first page in a Google search of “Sylvia Toy” only pulls up references to me and my content is because a few years ago, I devoted an hour and a half every day for about six weeks creating solid content, connecting my Facebook, Vimeo and LinkedIn so that they would automatically tweet and tumble, and building up my YouTube page with informative, interesting descriptions of every single one of my videos, as well as putting them into meaningful playlists. In about 6 or 8 months, I was a YouTube partner.

I am a professional artist and previously, I have been a professional artist with solid track records in visual art and also in theater. I am not a professional blogger. People who watch my videos do not care what I write, for the most part. A few artists find my articles about acting, etc., interesting. That’s about it.

This blog is never going to attract the kind of traffic that my videos do. I am not going to get into any business relationship to make something happen that cannot happen. I am almost 63 years old. I have counted the take at the door many a night after a show in a theater. I have haggled with patrons over the price of my art. And I can very ably read the stats on my Vimeo and YouTube pages. This blog is never going to match those stats.

Thanks for your attention.

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What I learned in (spite of) college

Sylvia Toy -The Blue Lady DAWN-Prologue 3

Elizabeth, The Blue Lady

I have been taking care of my sick husband and my sick self for over a week – first his version of the virus and then mine 5 days later. During the days that it has been all over by the time I took a bath, I have been working on my web presence – that includes my LinkedIn page, from which I think I finally deleted any trace of “paralegal.” I even made a pdf of theater notices for 5 or six of my plays and uploaded it.

Sylvia Toy -The Blue Lady ANCESTOR MONOLOGUE 3 Ⓒ2013 2

Blue, The Blue Lady

I’ve been working on it ever since the beginning of March or so, when the improve-your-profile feature asked me what my activities at the University of Nebraska. Even though I was an art major, I was involved in theater most of the endless years that I was plugging my nose to get that piece of paper. Except for the history, French and Spanish I took, all I learned that turned out to be useful for me was theater – oh, and hanging out in the Anthro department half my time as an undergraduate on campus, even though I only took one Anthro class (freshman year).

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Lucy, The First Human

So never having filled out my “activities” before, I was surprised how substantial my theater experience in college was – acting, makeup, costume, directing, producing. I am so damn pragmatic and pessimistic about the inevitable dayjob, that it never occurred to me that in my last career, I would continually be falling back on what I learned “on the student job” when I was 22. Not only that, because I worked so hard to keep my French and Spanish, it has benefitted me in networking with other video and moving picture artists. And my French and Spanish are still good enough that I am able to also read Italian a little better every day.

Sylvia Toy as The Doctor in TYFTB

The Psychiatrist, TYFTB (thank you from the bottom)

All photo, costume & makeup credits: Sylvia Toy

What should I be doing?

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Today, down for the count due to a virus, I spent this morning doing SEO and stats analysis. This afternoon, I am wondering whether I should have found some way to make my eBook, Writing While Manic, a video instead of a book. I’m not nearly the most viral artist on the Web and I never expected to be, but clearly, my writer is lagging way behind my moving picture artist.

 

Book - Writing While Manic: Amazon Best Sellers Rank, #1,031,006 Paid in Kindle Store, amazon.com/dp/B00ERVHZME
Blog – Do You Want to Buy My Brain: 5,941 pageviews (mostly spam) (2008-2013)

Vlog - My Favorite Walls Are in San Francisco: 7,169 pageviews (2011-2013)
Vlog - Sylvia Toy on Vimeo: 288,392 loads/25,585 plays (2010-now)
Vlog – Sylvia Toy on YouTube: 7,810 plays (2012-now)

Yesterday, I received a gift. A woman joined Vimeo yesterday and liked this video.

The only activity on her page is that “like,” so I cannot tell you how honored I feel. This morning, I was on an artists’ group page on LinkedIn, reading responses to the question, “This question repeatedly shows up in art groups on LinkedIn: ‘What is your definition of art?’” I stay out of the fray because it’s amazing what a brawl artists often get into on LinkedIn.

I “liked” this response: ‘I would define art as: Works (music, visual, performance) that stir the mind and the spirit to consider the tangible and intangibles of life from another’s perspective.’

Then I saw this one – “[A]rt is the only way out of suffocation” – and it occurred to me that misunderstandings probably are one of the reasons brawls begin. The former is an outer look on the question and the latter is an inner perspective.

I think both are valid, but I get my satisfaction from stirring the mind and spirit of others. And that’s what I should be doing.