I was expecting a rejection today, but it was not quite. You can make a crazy movie in your living room about being bipolar with your psychoses in outer space; and get an honorable mention in a cool film festival in LaLaLand!
VOICE, A PERFORMANCE ART MOVIE was 3-year long project. Pre-production began the summer of 2013 after my homeless neighbor George’s middle of the night arguments with his voice named “Robert” woke me up every night for weeks. I cannot get back to sleep in the summer because summer is bipolar season for me and I go manic.
I have decided to put my movie project “Killer Jane” on hold. In order to make “Jane,” I would have to raise cash through a campaign and or grantwriting, hire actors and, probably, shoot out of town.
Even though I have been ambitious and pro-hyper-active all my adult life, I think no matter how much fun production was (and it would be if I got to work with two of the actors whom I’ve already talked to), no matter how good it looked, no matter how much recognition it got, it would make me miserable and unhealthy; and it would probably take me at least a year to recover.
I was so bipolar for so long this year (about 10 weeks from May 24th-August 10th) that I had to minimalize my life. I pared down my projects, stayed indoors most days, and even stayed in bed until noon a few times just as I would if I had a cold.
No medication has ever worked for me for very long. However, I have been extremely lucky in having talented therapists who recognized I am able to self-modify, and who worked with me on that. Self-modification and stress management. That usually keeps me from getting way too crazy. I believe that even if you are hard to medicate, if you have a strong constitution to begin with, can self-discipline, are glass-half-full – you’re just going to fare better.
Minimalizing my life seems to have worked; and in spite of waking up crazy every day, I did not have horrible stress like I usually do when I’m sick for almost 3 months. I am so happy right now in spite of being limited. I can’t help but wonder how much misery my ambition has caused me and people around me because I am sometimes sick from February into September. This morning it occurred to me that I should continue this daily vigilance, just like (if medication worked for me) I would keep taking my medication!!!
I will happily and solitarily (except for shoots with my husband) continue to greenscreen mythological performance art, which is my ongoing passion. We will see what happens.
Last week one of my videos was used in a mashup that I was not consulted about by the person who made the mashup. I was upset about not being consulted. And, well, I’m not shy about expressing my opinions.
I write and make art about things that people used to get burned at the stake as witches over. I have performed hourlong, autobiographical solo shows about mental illness. More than once after my show I stood at the theater door, for 2 hours, twice as long as the show was, while, one by one, people from the audience queued up to speak to me privately about things people like themselves or a loved one (and I) are supposed to feel stigmatized and ashamed about.
That secrecy still makes me sad, which is why I blog as a mentally ill peer and make most of my social media posts public. I have nothing to hide and people who are interested in what I’m saying shouldn’t feel obligated to be open about and or “friend” me.
Theater is collaborative. I am grateful for my 20 years in it. But I am a solo artist now with probably not much more than 20 years left. I intend to spend my last years doing my own thing my own way, answering to noone. That’s the way it is.