Saturday, February 2, 2008

A mixed blessing --- too many talents?

Fruits and Vegetables No. 7
Pear Company
5"x 7"
Oil on Gilded Masonite
I have been very fortunate in my life to have survived by my wits and the work of my hands and mind. I have had many careers that supported my love of the arts. From a child-hood country music singer, to a dancer, actress, opera star, choreographer, director, waitress, dishwasher, chef, executive secretary, housekeeper, teacher, and now professional artist. I suppose it is ignoble to complain, but sometimes I feel like I have too many gifts and too many talents and that I really need to just concentrate on one thing and do it!
This week I have been pulled in a thousand different directions.
I am set designing, prop managing/ assistant directing/ song-writing and mentoring for a theatre project a former student of mine is doing. I know it is my own fault. I initially offered to help her out by doing the set design. But then I realized that she really needed some assistance in pulling this whole thing together. It is for such a good cause too.
I have a great gift for assimilating. After spending 40 years of my life in the theatre as dancer, actress, singer, choreographer and director there is very little about pulling together a show that I have not done or that I don't know... BUT the one thing I didn't know how to do was say "NO" OR just not say anything. So in this last month when I had planned to really focus on the huge amount of painting, card making, silk painting and marketing I needed to do before I tackle a couple of huge art and craft fairs... I've been talking though script writing, helping with blocking, writing song lyrics, making placards, painting fabric for draperies, and trying hard to keep her positive and happy and confident. The work she is doing IS great and I am so proud of her. But if I were just a little less multi-talented perhaps I would be not feeling the crunch now for the Money making shows I need to be ready for.
Another thing that has been taking so much of my time this month... I sang professionally for years up until 2 years ago. I performed regularly doing opera music theatre, recital, solo concerts and cabaret. I stopped a couple of years ago because there really is no money in the performing world unless you are one of the top ten in the country and I was tired of being so poor. Well, my best friend convinced me that I should do a cabaret show again for the Valentine's Weekend. Now when I was singing all the time having my chops up and having the band together and having all that music memorized was a piece of cake. At that time I could pull together a two act show the same day I got the call. But for the last two years. Ive done little except paint, and teach my voice students and all the teaching in the world is not the same as singing. Its a lot like going to the gym... those muscles have to be worked ( including my aging memory) on a regular basis. So not only am I working HARD to have a show ready, but I am petrified. I miss singing professionally terribly. I miss doing theatre shows, I miss the spot light ... although I don't admit that often. Even with being the recluse I am - that time of really telling a story and sharing the evening with strangers was good. For 40 years of my life music was ALL that I did every day. But ... right now those art and craft money making shows need a lot of time too. If only I were a little less capable, or limited more in my abilities.
The painting on my blog today is a still life. Still life to me is really a landscape of a different nature. If you read my blog often you know I am primarily a landscape painter. Landscapes are my passion in life. Suddenly I have a call for 14 still life paintings. And they take me time to do, matte and frame. THOSE at least I can use for the art and crafts shows later...
I am working on my second novel. I love words. More than language I love the act of communicating. It is not JUST telling a story to me. It is sharing my world with others. But lately the only time I can write is about 3 am.
On top of all this I have a relationship. My business partner is the love of my life. I waited my whole life to know this man. To learn to love him. To desire to be with him. Each moment I have to be away from him my soul hungers for him. My heart beats erratically until I get to be near him and feel at peace again. Some people may call this co-dependence... I think it is love. We live apart and I am faced with some huge choices to make. I really cannot afford to continue to live in the city I am in and I am about to lose my apartment. My partner, although he loves me very much, is not ready to make that living together move for a number of different and very legitimate reasons.
One option that I have been looking at is to find a live in position as a Bed and Breakfast manger. With my broad background I have all the skills one needs to manage that type of place. It has long been my dream to one day return to the rural towns I grew up in and own and run a B & B with the man of my dreams. Perhaps I will be pursuing it without him. But what-ever life leads me to, I will still need time in my day to paint, to garden, write, to be in nature, and to connect and care take. Maybe being intelligent and extremely multi-talented is not so bad after all. Perhaps I will be the one to figure out the way to add 2 extra hours to the day.
Until Next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love.