Christmas is upon us. You been pimpin and posing and posturing and primping and pleasing. Gratifying the crowds, suits on a rack, bleached lines, handbag pursed to kiss. Underpaid waiters waiting on you for their next break, security guards stamp their feet, women perambulate like broken birds, talons too high from the ground. Then gravity weighs in and you come crashing back to earth, a sea side swagger and then throbbing blackness. The only evidence of the nights enterprise is a small pile of sawdust in the Argos shopfront corner. The employee/client/producer/friend wants a certain something and they’ve hired you to produce the goods. Pressure is on. Sell it bitches. Even if it hurts.
For the December month of 2016 I participated in A Corporate Event (a gathering of employees, partners, clients and/or prospective clients) that involved me roaming through many themed rooms yoked to a projectionist. My body was the location of a historical re-enactment of ‘the gaze.’ I wore a white lycra body suit and the clients opened their mouths agog, puffed up their chests and smiled knowingly at each other. Planet Earth meet London 2016 – a performance act, an invitation to look. Women who looked, said things like: Wow that’s cool, she looks naked, I could never, it’s really beautiful. Men who looked said things like: Can you Samba?, I’d like to dance with you later, I’d put her in my bedroom, I want his job, it’s either art or employment… Don’t be like that mate. Can’t it be both? It is art, and as an artist I am pushing myself, testing out my physical boundaries, physically responding to spaces and using the gig as a testing ground to say fuck you to habitual patterns. What if I move like this, or this, or this? But it is employment too and I am pimpn myself and taking a cut. The pimp and the prostitute bound by the dilemma between money and art and ultimately taking a back seat- participating in the hungry exchange, the curve of my hip and curl of their lips.
I was at a reading last week for a little company who curates an evening where they invite professional playwrights to submit a script, then the actors rehearse and perform them to a room full of strangers. The play I was cast in was a comedy and it walked the edge. You know that little Satre edge when some people find the material offensive and some not at all. It’s an edge that comedy does tread and it is anyones prerogative to decide what it is. One of the actors after the initial cold read questioned the playwright and when not satisfied with the answer – left. He was so brilliantly clear in his decision, and his clarity forced me take another look. It’s not always this clear, it would be a hell of a lot easier if it was. Sometimes it’s so damn muddy- but right now I’m not down with the dirt and I want things crystal clear. I’ve decided if it is MUDDY and the cut is not worth the edge and the pimp is all pounce and no party then I need to go back to the contract and reread the ‘GET OUT’ clause.