It’s your turn. You get to be the creator on this one.
Hello my darlings – Happy fall! It’s time to make things. Harvest the richness summer. And I’m not talking tomatoes. I’m talking about making art!
I’ve got a new show in the works. It’s called What Is Erotic? and it’s starring YOU.
What Is Erotic? is a cabaret style performance made up of all kinds of people answering that very question. There will be storytelling, song, poetry, dance – all kinds of artistic expression. It will premier in January (details below). This is your opportunity to get involved with Dance Naked Productions in a hands-on way. If you live in Portland, and you’d like to know more, keep reading…..
There is a reason I’m calling this show What Is Erotic? I love to start with a question. I gets my mind churning, seeking, casting about. And this question is one I genuinely I ask myself a lot. What do I find sexy? Does that come from ME, or is that what I’ve been culturally conditioned to believe? (Thong underwear, for example. Stiletto heels. Ugh). But what really turns ME on?
Sometimes, I have no idea. I hunger for more erotic engagement. I want to feel alive. I want to feel ignited. And so, I keep asking the question. 5 years ago, me and a group of women created a show called Inviting Desire. That show (and the ones that followed) were written and performed by professional actors. We asked this question of ourselves and wrote pieces based on our answers. The end result was a series of incredible shows the likes of which no one had really ever seen. Authentic answers to this very question by a cast of lovely, talented women.
But now, I’m asking you. I’d say “the general public” but you’re really not. If you’re reading this blog, chances are good you have some interest in this question. Or at least, it won’t offend you that I’m asking (and if I’m wrong, for the love of vaginas, please close the tab and return to cat videos on Youtube!)
What is erotic? To you? Take your time. Allow yourself to wonder.
In fact, here’s a little something that might help. I just stumbled across the concept that there are seven stages of creative midwifery (this apparently comes from Plato).
The 7 Stages of Creative Midwifery
- Ask the question. What are you curious about?
- Research. Investigate, explore, experience. Anything/everything counts! It’s YOUR process.
- STOP. When enough is enough, stop looking for more input. Rest.
- Gestate. Daydream. Dance. Do the Dishes. Distract yourself. (the technical term is divergent behavior, which sounds so much like deviant behavior! Kinda makes you wanna get out the flogger, don’t it?).
- Eureka! You know how you get those ideas, tiny flashes of insight, as you are falling asleep, driving, in the shower, looking in the fringe? PAY ATTENTION. Write ‘em down. Don’t dismiss, or hope they’ll come back to you. Honor their arrival by actually recording them. Text yourself. Tell Siri to take a note. Don’t put it off. Capture them!
- Take action. Try out your idea. Draw a picture, write a poem. Make something.
- Be Seen. Share your idea/art/product with the world. Put it out there.
And that’s how you birth art. Easy peasy!
So now we’ve got this question. What Is Erotic? I’m so curious as to what YOUR answer will be. Start by doing some research! Follow your curiosity. Try something new. Explore something deeper. Then stop and allow the experiences to stew inside yourself. Give yourself time to percolate. And as the answers pop up, start writing them down. Capture those moments, those snippets, those ideas. Create something. Doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe it’s a haiku. Maybe it’s an aria. Maybe it’s a letter to your lover.
Here’s the thing. You have creativity inside you. We all do. It’s so bizarre to me that anyone even questions this anymore. When it comes to eros, to sex, to love, to relationships – we ALL have insight. No matter what you do for a living, or what your medium is, you have something interesting and relevant to share. You don’t have to identify as “an artist.” You just have to start making stuff.
MAKING IT. Not just thinking about making it, but actually DOING it. And then SHARING it! With SOMEONE. Putting it out in the world. This is so important. Send a letter to your lover. Submit your poem to an erotica website. Post your fantasy on Fetlife (you can be anonymous!) Write a monologue or a song, and perform it! (More details about that option below!).
We have a cultural scarcity around sharing our sexual selves in an authentic way. Your voice, your vision, your ideas are needed. Please. Share them. Send them to me if you like! Then freakin’ congratulate yourself for adding to the richness of this world, for expanding your soul – for being a creator, not a consumer!
And if you’d like to take it a step further…. I have discovered that my mission in life is to help people access their erotic genius. To provide a forum, a safe space, a means to examine and explore where this genius lives inside you (a creative midwife, if you will).
That’s why I started teaching workshops, and it’s why I am producing this new show. What Is Erotic? is an opportunity for ANYONE to get involved in making art. I’m holding open auditions. There will be an orientation on November 16th here in Portland where you can come and ask questions, and where we will play some games to inspire ideas. This is free and open to everyone. Join the facebook event to be kept informed as to time and location.
Auditions are November 30th at 2pm. (Email me to sign up!). That gives you plenty of time for steps 1-6. I’m happy to provide Step 7.
And if you need help with steps 1-6, there are a few spaces left in my upcoming Sex & Creativity workshop Nov.1-3. This show is an opportunity to be seen, to make a statement, to create a metaphor, to share your ideas and thoughts. You can find out more about it here. There will be a workshop performance as part of the Fertile Ground Festival in Portland (January 27th & 28th) and a run on Valentine’s Day weekend. I hope you’ll be a part of it (and being in the audience counts!)
I can’t wait to hear your answers.