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A Manifesto, of Sorts.

 

To begin a journey, I have to know where I’m coming from. Otherwise, how will I know when I’ve done something worth noting?

Three years ago, I was given an assignment to create an artistic manifesto. What did I see the future of art to be? What did I want to bring to art, to the world? Three years ago, I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what it meant to be a living, breathing, contributing artist – let alone an “adult” – in this world; and I most certainly didn’t know what my artistic manifesto was. So, the assignment resulted in me babbling on about how technology and art were going to collide and bring forth a new nation of art that was going to balance and do things…. and some cool sculpture I made from Crayola clay that, I think is still in a box at home.

Long story short, I’ve grown. I’ve learned, experienced, questioned, challenged, fought, and seen. Three years, from three years ago, and I can now confidently say that I think I know why I need to make art.

I give you, word vomit, in the form of little 000s and 1111s that make letters:

  • Race
  • Origin
  • Human Psyche
  • Evil
  • Collaboration
  • Representation
  • Access

(in no particular order)

I feel like everywhere I turn, I am constantly being asked – and asking – why? Why am I here? Why did they do that? Why is the world such a horrible yet simultaneously amazing place? After some time of not being able to confidently answer those questions, a clearer me was born. I want to answer the why, which consequently is never fully answered because answering one question often creates another and another and another. I am realizing that everything I am currently doing this semester, is forcing me to do just that.

Why do we need to keep having race discussions in ““““post-racial”””” America? Because racism is so engrained in our short, short life as a country, that human lives are still being ended, endangered, and horrifically judged, because of the color of their skin. Where do I, as a white half-Latina woman, fit into this subject, and how do I use the privileges I have to give others the opportunity to use their voices, without stifling my own? How does art change minds? Make people think? Start conversations? Because an artist sits back and observes, absorbs, and ruminates every experience they have and brings it into their work – representing it all simply because they opened up their minds to seeing how others see things.

Why do I feel so strongly about blurring the lines between acting and dance? Because the lines have never been clear in my own training, so why should they be in the theatre world? Why am I so drawn to working in ensembles, to collaborating verses creating on my own? Because more minds are better than one; because it becomes less about how I can’t come up with or stick with any good ideas and more about bouncing ideas on a myriad of walls and seeing which ones stick. Why did I do this to myself? I must be crazy. Because underneath the anxiety and doubt that I still deal with on a daily basis, though I’ve identified that it is not justified and just designed to scare me – I know I can do this, I know I need to do this, and I know I will do this with others who are just as passionate.

Now, my, A Manifesto, of Sorts, can go on for about ten pages, but I just need a peek into it to see that it is going, at full speed, whether I am ready for it to or not. All I can do is take this final semester of undergrad, and sit back, observe, absorb, and ruminate, like any good artist, budding or not, should. Yes, I did just should on myself.

BEVERLY

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About Bev.Does.Life

Theatre Artist and Graduate of the Boston University School of Theatre.

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