Election season changed my relationship to the internet last year. More precisely, it changed my relationship to internet relationships.
Suddenly, it seemed, scrolling Facebook left me feeling alternately overwhelmed, addicted, repulsed, resentful, wholly inadequate [too political or not political enough] - and occasionally, oh, so very occasionally, motivated. Motivated to become - but, actually, mostly to appear - a better person. Or at least a person more deserving of taking up cyberspace. Motivated, but not inspired.
I scratched the surface of this experience in its rawest and most rageful in a previous blog post in November. Rereading that post today, I see that's when some important seeds were planted, as I began contemplating ways to relate to people honestly and authentically in this post-election era, in a way that wouldn't make us cringe at phrases like "honestly and authentically in this post-election era".
But last year...I just stopped emailing people.
At first, I told myself I was just busy and would get to it, and to some extent, that was the truth. Turns out it was way easier to promote what I was working on when I honestly wasn't working on very much. That all began to change rapidly towards the end of last year and as a result my calendar, brain, and rudimentary communication skills basically imploded.
At my lowest, (or highest, if you had asked me on the day), I actually pre-emailed my immediate family members the night before my birthday to say "I know you are going to want to wish me a happy birthday tomorrow but I'll be on set and it's imperative my phone stays free for my crew/project-related matters. Please refrain from calling, emailing, texting, etc until after 10pm." This was for my solo character film BESTIE, which will be out into the world as soon as we fix a tiny but mighty technical issue. It was also the weirdest and most wonderful birthday I barely remember, and cemented my destiny as an Actor-Producer instead of Actor-Really-Trying-to-Be-Pretend-She's-Just-An-Actor-So-People-Will-Let-Her-Act-More.
I also became increasingly interested in finding ways to share my work/self without "promoting" anything, or to at least - at the very, very least - understand the difference. I couldn't figure it out, so I stopped trying. I didn't want to add to the noise.
I decided no one cared about my dumb short films or black box theatre or my pathetic attempts to cobble together a career in the wake of our crumbling society and everyone else's real and real-er problems - because, actually, I couldn't even care anymore. Or didn't want to care. Or didn't think I had the right to care. Or something.
A friend of mine recently introduced me to the phrase live into the question at which I immediately rolled my eyes, then five minutes later decided was a brilliant model for the next phase of my creative life. I started asking a lot of questions, and now I am inviting you to ask them with me...on the internet.
What I Realized
- This administration thrives when women decide their experiences and opinions are uninteresting.
- This administration thrives when artists decide their work is unimportant unless/until it turns a profit.
- This administration thrives when Regular People decide they don't matter.
What I Am Doing About It
Today I launch a new interactive vlog series Imagine Us Famous, which I'm hosting on Vimeo to keep it simple until I find a reason to put it elsewhere. Check out this intro video, comment away, follow the vlog on Vimeo, and stay in touch!
This administration thrives when we stop talking to each other.