Thursday, August 19, 2010

Steam of Consciousness on Schooling, Being Late & Starting Something New

Am I Setting My Kid Up for a Chance to Lose Her Creativity?

So, public school starts Monday. I am nervous. My kid is just excited she will be starting school. Yes, she's THAT kid. She likes school and hanging with new people. She's very social and, though she's been to at least four schools in her six short years (due to me moving around due to work and such), she is pretty flexible and open to new experiences most times. So, I know she will be ok. But, my own projections are cropping up.

Don't get me wrong, I loved elementary school. I went to three schools for elementary myself, but, I loved them all, particularly the school I was at 4-6 grade. The childhood friends I mentioned in my blog about my play's run who showed up were friends I hadn't seen since 6th grade. I loved that school! (I recently learned that I was in 5th grade with David Chappelle and didn't realize it). But, my little one has been in private schools until now, and the larger class size will be new. I've been working with her this summer sporadically on math, writing, reading and money identification with the hopes that she will be able to jump in once school starts. But, all those things are moot. My biggest issue is whether she will retain that creative genius that I see emerging in her. When I was in school, we had art, and chorus and instrumental music and a whole host of things that kept us testing and challenging our creative envelopes. But, that appears to have waned in the years following my school days.

The whole forced uniform thing is really the thing that irks me. Though its public school, there is still the need to purchase uniforms. The whole uniform thing is sad to me. I don't like the whole idea of stressing uniformity when a child is so young. I think it does something to your critical thinking skills. I always let my daughter choose accessories to accent her uniform or something to that affect so she can at least have the wherewithal to have an opinion. Though I want my daughter to excel in school, I don't want that to come at the expense of losing her individuality or ability to critically think. I think this young lady puts it best in her valedictorian speech about what schools seem to be fostering today. I know she doesn't talk about uniforms, but her ideas on how school is more intent on conformity than learning was spot on. Isn't this amazing?

While She's in School

So, while my darling is in school this school year, among the many things I do, one thing will be trying to put together a collective of creatives with projects who, with me, will put on an event in the Spring, cross promoting all of our work. Maybe it will be a festival. Or, maybe something else. We'll see.

Being Late

So, I wrote this post on about lateness. I wrote it after reading about Erykah Badu being late to her latest concert. This was before she was fined $500 and given probation for her vid shoot of "Window Seat". She has a history of lateness and it just rubbed me the wrong way. Mainly because, its behavior like that that makes live concerts not enjoyable for me anymore. I don't like lateness when the public is waiting, and I think it takes away from the brand. For one of my events this summer, we actually docked pay on our sound vendor who failed to arrive on time and made us start our event late. It's just that deep to me. On the post, folks were generally in agreement with sentiments but one person said that its to be expected. I don't think so. I think its a diva move. Particularly if its something you are known to do, show up late. The one who I think can be late is the audience member, for, its their dollar they are wasting if they do arrive late.

I had talked about in an earlier blog post how I was miffed that so many folks who came to my play Running: AMOK at the Capital Fringe Fest had been turned away because they hadn't arrive on time. I was mad, particularly b/c some of those folks had paid on line already for their ticket. Yes, it was articulated in print upon purchasing the ticket that they wouldn't be able to enter the theater if they were late, but, we are talking about people who were 5-20 min late not being able to come in. That was a bit much. But, I do believe that if me and the cast started later than 10-15 min. on schedule, then we would be unprofessional. I view performing as a business. I don't think I am entitled to an audience showing up, paying for my performance and I give them whatever, whenever. I think when we allow artists to think that that is acceptable, then we are doing them a disservice by enabling that behavior. I'm an artist & performer, yes. But, I'm also an audience member.

Someone had written on my post that they had never attended a show that started time. Well, I have. And they have been by some of the best artists ever-- including the legendary Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Fertile Ground, Amel Larrieux and the late Luther Vandross. It can be done.

On a Personal Note

I came across some old music from the band I was in with my spouse and good friend of mine about eight years ago. Some of the CDs have scratch vocals on songs that we never got around to finishing. I think I'm gonna pitch to my honey that we work on one of the songs this week before our daughter comes back from vacation with her grandparents. Right now, I'm in one of those aimless creative moods-- I have so many ideas, not particular goal as of right now, but so much energy to create. Let's see what I come with.

I don't know if people do this on blogs, but I wanted to give a public word of support and love to my friend and collaborator Gary Young. Apart from being one of the only people who reads this blog, he is also a very important person to me who is going through some challenging things right now. He shares them lovingly in his blog which I hope you check out for yourself. Gary, this hug is for you.

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