The Artistic Diaspora

diaspora_by_zweezwyy-d4ezyukIn August of 2015, I will put all my belongings in storage in Staten Island, and buy a car and begin a one-year artistic journey I am calling “Caesura: An Art Tinker’s Journey.”

I’ll stay with friends and collaborate with them on art projects. I’ll be a muse, a dramaturge, an editor, a coach – or a dishwasher or babysitter or gardener. I’ll do what I’ve done my entire life when I want something very badly – I will be useful. And during that time, I will write a blog, create four solo shows (one for each season) renew some relationships which I have cherished from afar, and then write a book about the whole thing. And I will rest from the nonstop job of running a theatre in Manhattan for 10 years. At the end, I’ll come back to NYC, get my stuff and move it to my new home in Santa Fe.

I cannot know what the year will bring, but I do know that it’s very important. It’s a calling.

It’s like with the Abraham-Hicks stuff, I know WHY I want to do it, and WHEN, but the how is not totally clear.

I do know it involves being artistically useful, and in getting off this treadmill that is running a theatre in midtown Manhattan.

Sure the art is great – I love it – best of my life – but the cost is dear.

Check out my horoscope for the day, from Rob Brezny’s Free Will Astrology.

“You wouldn’t sip dirty water from a golden chalice. Am I right? Nor would you swig delicious poison from a fine crystal wine glass or ten-year-old vinegar from a queen’s goblet. I’m sure you will agree that you’d much rather drink a magical elixir from a paper cup, or a rejuvenating tonic from a chipped coffee mug, or tasty medicine out of a kids’ plastic soup bowl you bought at the thrift store. Don’t you dare lie to yourself about what’s best for you.”

The golden chalice, in this case, is a theater in Manhattan. And the dirty water is the unrelenting job that goes with it – I have to cram my art into the interstices between marketing and cleaning the toilet, between scheduling and running box office.

I can make art anywhere – I want to make it in the homes of my friends, in national parks, in the car, as I load my suitcase from hanging with a new friend in AZ, and head off to LA.

I’m working on grant proposals and a Guggenheim Fellowship application. It’s a major long shot, but it was for my friend Flash Rosenberg too, and she got it. It’s clarifying my thinking to have to do the application anyway, so it’s useful for that, if nothing else.

A dear friend of mine just emailed me this remark – “artists don’t retire, we just adopt a new period. Period.”

That’s what I’m doing. I’m not leaving NY, I’m changing my relationship to it. Right now it’s a ball and chain, because I have to run this space, single-handedly, and I can’t go anywhere.

I want NYC to be a destination, a box of goodies, a two-week shot in the arm that I take when I come here to work with friends or direct a show.

I see a lot of other people lately moving out of their NYC digs and heading for smaller cities. I don’t think we are abandoning our art or our visions. What we ARE doing is abandoning this nonstop rat race in NYC and heading out into the world for a higher quality of life. It’s an artistic diaspora.


8 thoughts on “The Artistic Diaspora

  1. This is fantastic! Congrats on your decision. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to be clear on the “how”. I believe once we put our desires out there, the universe will take care of the “how”. Make a decision, take action and have faith. Oh yeah!

  2. Wow, Cheryl, I finally got to read this! I had no idea. Did you know that Siobhan O’Loughlin is probably on her way to a similar adventure? I will make the most of my one year left in NYC with you!

  3. Beautiful post, and I totally understand. Lorin and I are looking to move out of NJ / NY too. It may take another 2-5 years, but it’s happening. You will make beautiful art and theater wherever you go. xox

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