So. Three weeks. Been a while, huh? Life; it’s nuts sometimes.
Not a whole lot went on in that time, not really. Well, my church choir had their 2nd annual Music Series performance. We did a piece by 20th-century composer Arthur Honegger, called “King David.” Or, “Le Roi David,” or “”König David,” depending on your language choice. He was Swiss. From what I’ve read of his history, he spoke French, as opposed to German, since he called this one by the French name. No, that’s not particularly important. It wasn’t well-attended, sadly. The combination of an unfamiliar piece and a very early performance (usually in March or April) kept crowds away. A pity, really; I think we did well. Particularly for such a difficult piece.
Originally written as incidental music – meaning, basically, background music, or music that helps to emphasize a point – this 20th-century piece took on a life of its own a couple years after the composer originally wrote it. Difficult harmonies and melodies, intentional dissonance, and the English lyrics written beneath the German and French, all combined to make this a really tough one to pull together. Somehow, we did it, though, and I am a little impressed with us. I mean, excluding the soloists, we are a volunteer choir that rehearses twice a week, with one of those being right before church. And that, only if we’re singing.
We did a little rearranging of jobs at work at the beginning of last month. It wasn’t so bad at first – I had a little time to figure out what I was doing. In fact, right up until the end of the first week of March, I was even a little bored. Then everything happened. I went from a little bored to extremely frazzled. Plus, they took away our overtime. I haven’t been able to catch up since, and that makes me even more frazzled. Now, I’m not interested in doing 50 hours a week. Even when our OT was practically unlimited, I didn’t do 50 hours a week regularly. I got close, and a few times I *did* do that and more, but not often. I’d like to know that if I skip lunch to finish something up, I don’t have to leave right at 4, y’know? We’re not building widgets, here.
Whatever. I’m not the boss, and I’m probably never going to be – something about not being particularly interested in that job, frankly – so I either have to put up with it, or find another job that will be more of the same.
On the 8th of March, we had an employee art show. We had to let them know if we were participating by the first. I took it right down to the wire. I’ve never before displayed any of my photographs live. I mean, online is totally different. You get comments and views, but 1) the quality isn’t as great as in person, and 2) depending on where you display your work, people you will never, ever, meet IRL are viewing and moving on. This was another thing that stressed me out, although in a completely different way. I mean, I would be putting my stuff out there, and people who know how to find me, who don’t necessarily know me, would be looking at it, and know it’s mine. What if it wasn’t any good? What if people laughed and thought it was simple and ridiculous? Could I handle that? A year ago, I wouldn’t have done it. This year, I did.
I printed two of my favorite photographs. One from my last point-and-shoot, and one from my current low-end DSLR. I printed two of my favorites, bought a couple of really cheap – and in one case, broken – frames from Wal-Mart, because I was doing this at practically the last minute, framed them, and spend the next twelve hours trying not to talk myself out of displaying them.
It was a lot harder than it should have been, I think. This was really a no-pressure situation, here. I wasn’t been judged by anyone offering a cash prize or some other award; it was just a display of something I like to do. I had a friend walk down with me to put my photos on the easels provided for me. Right at the bottom of the stairs. Like, the first things you see when you were coming down the stairs, to the place where all the art was displayed.
I took a deep breath, placed each photo on an easel, brushed off invisible dust, stepped back, and exhaled. There. They were right where hundreds of people would see them. With my name, and my department, on a little sign below them. Walk away. Don’t look back, just walk away.
I went back to my desk in the cube farm, mind reeling from what I had just done. I had put my work on display. This wasn’t the same as going on stage and acting, or giving a speech, both of which I have done with little difficulty. They’re part of me, but they’re not. Not really. Even though I’ve written the speech, or at least, notes telling me what I wanted to speak about (1996 Multi-Racial Solidarity March in DC, f’rinstance; I was the emcee), it’s still a dramatic performance, not really real, and not really me. Heck, even writing about myself is easier. Even though there are those of you out there who know me, it’s still pretty anonymous.
This was closer to going on stage and performing a vocal solo, which, in college, required a couple adult beverages before I could even walk in the building. To sing so that it is more than just notes on a page, to take a picture that is art instead of ClipArt – although, some of those are pretty awesome – takes a bit more of myself. I have to dig deeper and pull out me, instead of a persona.
So how did it go? Well. Really well. I don’t think I’m ready to tackle a juried art show just yet, a decision I promised to make by the end of the day today, but I am ready to start seriously thinking about pricing, and finding a good place to get prints made, where I could still price things low enough to spark interest and make some money in the bargain.
Oh, and the balloons? I sold that one.