Dance like no one's watching.
What the hell man, whenever I am dancing when no one is watching, my moves are always so fire! Why is there no one watching? The conundrum of my life, or actually even more accurate, when I make music when no one's recording, my music is dope! Why is no one recording?
This is my life over and over again on repeat! Why? When no one is watching, when there is no critic, no eye, no ear, no nose (?) to judge, to bear witness. It's like that snake that you like to pet but bites you at the same time. How can this be? Without the pressure to perform, I can perform like a professional, but then with the pressure to perform, I buckle like a gingerbread house. Is that what sets the pros apart from the proles? Most likely. But knowing me, I want to talk around in circles about it until I figure out a way to make myself feel better.
When we dance and no one is watching, what are we doing? We know we are not being scrutinized. We know we are liberated from the observer, the panopticon. We are more relaxed and we flow into the rhythm and essentially we play. We are at play. Like a cat in heat, we become adults at play. This is a hard state to achieve if you are surrounded by people and exist in environments where you are constantly being assessed and monitored. So how can we ease into playmode more frequently? How can we slide into our comfy clothes and sing like no one gives a fuck?
Can we find a way to convince everyone in the world that what we produce is legitimate, beautiful, meaningful? Can we remove all other artists and singers and dancers that are outproducing us? Can we find a way to freeze time so that we can finally release our inhibitions and do something wild and liberating? Obviously, not, but nice try. I have a hunch it's more about how we think and perceive the world around us.
Firstly, I want to address a gross misperception I deal with and that is of competition with my fellow humanoids. Especially against other females, against other straight females, against other straight female artists, against other straight female tattoo artists, against other straight female tattoo artists, ad infinitum... ad nauseam.
I am not competing with anyone. I didn't enter a race at birth, I'm not competing against my fellow beings. I must remind myself. The success of a female artist is a success for all female artist, for all artists and all humans together and forever. Ok that last sentence was partially bullshit. For what is success? Asked the mighty scholar? But in all serious face, there is some truth here maybe my version of success ins't the same thing as a version of success for the next female artist. So there can never be an objective winning point, or finish line, or climax or what have you. There is something to be said however, about witnessing the (your version of) success in others. It makes it attainable, it makes it legible, it makes it palpable, it can also lead you to the next step or serve as a roadmap for reference only (not to be photocopied). And sometimes it makes it real and not so sexy. Huh? Who would have thought that what I thought was success is actually just more work and responsibility (*return to this idea in another post.).