performance and audience

Last night was American Football in Boston with old friends S & F. Drove in for dumplings in Chinatown, meandered to Beard Papa for cream puffs. Made it to the Royale with enough time to snag front-row seats on the balcony, which is really the best way to see a show these days.

Thought about the brief period of time M and I were playing music together and about performance, how challenging it is. I think about it in the context of literary readings, too. That most of the time, readings are just that. How there is such potential for more dynamic, memorable acts to transpire. I often envision more elaborate, choreographed events for myself, but rarely end up putting in the necessary time. Time is a limiting factor, but so is fear.

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I can see the traffic from my window as I type and already, at 5:30 am, it’s heavy and slow-moving down 95 South. I am glad we are not trying to get anywhere today.

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Thinking about an upcoming event, which is meant to be, in fact, a performance, and how it’s an opportunity to try some things out in a relatively low-stakes way. An attempt to clarify certain gestures, to be more articulate about intentions.

What struck me most about this conversation between Junot Diaz and Min Jin Lee was this notion of how the recent growth and prevalence of writing workshops has fostered this sense that writers are writing for other writers – for the kind of reading that tends to happen in the workshop structure. I want to think more about the characteristics of workshop, what tendencies they give rise to. It surprised me how freeing it seemed to consider broader audiences – readers with different goals perhaps, different ways of appreciating and engaging with a text.