How's your short term memory?
Nine months ago, I wrote a blog post about how I've been incognito since coming to Chicago. Seven months ago, I hid my face from the public. Fifteen minutes ago, I wrote a darling little entry in this blog about using my full name and referring to myself as a writer-performer. Do you remember?
There's been a lot of hiding from myself in this place; no wonder I'm a little confused about my identity.
Last night, I had the privilege of performing with the group Barrel of Monkeys in their end-of-the-year Celebration of Authors. As referenced fifteen minutes ago, I got to play a cat, a drummer, a glitter fairy--oh hell. If you want the full list, just look back fifteen minutes. I'm not doing it for you. The point is that I, along with 40 other soon-to-be-Famous people, danced, sang, and performed through 30 high-energy pieces, all put together with amazing efficiency in 18 hours of rehearsal. That's 21 minutes of rehearsal per piece.
When the last note of the last song came out of my mouth*, my body, mind, and soul embraced the moment. Sure, I can handle two tech weeks at once, but the human part of me knows when it's time to finally relax.^ The work complete, I took off the mask of a competent, focused performer and just let myself be me on stage. Whoever that is.
The final bows took place. The producing director of Barrel of Monkeys announced:
"We have been Barrel of Monkeys. But individually, we are . . ."
Everyone started yelling their names.
Wow. The name-yelling is moving so quickly down the front row of performers. I can't wait until it gets to me. I want to yell out my name, too. Whoever I am.
It's me! It's me! I yell out my name.
Did I really just get through two tech weeks, only to publicly change my name to Caintl?
Who am I? How's my short term memory?
Which is why I woke up this morning and said to myself, to my private audience of one:
My name is John Michael Manship. You're reading my blog. Prepare to sigh.
* I think that note belonged in that song. I put it there, regardless.
^ There is no human part of me, and I have no idea when it's finally time to relax.