I'm posting this from my cold college, where in just a few hours I'll be opening the first show I've done here since 1995...seven years. The campus looks the same, the professors are still here and the friendliness is rather overwhelming--everyone is nothing but kind, and eerily respectful. Seeing a photo display of my accomplishments while at Colby in the hallway, I realized that what it feels like is being dead--i can see all the nice things people are saying about me now that I'm gone, and there is a certain air of slight deference I associate with funerals. Also, all the students won't really talk to me easily, perhaps because they are afraid i will bite them, or that I am famous.
I think there is a very common wish fulfillment fantasy in returning to your old college a hero--people will respect you, everyone will see your genius, blah blah blah. I think it's mostly a crock--the truth is that sort of affirmation is internal, ultimately, and you can't get it slathered on by well-wishers or folks who perceive you as successful. I put on my pants one leg at a time--if what i have now is limitless success, then I need to get some new definitions or I won't be able to make rent.
At the same time, the evidence is in: i am a working artist, as strange as that is to type in a building I worked five years making art in, never dreaming it might actually come true. Or rather, instead of dreaming, I was working--and maybe that plays a role, along with a shitload of luck, chance and Hail Mary passes.
I'd better go do the cue-to-cue...Jean-Michele has had a great time working with John Ervin, the tech director here, and I am actualy thinking there is a lot of the show that is going to look sharper than it did Off-Broadway. I hope it does--this school, and the teachers in it, deserve it.
I also need to dry my pants, or I will look really stupid this evening. Details.