Remember that time I performed at the Shooting Gallery? I do. It was awesome.
My performance at the Shooting Gallery last March was what I would like to refer to as my choreographic debut, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it all went. Amazing people, a safe environment, a comfortable atmosphere, and an enigmatic show. But before we get into all that, let’s start at the beginning…
A while ago I got it in my head that I should recreate a performance Tom Waits did on the David Letterman show, complete with glitter, a bull horn, and all sorts of swaggering, shaking, and charisma, which I planned to recreate perfectly. After confessing this idea to some colleagues, obsessing over it, scheming about it, and attempting it a few times, I gave it up. I am no Tom Waits, and apparently no Tom Waits impersonator. However, one of my confidantes messaged me some time later with a link for an open call for artists, for the Shooting Gallery, suggesting I apply with my Tom Waits escapade. I was ecstatic at seeing the open call, for any and all artists, at any stage of their career, for experimental performance. “That’s me”, I thought, eyes all aglow with wonder, “I’m at the stage of my career of not having started yet, but I can apply!” But really, it seemed like a miraculous opportunity. Tom Waits was shelved, and I applied with another scheme which had blossomed in my mind months previous, about an ice block and time and such. It was a bit mysterious to me, I had never met Julie or Sarah before. But what followed was somewhat of a magical adventure. I met Sarah and Julie, two of the loveliest, down to earth people, with a clear vision of what they wanted the Shooting Gallery to be as a platform for artists, a space for experimentation and exhibition. The artists whose pieces had been selected for the performance were given the option of free, nice space to rehearse in, as well as the internet space of a week long Instagram takeover of the Shooting Gallery account and a blog post. In terms of the Instagram takeover, we were allowed to post whatever we felt driven to, a kind of freedom through the medium of social media which presented an additional avenue to create which did, and still seems, like a really wonderful, bonus kind of opportunity.
The most striking parts of my experience performing at the Shooting Gallery were the atmosphere, and the sense of belief in my work. Going to the Dusty Flower Shop the day of our first show (which is surely the most magical place in the universe), meeting my fellow performers, and rehearsing, I felt a sense of calm I had not anticipated, which stemmed from the kindness and openness of everyone involved, and the total belief and trust from Sarah and Julie in my work as an artist. Everything was professional, without taking itself too seriously, and it was such a joy to be a part of that kind of atmosphere and show. It was also thrilling to witness and perform alongside the work of other artists whom I admire and respect greatly. Getting the opportunity to participate in the Shooting Gallery was a wonderful experience, one of those rare kinds of moments of community and art where everything seems to come together in a way that’s like a puzzle which has always existed within the universe which was just waiting to be come together. Julie and Sarah are like kind hearted, bad ass, rock stars, looking to allow all sorts of creativity to come to life. And the Shooting Gallery is like their cool, rock star child.