I'm Afraid of Americans
I'm sitting in an airy kitchen in Venice, Italy at 6am local time. We left New York City ten days ago, flying away from the rising COVID19 rates, flying away from NY as it turned a darker and darker red on the tracker maps. Each morning I wake up early to log into a remote work shift while Jeremy catches up on sleep. I make whatever coffee is in the flat - in Berlin, regular drip, here in Venice, espresso in a moki pot (one of my favorite things about Venice is all of the small things: small foods, small espresso cups, small glasses of wine - feels very manageable for someone with a grazing/small appetite). I'm up to work my day job which I guess here is my morning job though at home it would be the graveyard shift. In some ways it's incredible that I can do this - continue working no matter where I am. In other ways, it's utterly exhausting and forces parts of my life that are constantly at odds to meet in a strange place (literally and figuratively).
This trip is at least in my mind a gift for surviving COVID in December. It had been planned pre-COVID when a lot about my life was different. I was starting to regularly travel for art, I hadn't spent a year and nine months terrified of dying a painful death. I thought I had a sense of what where my art was going but the workings of New York and US theater during the pandemic pushed what had been a slowly cracking open of my heart into a full break. That break let in some light and I began to see things more clearly and it initially devastated me (as only a life in art can). This trip then is also a way for me to plant seeds in that break and grow something uniquely mine, uniquely careful with its collaborators, uniquely whole.
In some very funny cosmic joke, the theater in Berlin really was wonderful and artsy and refreshing. It was like being in an environment of aesthetics, content, and production care that I've only been able to occasionally glimpse, to one in a while desperately through myself at, that I dream of regularly. It felt more like home than most of what I've seen in the States ever has. The ease of which I could be in the audience, the deep engagement the productions asked for, the houses full of audiences giving three, four, five rounds of ovations was like being in a dream.
I've been trying to write just this much for days but Venice has a strange, frenzied way about her that makes you feel like you're always missing out on something if you don't get up and go and get lost a bit. Now I have to dash as we are off to Spain. I believe there I will have more time and space to get back to this practice of .... writing.