Two Performance Scores

From “Performance Scores for the Struggling Artist”:

12. Ignore any artwork you may be doing, including this.

17. Fail. Fail again. Repeat until desired outcome is reached.


When I wrote my performance scores last month, most were done tongue-in-cheek, with an angry/bitter undertone of sarcasm. Number 12 was one such score. I added it because I had moved to New York to find more creative outlets, to do more as an artist than I had ever before, to find a gold mine of inspiration. Instead I focused on making sure I had the necessities to live, worried about finding a permanent home, and worked full-time at a retail job and no-time on my writing or anything else artistic that I wasn’t already committed to with six other (brilliant and wonderful) women. If The Grace Period had been a solo venture, I say with full confidence that it would have fallen by the wayside, just like my own personal artistic endeavors did when I came to New York. As of my last blog post, I was well aware of the inconsistency between the amount of writing I had planned to do and the amount of writing I had actually done. Thus was born performance score #12. The worst part is that, a month later, I have just barely begun to reverse that trend. And not only that, I’ve been a horrible artistic partner. In my struggle and my worries, which I won’t detail here, I had/have ignored my fellow artists and collaborators and become a non-presence in the group, something I’m not proud of but won’t deny. Ignore any and all artwork? Check.


Number 17, rather than out of bitterness at what I was already doing, grew out of fear of what I might do, of what might happen if my New York (Dream) Life fell through. It would be a failure. If I couldn’t get things together and had to move back home, I would have moved and tried to make it here (because then I can make it anywhere, right?), and failed utterly. That was failure on the biggest scale for me, though it could also easily apply to ignoring my artwork. After all, if you come to New York to be an artist, and you don’t do any art, you’re failing, aren’t you, at least in some respect? But I digress, slightly. The fact is that, one month later, I have inadvertently achieved the first part of score #17: “Fail.” Long story short: I will not be staying in New York. Not for now. Home again, home again, jiggity jig and all that. (I’m sorry to my fellow bloggers who are hearing of my departure in this format. Right now, given my penchant for being reclusive and uncommunicative, I don’t know how best/how else to say it, so this will have to do. I hope you can forgive me.) For many reasons, which again I will not be detailing here, I can’t make it work right now. And that’s okay. I don’t mean that to sound as though I’m okay with rolling over and dying, here, though several weeks ago I would have seen it as such. This is not a failure. Yes, my plan failed, but this is not a failure; I am not a failure. I go home; I regroup; I improve (as an artist, a person, an adult); I try again. After all, the score does say to repeat until the desired outcome is reached.

Fail? Check.
Fail again? Let’s hope not (but that’s life, and I’ll get through it again if it comes).
Repeat until desired outcome is reached? Still in progress. Report to follow.





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