So I'm writing a proposal to get my show into a festival and every word that I put on the page is like stabbing myself with a blunt knife.
It starts off well enough. I cut and paste the blurb from the book and explain I want to adapt it into a show. I introduce myself and as I do I find myself annoyed that they don't already know me? I've had two shows already in your festival. Shows I wrote but my name was taken off the posters. I have reviews to prove that I existed. I google to find the originals. My body of work is perpetually erased...
By Paragraph three I'm a ghost. And my voice is a whisper. Why would they want my show anyway? Decades of rejected submissions are unearthed as I reach for the carrot...
Last time I reached for the carrot they bashed me.
Who cares. What does it matter. They change city and outfit.; They change form, they change style, they change accents. they tag team. They are the chaos unleashed by the psychopath loose in the system. They are his slaves and his whores and his puppets. They are all following orders. They don't have to be monitored. They stuff their own gag into their own mouth. They take their own pills and they tie their own blindfold. They have mortgages to pay and children to raise and places to go before the world ends. What do you have?
I have a show.
You have NOTHING. Adjust your RAGE and moderate your tone. you don't want to scare them. If you scare them they'll run and then where will you be? You'll be back where you started. I'm always back where I started and then running very very fast to nowhere. I give it away so it doesn't die inside me.
Please sir. Can I have a stage in your festival. Will you pay for the blood that I spill and the heart on my sleeve and the words that I spit. If I make them laugh and I'm not too dark will you pay extra? Am I worth a multi media component, will the budget fit that? if not just give me a milk crate and a piano man, I'll improvise. I'm used to that. I'm ever flexible. Easy. Dish cloth Diva, I stretch the extra mile, I give the last drop, I am a regular loaves and fishes act.
I'm a fucking liar.
The petrol station is empty. The air tank is fucked. The patron of the arts stole my camera ad computer. I had to borrow money to replace them. I can only afford to eat every second day and my smoke is rationed. Poverty must be good for my health they will tell me. Then why do i feel so depleted. I am running out of everything and I can't replace it. My debts climb and climb and I still can't put a price tag on my skills and sell them without having a nervous breakdown. This isn't normal is it? I know really stupid people who have no problem with this. But I reach a certain point and I get thwarted. The carpet gets pulled and I don't see it coming.
I must have a blind spot.
I'm crazy. I'm damaged. I'm munted. That's how I ended up In Barrel town. Here There's no shame in the pain and self loathing. Damage has currency. People wear their cripple on their sleeve. Up and Out. It's only Adelaide. Nobodies looking you might as well flaunt what you're good at. Even the serial killers eventually stand up to be counted.
By paragraph four I'm a ball of scar tissue. So I erase every single word and start again.