Jarory De Jesus @JRawry
Aug 30, 2017
One of the more challenging aspects of moving is parting with your old ‘scene. Your friends, platform, activities, and even schedule are now gone from under you. Saying goodbye was, of course, difficult. However nothing prepared you for the inevitable void that comes from not having your regular open mic or place to jam, slam, and just shoot the shit. When it’s Tuesday or Wednesday night and you’re accustomed to being at the spot engaging in your art, suddenly losing that can be almost as grief inducing as losing all the friends that went along with it.
There’s a sinister trap that comes from this situation, the trap of not bothering to fill that void. Maybe next week you’ll go to that open mic you saw advertised at the coffee shop. You don’t really know anyone there and you don’t feel like going alone. Perhaps you won’t go to this month’s poetry slam but you’ll catch next month’s for sure. It happens to the best of us.
Without the comfort of our usual trappings, the lure of social warmth, we can easily find ourselves postponing each and every. That is how the artist dies. When unengaged and unstimulated, the mind occupies itself in other ways. The physical parts of our brain that wrote, spoke,and played begin to atrophy. Our skills are no longer as sharp as they once were and we find ourselves wondering if it’s even worth going. After all, you can’t perform like you used to for some reason.
These are the thoughts that begin to occupy the brain in place of creating and performing. This self doubt is both the artist’s curse and gift. On the one hand, feeling inadequate can dissuade you from furthering your skills as a creator. It can begin to eat at the mind soul, leaving you unable to or unwilling to pursue your art any further. On the other hand, this downward spiral will force us to look from new angles. You’ll begin to see the world from a different perspective, and realize on the way down that you can approach that piece from a different side. It’s in that fall where originality can flourish. New experience and people can become an inspiring experience. As such, it’s paramount that we avoid the trap.
This good news is the trap can be avoided. However, it requires the most difficult of activities, doing. To keep the flame alive, one must feed it. So, too, do you need to feed your creativity.
It will be the hardest thing; stepping out of the house into an unknown city amongst an unknown crowd at a strange new venue. It will leave you anxious and nervous. This cannot be stressed enough. It is a herculean task, at times, to begin anew. However, it will reward you in time.
The home you not so recently left was, at one point, the same strange new venue. You may have forgotten that beneath all of the memories and fond times. This can become that new haven, that home away from home where artist collide and engage. Maybe it won’t be the first open mic you go to, the vibe isn’t right. Perhaps even the second one will feel too foreign. The beauty of cities is that they offer multiple avenues of engagement. Stay tenacious and most importantly, stay active. Your new scene will, in due time, offer all of the familiar trappings you once thought loss to you.