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Annual self anniversary blog: I'd rather be the devil, than a chained up angel.

Posted by cellair on September 22, 2015 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

This blog comes a little later than usual, but the blame is not on being too busy. I wanted to wait a bit, since I held a few celebrations of my birth, and tying up some loose ends, one of which happened last week. As per usual I’m going to reflect on what I accomplished, on what I struggled with, and what I believe awaits me in this new, additional year on earth.

Well to start, I’m a very, very lucky young goth chick. A lot has occurred this past year, and what I’ve realized is I have a lot of blessings, including a budding group of people who I have learned are genuinely persons who care about me. That says lot. I am roughly two-three years away from finally being able to stop saying I’ve been bullied for most of my life. Something that continued this past year, and in turn I will continue in my fight for the misunderstood. Fighting for those of us who are forced into the shadows, and grow to find comfort in them. We’ll emerge and try to co-exist with those who will give us the time, but we always return to the dark. But if we’re lucky, like I’ve been, we’ll find some people who’ve decided to spend time with us, in or out of our shadows.

I made and reconnected with some new people, and I finally met my smaller, other half of my family in the states. Probably the best thing that happened this year, at a time when it felt as if I was separating myself from family. The strange, nerdy, artistic parts of me now make all the more sense, and I’m very happy to see hints of them in my extended family. My lament is also my hope; that I haven’t spent a lot of time with them, but because of that I’m motivated to visit and connect often.

This was the year I decided to leave the nest, venture into adult hood, fend and fight for myself. The goal; to be everything I can be. It is not always easy, being alone, but I have learned a great deal. However, I have another blessing I must acknowledge; my parents gave me all the training, practice, and knowledge they could, and that forced, molded and helped me become someone that is able to take care, be strong, and most of all survive. I learned this first hand, when I was forced into some very bizarre and uncomfortable situations starting out. I miss my old home, well I should say the parts that were truly mine. My blood-red room. The book shelf I left behind. The large fireplace in the den. The fruit trees and the veggie garden. So much however went horrifically wrong in that first home. But looking back now, as always I wish those moments weren’t so annoying or antagonizing. I wish I could unknow and unmeet certain excuses for human beings I met there, however I acknowledge that because of those experiences, I was able to see how much of an adult I truly am. They happened at a time when I was fearful and unsure that I could truly make it. With pride, I can say I have made it and will continue to do so.

I said goodbye to more than just my nest, which was difficult, emotionally, sentimentally, and even physically. There were also some necessary and appropriate good byes I’ve said. I said good bye to some toxic environments, and relationships that were degrading, forcing me to question who I was, or why I was the way I was. I said good bye to persons were always telling me who I was, and I think, may have enjoyed seeing me get emotional and frustrated over trying to prove them wrong, but now I’m saying no. I do not need to prove anything. In a report, I sent to some of these persons I stated the following:

“ I AM WHO AM I, BECAUSE THAT’S WHO I’M MEANT TO BE. It’s not an identity others can understand or care for, or one they can define and explain, only I can. I finished struggling with my goth self, my artist self. I have more ‘pretty’ days than ugly ones. I’m creating art, and the joy I feel from my art comes from fighting, struggling and seeing myself come through to the other side.”

 

As an artist, I offer this advice: There will come a time when you will know when you need to change, because you will know and agree with the reasons as to why. There however will also come a time when you will know yourself so well, that the moment someone says to you you’re wrong, or you need to change or do this, do that, you will have a horrible sick feeling in your gut, in your being, and your heart will be sad. But hopefully you will be strong enough to shake it off, and leave them forever. Be happy that you know who you are, and can let others be who they are too. With this thought, we also have to accept that not everyone will tolerate who we are. I wish the world was a different and better place, but at least for me, it’s ok that not everyone accepts me, it’s ok that not everyone understands. It’s not easy, but as I said above all, I have more pretty days than ugly ones, and I’ve made peace with what I am. I am not, or will ever be perfect, but if I can’t learn to live with myself, no one else will. I’m in a good place, which has be a long time coming.

I’m sad that my latest experiences in Theatre have been so frustrating. My choice ton turn my back on some professional relationships, if I can call them that, was full of doubts. What if I can’t find work in theatre, or art for that matter? What if this was my only way in? None of that is true, and is certainly not worth what was happening to me. I found myself dreading to go to a most likely canceled rehearsal, or a delayed one if it did happen. I found myself metaphorically rolling my eyes at the petty squabbles, and my complaints were swept away. I was forced to work on project I was either against for ethical and moral purposes, or just burdened with work I wasn’t interested in. I was constantly being told to work on my process, but putting on or displaying the best final product or outcome was never as important and it should have been. How on earth did we know if my process was successful, I’d ask over and over? Worst of all, no one seemed to care that I was classically trained that I have loved and studied theatre for most of my life. This was said to my face. The credentials, the skills I had acquired were of no importance. That, and that my genre, my aesthetics were not cared for either. I would fail in my final project, I was told, because I can’t be successful doing something I liked, something I was good at. All of the above, my friends, were lies. Complete and utter lies, but this abuse was going on and on and I began to hate theatre. No, not theatre, but the people I was sacrificing my time, energy, skills, and my love for the craft. I therefore made the choice. I love theatre too much to continue with what I now recognize was a place in which abuse was allowed to run rampant. Where instead of being encouraged to pursue my passions and use my expertise to the fullest, I was being tampered down, and silenced. Well, no more. I’m not ashamed of my work, or who I am, or what I’ve done to do my work. I am saying good bye forever to having any association with theatre companies, spaces, and employees such as this. They went out of their way to make me dread story telling through my flesh and soul, so now I will go out of my way to do what I love and remain far away from them.

Another warning to you, my fellow artists; your past experiences, where and how much knowledge you have in your field should be extremely important to any and all your peers. Yes, you need to prove it with talent and action, but they should care where and how long you’ve spent studying the work, absorbing it, understanding it. You should always be able to contribute all that you know, or what you’re capable of to the group. Many years before, the concept of cast members being almost like family was quite real. We all had the same hopes and dreams, we all had a story that we wanted to tell, and we all worked hard to make it happen. But it’s ok, it’s another year, and with it a whole bunch of fresh, new opportunities to find that again. Theatre is probably my second greatest love, and I will find it again.

I have experienced hatred, against me, against my work, and I mention it because I’ve had a very interesting relationship with hatred and only recently has it been almost been completely disguised as “an opportunity to learn to be a better person/artist/adult”.

This may be an unknown fact, but I actually grew up in a Catholic education system. It’s safe to say my experiences are what convinced me thoroughly to leave Christianity and convert to Wicca. Among the vivid memories of being teased, picked on and chased around the school yard almost every day, I also very clearly remember telling a teacher about my grievances, and then another, and then another. I can’t remember the excuses they all gave for why they couldn’t make the bullying stop, but I do remember when I admitted that I deeply hated one of my aggressors, the teacher raised an open hand and said: “No, no. We’re Catholics, we don’t hate.” I wish I had the words then to ask; Excuse me, what do you mean? Do you mean to say you and I are Catholics and therefore we don’t hate, which is untrue because I just told that I do in fact hate. I do in fact feel that emotion and I understand the word well enough to use it. Or, do you mean to say all of us, in this school are Catholics, and therefore we do not hate, because that is also untrue. These other children behave as if they hate me because they go out of their way everyday to make me feel scared and miserable. Or, do you mean to say that all Catholics are people who do not hate, because I can tell you right now that is certainly not true, since according to what I’ve learned thus far in this school, anyone not Catholic is going to Hell, and wishing such a plight must certainly come from an unsheathing hate”.

Not, I cannot say that all Catholic schools were like mine, I really hope they aren’t, but I’m also quite skeptical. But this issue, or rather insistence that hate does not exist was baffling to me then, and still is now. Because it’s not just Catholics, people today, in our society are very squeamish it seems, to admit that there is such a thing as the emotion hate. I think it’s a truly valid emotion. There are many examples of people acting out of hate today, amongst religions, amongst countries, amongst groups of people, races, sexualities, ideologies, and so on. It’s not a good emotion. It’s certainly not a nice one. It comes from and creates all kinds of pain, but it is a very real emotion. Hate is the opposite of love, that is to say that emotion comes when you come across a person, place, or thing that you cannot love, it makes you feel horrible feelings, and your instinct is to treat it in the same fashion. I experience some form of hate every day. I hate most music that’s currently on the radio. I hate the colour pink, a lot. It’s just so bright, and too girly. I think hating things is quite normal, and acceptable. We can’t like everything, certainly can’t love everything, and let’s be honest, we’re only built to tolerate so much in our day to day lives. But hating people, that’s the scary bit, but it’s the most practiced one. I think people know all too well that hating other people is very wrong, because hate has that habit of bringing us to our baser instincts and to respond very negatively. However, it is this form of hate that we are seeing everyday right now. On the news, on the street, online, it is everywhere. Hate is alive and well practiced. And for me, if that teacher had acknowledged my hate, rather than just dismiss its existence all together she may have been able to get to the root cause of my hate and begin to solve the problem. I hated one of my bullies. I think I came to hate all of my bullies. I never went on a crazed, vengeance fueled rampage, but if I had, I think I would have been the one in trouble. But what about the kids who hated me? That is why I truly believe almost everyone in that school hated me. The kids who picked on me, and all the teachers who allowed it, by claiming there was no “hate”. And imagine if another such cycle had begun at another school, and at another. It is wrong to hate a person, but I also understand it sometimes can’t be helped. I think you are allowed to feel the emotion hate, it comes naturally for a reason. To feel hate towards someone who has hurt you, or hurt you repeatedly. To someone who has done unspeakable harm, that makes a lot a sense. However, it is what we do with that hate, that’s what I think people need to address and pay attention to. Sometimes hate motivates the desire for justice, the desire to take measures to protect ourselves. These wishes aren’t always negative, and do not need to be achieved through negative means, but hate is a very volatile emotion, and pretending it’s not there is not doing anyone any good. I can’t, in all honesty say no one deserves to be hated, but I can say no one deserves to be turned into complete poison and never experience another emotion aside from hate for the rest of their lives. We have got to stop turning a blind eye to that darkness that exists around us, otherwise how do we fight it? Yes, guilty it’s my chosen field to look deep into the darkness and flush it out, so I may be a bit biased, but if you take nothing else from my musing, take this: Evil is real. Bad people are real. The sun goes down every night. And at some point in our lives, we all must die, and no amount of religion, closing our eyes, listening to the latest trend of music, or piles of pink glitter will make those things go away. The moment we acknowledge these things, we can take precautions, try to treat people better, remember that there is a moon at night and find calm in that, and try to live the best life we can. Well, at least that’s what I’m trying to do, taking it all one day at a time.

Moving on, or moving forward is not ignoring what has happened. It is not just brushing off an insult, an injustice, an injury, and pretending it never happened, and never holding the person accountable, never demanding an apology, an acknowledgement of wrong doing, and whether verbal or in action, a desire to not do it again, or do better. Incredibly, I’ve met persons who have insisted that real adults do not seek any form of closure, that the very idea is petty, childish. However closure and justice, closure and righting a wrong are very different things. It is true, we cannot get closure for everything, and yes, even more unfortunate we cannot always get justice, but that does not mean that the guilty should not be held accountable, and the injured are more than allowed to want and seek justice. It is foolishness to claim that this is immature. Moving forward means to go on with your life, to not allow the bad events to drag you down into a place of sorrow, self-blame, obsession, and rage, however in order to remember lessons learnt, especially with un paid-debts and so on, we’re allowed to be upset over injustice and remember so not to let it happen again. I’ve done a lot of moving on this past year, and will continue in that direction. And moving on means leaving what has caused me harm behind.

So, in terms my art it’s slowed down but only after giving my strongest performance, in which I said good bye to my training program that I completed, and a theatre company. But I finished on my terms, with a piece that both solidified my abilities, that should be credit to my years of performance prior to working with this particular company, to my degree, to the education I received. It was such an honour, to write, produce, and perform “Untouchable”. I was able to learn about my culture, the rite of passage of death that my ancestors celebrated, and still celebrate in this day. I was able to bond with my mother as we performed aspects of the ritual to prepare for my show. The process was very difficult and very frustrating and trying, but it was once again a moment were I was pleasantly surprised with my abilities and my perseverance, and my knowledge. I may be living proof that the best things, the most worthwhile times or experiences, or lessons obtained, are the ones most difficult to achieve. However, artists are too often discredited. Too often abused, and never fully recognized for the difficult and challenging work that we do, and my wish is we come to a day, when were all treated better, acknowledged more, and again for who we are, not for who others may want us to be. In a similar way, I’ve come to understand that not everyone will care, understand, or accept my work. That’s okay too.

It is so liberating. It wasn’t until October 2014 that I realized how miserable I was. There were rehearsals in which I had to listen to hard metal to get my game face on. Dreading to go home sometimes because I knew only nonsense awaited me. Meetings I had to attend in full gothic regalia (as I like to call it) so I’d feel brave enough, confident to fight for my voice to be heard and respected. I haven’t dreaded going to a meeting, or doing something art related, going to work, or attending a rehearsal in months. I can wear whatever I want to do happy things, to have fun, and enjoy myself, and it has never felt so good. I can’t believe I was allowing myself to be involved in things that were holding me back just to keep appearances. I may be doom and gloom, inspired by it, and create within the realm, but that doesn’t mean I have to be miserable doing it. I suppose what I’ve done is hit restart on my life. It’s been a whole mess of emotions, movements, good byes, acknowledging ugly emotions like hate, and accepting that accepting myself means accepting the rejection of others.

But not everyone has rejected me, and that’s what I’m holding on to most. Most of the people I choose to surround myself with know I’m a witch (literally) and a bit of a monster, but my Vine heart is in the right place. I can only go forward, no use in looking back and trying to undo what’s done, I carry with me the lessons learnt. There’s one less thing for me to apologize for, saying good bye to the things and people that filled me with nothing but hate, for declaring myself gothist now and always. At least I’m honest, at least I’m me, so go ahead and hate me. I don’t. Not anymore.

What am I saying hello to? To some new projects. To wilder hair! I’ve been experimenting with lighter tones lately and loving the results. I’m playwriting again, and hopefully finishing a fanfiction. My second poetry book, well the writing portion is on hold as I begin to paint and draw for it. There is still this balancing act of work, art, and my social life that I’m working on. I wish there were more than 24 hours a day, or that I could run on less sleep. But it is the social moments that I really look forward to. A shout out to my beautiful, little family I met in the States. I can’t wait to see you all again. You all may not read this but thank you, for welcoming me so warmly, for seeing this small, green hair little chick and showing me a very unfamiliar but special love. Thanks to my friends, my sisters from high school, we’re celebrating roughly eleven years of knowing each other! Thank you for growing up with me. To my university friends, anime club friends, Theatre friends, and new friends; you’ve gotten to see a somewhat more polished, professional, and full fledge goth me, and you’ve stuck around anyway! It means so, so much. And lastly, to my “Misery” you have seen me at my very best, and at my most putrid. Our time together has inspired and terrified me in all aspects of my physical, emotional, and spiritual state. I worry about admitting that you are in my life and I am capable of love, receiving it in turn. I feel as if I say, or write it, the universe will do what it always has and break the spell, returning me to lonely bitterness. There will always be a void deep in me, but you make it a lighter burden to bare. You never ask me to be anything but me, thank you, for tearing down my walls and mazes, for finding me scared, alone, angry, hateful, and adding different emotions, better ones. We will conquer the world, you and I.

And now I sign off, excited, anxious, looking forward, and ready as always for a big fight. I anticipate the calm, horror, admiration and fear in the eyes of all who will stare at me, and I welcome it, all of it.

 

Yours,

 

AracelyReyes ~ Atra Parvulus

 

Gallery review: Ambrosial Affair: Junko Mizuno Solo Exhibition

Posted by cellair on February 21, 2015 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

 

I couldn’t think of a more startling way to return from my hiatus of bogging, Japanese fandom writing and following, and my artistic presence than to write about one of the most alive, unique, and vivacious artists in our time. This time.

Today, I had the pleasure to meet for the second time, world renown illustrator, painter, “gluttonous, fem-fatal, cute horror-ist” Junko Mizuno. Today was the opening reception of her latest exhibition, part 2 of her food obsession painting series. The new NARWHAL Art Projects space is small, and very intimate, only able to comfortably host about 20 people in the three rooms. The largest, being the show room where all of Mizuno’s master pieces were on display. However, for a show such as hers, intimacy was a must. Her painting are lush with pastels, and bright hues, with smooth delicate lines flowing into the striking leading ladies featured in each piece. Each painting is completely unique, and full of several minions, serving the maiden either the food of their choice, or holding up their grabbing, reaching limbs, or organs. The figures, the paintings, both screaming: “Give me more! Feed me!” and ultimately: “Love me! You can’t take your eyes off me.”

The five foods chosen to explore this time were: Coffee, Noodles, Pomegranate, eggs, and of course, bacon. Each food had one, large Acrylic painting, and one acrylic, Ink on paper sub-painting. Linda Columbus, one of NARWHAL curator’s best described the newly including ink and acrylic pieces as “a marriage between Junko’s manga work, and her paintings.” If this is your first time seeing or hearing about Mizuno’s work, she started off in Japanese as a mangaka, or Japanese comic cartoonist, and then moved to the states where she began to explore her cute girl art and make into something more twisted, more “horrorific”, and has a great deal of pleasure doing it, as the grinning figures in her works do tell.

The work is superb, and as a bonus, once again Mizuno has also provided and displayed all the sketch studies of her paintings, located in the second room behind the main show room. I found the sketches to be the most fascinating; seeing how neatly she has drawn out each piece, all of the lines are just as precise as they are in the final piece, but not every minion is in the same position, not every gold flower or egg is just so. You can see her initial thoughts, and way she decided to make figures large, or minions smaller. It is a rare treat to see the before and after of an artist’s work, and these sketches too are also for sale.

The highlight of the opening reception for me was to meet, greet, and speak to Mizuno. The artist herself is almost the complete opposite of her work, in a good way. Her paintings are so violently sexy, bright, and big, with laughing maidens commanding their minions who almost spring out of the work at her fury and mercy. She on the other hand is quite soft spoken. She wears a small, but proud smile and takes the time to speak to all her fans, who came to congratulate her, get an item or print signed, and take a photo. I myself was ecstatic to have an instax mini Polaroid taken with her, and then Mizuno asked to take a photo of my photo. She is incredibly humble, and more than willing to answer questions about her art, which she always answers honestly. For example: “Why are you doing a series about food?” “Because I love food. I love to eat. I love everything about it.” And don’t all women? That is the point. We fems love our food, not just our sweets, and rather than food being our enemy as society would have us believe, Mizuno’s work shows how food is a source of power, a sources of pleasure and ecstasy, a source of love, and by showing off this enjoyment, and the piles and piles of food, makes the viewer hungry, makes the viewer understand and agree. We see the pleasure, and we feel it too.

The show is running from February 21, 2015 to March 14, 2015 at NARWHAL, 2104 Dundas Street West.

Please visit their website www.narwhalcontemporary.com for more details.

 

I Gothist, witch, rebel, and warrior.

Posted by cellair on April 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello again.

It’s been too long since I last blogged.Too long. And honestly I did have a ne w years blog but then a new reflectionoccurred to me and that is how this blog came about.

My life has been busy. So much so thatblogging and updating online wasn’t a priority for me. Not because I didn’twant to do those things anymore, but because I have become tired and frustratedwith the social media world.  I know I’vespoken about this in previous blogs and my anger has only increased. As agothist, the exploration of the evil and darker side of human nature comesalmost naturally. The stereo type is Goths, or emos, rockers, or drab and blackwearing pierced punks choose it to be unique, to rebel, they think life sucksand beg for death. This is neither exact nor true. I compelled to see the darkside and understand it. I’ve lived some of it and I know it. But, if you wantjust a glimpse into human evil nature, just go on facebook, or look at thecomments posted on youtube. And, yes, I admit I am one of those young adultsthat believe (or perhaps hopes) a lot if not most of the misogynist, abusive,anti-homosexual, intolerant, racist and sexual harassing comments are writtenby bored and loner twelve year olds with nothing better to do. Sadly, I’mpositive that this is not the case.

On valentines day, I posted the firstcommercial for my book Tragic love, but I disabled the comments, voting, ratingand video responses functions. I did this because I want to promote my book andnot have viewers read things like:

This is so gay.

This bitch sucks.

You suck ass hole.

Go f urself hipster.

This vid is so shitty, I hope she slits herwrist for real.

 

Are you horrifiedreader? If you are, don’t be for me, but don’t dismiss it either because theabove are comments are one I have read on several videos, facebook comments,and tweets. People say these things to each other all the time. There are tabsand tabs that go on and on with messages of hate and discrimination, provocationand promotion of violence and bullying. Obviously people feel free to postthese comments online because they are free. If these sites are monitored,these comments are either overlooked or the monitors care even less than theones who post.  Even if they wereremoved, the internet is an immortal time capsule.  Their on forever, and believe it or not so isthe damage.

                I feel like I’m back inelementary school when I read these comments. I was called a faggot almost everyday and I didn’t even know at the time what the word meant. I’m not too surethe kids calling me that knew either. I know what it means and not only am Inot gay, but even if I was being called that implies I should be burned at thestake.  Kind of makes me wonder if wereally have moved past the dark ages when people were killed for beingdifferent. The truth is we haven’t progressed at all beyond those times, and ifyou need any proof, go to the websites I said above.

Maybe the humananimal can’t help but be that petty. In spite of our knowledge and intelligenceh=we have, we continue to gain our happiness through other peoples misery. You can’tsee a person crying behind the profile pic, and most people probably wouldn’tcare.

A famous example I read was the Lady Gagav.s Kelly Osborne feud. Now, I’ll admit my opinion might be bias, since I amnot, have not, and will not be a Lady Gaga fan, however I side with Kellybecause of the Gaga handled this like a fame thirsty celebrity. If Gaga really wasthe honest, positive, tolerant, and inclusive woman she claims to be, if she isfully aware that her fans, in this case fittingly named

“little monsters”, worship, glorify and follow her every whim, as their socalled mama or leader she has a responsibility to be concerned about theiractions on her behalf. If she really is promoting tolerance, anti-discrimination,inclusion and pride in one’s individuality, she’d tell her fans to refrain fromtormenting another person. She knows all it would take is one word from her andthey would stop, instead she’s placed all the blame on the victim who is beingbullied and threaten for doing her job. It’s not like Gaga hasn’t beencriticized before, and in most cases, rightfully so, but let me also point outthat Gaga doesn’t her need fans to protect her. She’s a grown woman and acelebrity. She can take the critiques if she’s a professional. So the questionbecomes, is she spreading a message of love or hate. I suppose it depends onwhich message will make her more money and fame.

So, why am Ispending so much time talking about this? To explain why no one can post aboutmy commercial? Yes and no. I’ discussing this in detail because the stigma thatbegan in the real, physical world, the one that claims bullying is a part ofchildhood and women need to work really hard to be taken seriously, has manifested  into a vicious  form online. It’s so easy to just go onlineand spew the hate speech.  That’s why Ibelieve those who do it are cowards. I wonder if they could be that maliciousin person? Probably not, just like they can’t deal either their owninsecurities, that they swallow down and harass other online to feel ontop.  They make this world a darkerplace, not the emos and Goths, certainly not the women, persons of colour, orpeople different sexual orientations. The perpetrators of the malicious commentsare the ones who bring the hate, and the darkest. They create it.

And here’s whatbothers me the most. These guys think they’re on top now, but in this world, moone is ever really on top. I mean, isn’t there enough suffering and sadness inthis world? We’re living in the age of cancers, wars, and we’re still discriminatingand trying to break each other because of differences?  The gap however is narrowing, between thoseon top and those below. If one these persons father a homosexual child, whatwill they do if their child is subject to this abuse at school and online? Thereality is, we’re all earth bound, walking in the mud. And since they’respreading the sorrow, what makes them think their untouchable?

I don’t know if acyber bully is reading this and I can imagine some of the things they mightrespond with.  But maybe in theprocessed, I’d stir some doubt. And even if I haven’t, and they have something cruelto say; I’ve heard it all thanks to elementary school, and I may not be used toit but I am in a stable place. I explore human suffering and self destructionthrough my art, I both fear it and enjoy giving it a new life and lovelycounterpart or medium. Unfortunately it’s the only thing I can do. We all haveour freedoms, we all make our choices, and have to accept the consequences.

Speaking of which Ihaven’t be doing so good lately. The juggling act between my art and my careeris getting harder and harder. I have found myself getting extremely angry and wishingI had more hours in the day. I’m also realizing more and more that my life hasto be mine, I need to start doing everything completely alone.  In the mists of the hard times, I’m trying to rememberI’ve been through hard times before, and somehow I’ll figure things out and getthrough this hardship too.

So I will now clueyou in on two of the new year’s resolutions. My goal is to stop apologizing. Ihave had a bully who continues to reappear in my life and my plan movingforward is to stand up to them and never allow them to intimate me or make mefeel worthless . More and more I am courageous . Yes, as a young and actualadult, meaning I’m done school and am work in a real job in the real world kindof adult, I do still have a bully. One that likes to project their insecuritiesand throw tantrums under the guise their protecting others or the corporationsinterests (a.k.a herself.)

I finally dyed myhair green. It’s wild and unique, and I think it’s lovely and suits me. I get avariety of reactions everyday but I enjoy the overall surprise.  I’m working hard on my art and I applied formy first art grants. I am also in the middle of finishing my first novel. I’malso exhibiting my painting in a gallery for the first time. Its a lot offirsts but I’m going to do with my gothic flare, and you know what, I scare alot of people, but it scares me too. Lol. My hair will be appearing more and morein my work, influencing it an d continuing to inspire me and give me strength.

The bully I mentionedalso hates witches. I know this because she accused me of trying to curse her,and she gets squeamish if I even mention my “witchyness”. Well I’m notapologizing for that either. If it really bothers her I wish she’d do us both afavour and stay away from me. Until then, I’m all for just continue to embracethese talents and passions I love and acknowledge that while I’m not perfect, I’ma whole person. That’s more than I can really ask for.

And my other resolution is to promote myselfmore, including online. So here’s a blog, two weeks from now a new chibi comic,and my first painting for Anime North’s Momiji Gallery.

(FYI I’m going this year and exhibitingthere.)

So I am signing off, Cely the little goth,witch, rebel and warrior. Hear me roar.

 

~If this was the end...

Posted by cellair on December 31, 2011 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

So, as with my other traditions on the eveof a new year, it is necessary for me to take the time out my usual, overlybusy schedule to reflect on the year that has past and think about what I wantto do with the new one. Technically speaking though, in Wicca my new year beganon Samhain. Still though, 2012 begins tomorrow with a new calendar and everythingthat comes with it.

                Onething that has sparked my reflection is this whole craze with “The ending ofthe Mayan calendar” and another end of the world scare.  I will say that when that rich old man, Harold Camping  paid tohave all those posters put up in the train stations, I personally wrote anemail expressing my outrage. My concern was at the fact that he did not havesufficient scientific proof and was probably scaring a lot of people to thepoint of selling their property and even killing themselves. I asked him if hewould feel any remorse if we all woke up on May 22 and found ourselves aliveand the world intact, but some people would be feeling stupid or even deeplysadden because they had believed him or their loved ones believed him.  I got no response. Needless to say he waswrong both times... or we’re all zombies now.  And I hope he’s sitting in his little leatherarm chair, feeling very foolish.

                Thiswhole end of the world scare has however inspired me to think about what Iwould do if this was my last year on earth. How I would want to spend it? Whodo I want to be by the end of the year? How do I want to die?

                Itmight be selfish for me to say that I wouldn’t want to die alone. Or in a greatamount of pain. I wouldn’t like to die and be forgotten, but if the whole worldis going to be destroyed, there probably won’t be a lot of people alive whowill remember me.

                I’dlike to have another book written by the end of this coming year. The second towhat I hope and plan to be a trilogy: The Tragic Love trilogy. I also want toget my fifth play, written, packed, and read live.  It might be too early for a performance butI’ll do my best.  That of course is thegoal of every play written. 

                Iwant to try to spend more time with the people I care about. The past fewmonths, I realized how much not spending time with the people I care about hastaken a toll on me. You can bury yourself in work for so long before even thatstarts to feel unfulfilling. If you do nothing else, and you’re on your own allthe time. What else is keeping you up?  Ihave a lot of pride in what I do, but that doesn’t always equal t happiness. Orcontent. You can’t hold it, or be embrace back by it. It would pat you on the back.And getting encouragement from co-workers and spectators is sometimes limited.Or insincere. Not to say that I haven’t been very lucky, being surrounded by acompany and people who believe in my work, and me.  It’s just not the same as talking to a realfriend. Someone who genuinely cares, not because of your work or your talent,but because you’re you. So I want to make more time this year to talk to myfriends, fill them in on what’s going on with me. Find an outlet that doesn’talways leave me tired and with a list of more things to do.  Work is not a cure for loneliness, and I’vehad too much of that already.

                Ialso want to continue on this year making no apologies for being who I am.  The tattoo I’m planning on getting will I hope,eventually become what I want to be. Not perfect, but someone I can sincerelybe proud of. Someone worthy of an intricate and beautiful complex emblem,something I want to be earned with work, but also self care. The goal is three yearsfor the completion of the entire tattoo, but it could take longer than that. Andhopefully by the end of those years I’ll learn that it’s ok for me to take mytime.  I also want to learn that it’s okto be a “work in progress.” Hopefully my time on earth won’t be cut short, andI’ll have enough to do everything I want. But if I had only one year left, mywish is to come as close to that person, that wonderful special person that Iwant to be.  Worthy of what I am calling,Suspendisse, alae mea.  

                I’mgetting tired of labels. I feel like I found myself facing or bombardinglabels. It’s interesting because naturally for the longest time I’ve been focusingon reinventing myself, and I realized that I’ve been trying to find some sortof one label that can summarize everything I am. But it’s not that simple. It can’tbe. And I guess I was confusing this with my identity.  And even there it isn’t that simple.  And I guess I’ve been torn with picking andchoosing what I think is my identity, who other people I am,  who other people want me to be, and who Iwant to be.  I’m not sure where to go ontheir journey of finding my identity. I think it will continue and choose its directionon its own.

                I’veposted below some art work I've done, dealing with identity and labelling.  Including that “slut” commented I referencedearlier 2011. Yep, it still hurts folks. And no offence but my closest friendswho know me heart-less, body, and soul know damn well I wouldn’t give myself tojust “anybody” or a bunch of anybodies. Period. Done. Moving on.  

I’ve been comingacross more and more people genuinely interested in the “Goth” identity, mostlysince that’s how I like to define myself. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious(i.e. my black pleather outfits and skull accessories, and monthly trips tograve yard and reading Macabre literature and manga. It’s my forte, but alsothe world I go to with my art. I love everything about it, but it’s not so easyto define or explain. Naturally it’s been tainted by stereotypes trying to tellwomen how to dress. Or iron fist society who like to pretend that it’s goodnatured and devoted to keeping our children innocent.  But within the gothic community itself thereare groups who claim they know what Goth is. They claim it’s something specificto a particular era long past. That only a certain, elusive group of peoplebelong to it and nothing else belongs.  Onething that seems to be the common assumption is that it is negative or “badass”. I’m here to tell you that while Goth is specific, in term of social behavioursand concepts, there isn’t really one true, completely correct definition. Goth canbe as complex as a person. Made up of several different influences, ideas andunderstanding, and no two people can embrace it in the same way. Like everyoneelse, each person has to shape the idea of the “gothic” to fit who theyare.  What I can for sure tell you isthis: if it is associated with the colour black, night time, death or dying,the other world, the outside, the shadows, the search for immortal withindeath,  the understanding of danger, ofchaos, of insanity. The feeling of being alone and misunderstood, and acceptingthat that is who are at this moment. If it’s considered “the other” in a nightor “darker” world, ladies and gentleman hat is Goth. It can be just asbeautiful as a diamond ring, only darker, because it belongs to the worldopposite of the happy, living world, the one that understands that darkness anddeath go hand in hand with light and living. There’s understanding andaccepting, Btu that doesn’t mean that Goths are more suicidal or else afraid ofdeath. I myself am terrified, but that only hastens my search for the meaningof life and the necessity of death. And yet, even the quest for immortality, whetherI succeed or not.  And similar to Dirge’sLenore, I can be a cute little Goth girl while I’m at it.

                Iwish I could say that I want to live this year with little anger  and sorrow, but I’ve bottle up of a lotrepressed anger and hidden sadness for long, perhaps too much anger and sadnessthat it’s a part of me. Again, accepting it doesn’t make it any less scary orpainful.  I know I’d like to leave thisworld like my grandmother did: with no regrets, no fear, only faith and hope,and belief that I’m going somewhere good, maybe better.  At this point, I don’t know how to do that.How to feel that way. Maybe I’ll learn how. Or maybe I’ll figure it out alongthe way. Hopefully before it’s time.

                Yeah.Not the most uplifting blog, but I’ve written worst. I’m always questioning.Always over thinking. Blaming myself, more than anyone else in the end.  Trying to understand, and figure out where togo. And maybe I have this flawed concept where I think if I document, write ordraw everything out I can somehow change what’s wrong and make it perfect lateron. And feel powerless when I can’t.  Tryingsometimes isn’t enough. I’ve seen it myself. Sometimes a result is necessary.Something to prove you’ve progressed somehow, come that much closer to thedesired goal. Maybe that’s why I want this new tattoo, why it’s more specialthan the barcode that bares my true name, and the skeletal heart I cut out ofme and placed where in a new spot, my hip, where I’d sheath a blade or gun, toprotect myself and fight.  I don’t wantto hurt myself anymore, that scars will curb that horrible feeling that Ideserved to be punished, for the things that I failed to do, or failed to say. Forcoming up short.  For falling into life’slittle traps. For being afraid. For feeling insecure.  Maybe I can’t be blamed. Or maybe I can. Thefeeling doesn’t go away. Or least not completely. It’ll come back, and I cantry to fight it, or put a stop to it. But I want something that I can see. Changing,growing, becoming better with time, and effort, even through the scaring and thepain, it’ll end up looking wonderful. And maybe somehow, I’ll become that waytoo.

                Thisis a lot to ask of myself. I think I’ve just written the most impossible wishlist on the planet. Maybe the most selfish one too. Mystics may believe thatour destinies have already been decided for us. Others maybe believe they knowwhat the fate of the “good” is and the “bad”. Some people believe we can createour destinies through the choices we make, and who we surround ourselves with.I can think of many examples, when the fates of lives were left up to none ofthese concepts. So who really decides how we meet our ends? Or do we comfortourselves with the ideas that this can be controlled. Since I like to be incomplete control, I’ll go ahead and say I’m going to try with all my might, andreclaim my own destiny. Try, even if it’s not enough.



               

 

~Artist Statement

Posted by cellair on October 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is actually a statement Isubmitted for my second audition into a theatre company ensemble.  I am happy to say I have been invite dot jointhis group, but I was re-reading my statement and I was amazed to see how muchof myself is revealed, and how important myself awareness is for myself, tojust for my art or this particular job.

NOTE:In respect of the company and its members, the names have been left blank.

I am an artist who understands that therehas to be balance in my work,

But I need to learn how to properlydistribute the different gifts I have in my work.

I’ve learn to perform, to write, to create,to draw and paint.

I know how to film, how to costume, how tobecome what I am not or imagined to be.

I am learning to sing, trying to dance.

My hope is to say I can do all these thingsthree years from now.

It is not just a need but a must for me tocome into a program that is willing to offer and accept diversity and add tothe unique abilities that already reside within me.

I want to learn different ways to perform,different traditions of performance from other cultures and also reunite with thetradition of my mother land.

I plan to share all of m gifts, write forthe group, perhaps grow to learn to direct others work as well as my own.

I want to be brave.

I know        will teach me to be brave, perhaps fearless atundertaking work that is new to me.

Work that I am afraid of, but my hope is ifnot with a gentle hand, than with a guiding hand        will lead me into the unknown, but understandwe can’t all cross the same boundaries, or cross in the same way.

I want to finish this program beingstronger, braver, a better performer, a more understanding and open person, withoutcompromising, hiding, abandoning, disgracing, or shaming who I already am.

I know          will allow me to grow and be safe.

My independent work now is only half ofwhat it needs to be.  My hope is       will teach me how to finally produce mypieces, trapped in lap top, under my bed, in a folder.

      and        have been my home for so long,and with only having half of what I believe I need to be a whole artist andwhole person, I am not ready or waiting to leave.

Thisdoes not mean that I will discontinue performance and learning to become abetter artist. My studious will continue and I will hopefully enrol in schoolof theatre after I complete my degree. Wherever there is a theatre company willingto experience, and help create artists, I will find it and continue my journey.But my first choice will always be            

~Rage on fame and faith

Posted by cellair on May 30, 2011 at 8:24 PM Comments comments (0)

I feel like thedepression is hitting me hard today. Which is weird because A) I just had areally fun-geek but awesome weekend with the girls. B) For the most this monththings have been good. But now that AN is over and done reality has hit me hardtoday. Reality that I think I’ve been either dodging or avoiding. And while Iknow I have been bust trying to get my costumes and art work together I have beenmore than happy to forget that my acting career is on hiatus as is my religiouspath.  I don’t know which to talk aboutfirst. Right now all I want to rant about how pissed off I am about my situationand point my middle finger at society for telling me I’m wrong to be mad.

                Iremember the good but few days when being a freak was just that. You were notnormal or mainstream. You were unique, out of the box, fighting the good fightagainst society. But now thanks to, who else but celeb-puppet super stars thefreaks are mainstream. Am I gonna talk about Lady Gags? A little bit because I hateher the most. Take a recent example: her performance on American Idol. Peopleseem to be ranting about the obvious. Here’s my question: Why are strippers ridiculedfor performing in bikinis and pretending to have sex on stage but when Lady Gagadoes it, it’s “Art.” ? The only difference between the two really is that LadyGaga sings.  That’s my big question, whydoes society pretend to be good and well manner. Why does it pretend to hateprostitution and sex when we are contemplating on whether or not to have a red lightdistrict in Toronto?  Seriously folks! Weshould really be focusing on trying to discourage careers that degrade womenand place them in dangerous lifestyles. I hate how fake society is and how it wants us all to join in and pretend.And note that I act for a living and acting is not pretend. So thanks to thissociety those of us who really do disagree with these issues, like my argumentagainst women continuing to be sex symbols and object sin media portrayal,  we get receive the blacklash. We are called sexistsand racists.  We’re called enemies ofsociety. Why, because we want to burst the bubble? No folks, there is no bubbleand I’m sorry if you don’t want to hear it.

                SoI’m tired of being told to stop being angry or stop being feminist. I don’tbelieve in pretending and I don’t believe in holding in my feelings. Or holdingthem back.

                Ijust I’m going to go in my acting career at this point. First things first, Ilove what it is that I do but I also can’t forget how harsh the business. Orhow fake. Yes fake because let me tell you there are people in the industry ofperformance who are there for all the wrong reasons: They want to be rich. Theywant their name in bright lights. They want love or an affair at least. Theywant an Oscar. Some are not even acting performers but think it is easy or easypay so why not?  I have very littlerespect for these performers and I have seen, met, and worked with quite afew.  I also have no respect for performerswho are only interested in dictating, in making demands with no ounce ofrespect.  I cannot tolerate that type of behaviour,especially in collaborative types of performance which is what I do for themost part.  

                NowI have never considered myself to be an easy person to get along with. I am veryaware that I have a bit of temper, I don’t like to get close to people rightaway, and I hate to be touched. As a director I can run a tough ship. I likepeople who work hard and I don’t tolerate divas or excuses. Having said thatone thing that I feel is so important and that I always reinforce and practiceis respect.  I don’t yell or humiliate mystudents and actors in front of everyone or in the middle of a rehearsal andwhenever I am working, even when I disagree I do my best to look at the issueor task at hand. Of course arguments may break out. One thing that I am carefulof is to let the issue go and rehearse or perform. I can vent after but I neverallow my emotions to destroy the work.

                Ican’t release the details of my conflicts or state companies I’ve worked withor names. What I can say is I was singled out and humiliated in front of mypeers as if I was an elementary school child that needed to be disciplined, notas a fellow performer and an equal. Now I am expected to grovel and apologizeand in my opinion I feel like I’m talking all the fault. I will admit I refusedand answered back because of the circumstances. The fact that I was being callto and accused in front of the whole cast I think was enough for me to immediatestate that it was not appropriate. But that fact that I allowed his individualto harasses me four times during rehearsal before I spoke was too much.

                Iwas accused of getting angry and holding animosity throughout projecting it andsubjecting other performers to it. I was accused of shoving my degree in the facesof leaders and fellow performers. Finally after such argument I was treatedwith complete disrespect and I continue to be treated that way and the onlyclear idea and decision that I have made is I am sick and tired and I don’twant to deal with it anymore. That’s why I’m breaking my silence.  Because I don’t deserve that kind of treatment,especially since to all of the people I have worked with, I acknowledge that theyall have potential and the capacity to make great contributions to art and tosociety. But I’m angry at the pretending. I’m angry that just because I seemed an easy or weak target who said thetrigger word now has to pay the price for someone else’s personal and unsolvedissues.

                Iacknowledge that the world of performance asks us to work very intimately withpeople. I know if asks us to bare it all, and put our emotions on the table.The work is difficult and sometime terrifying. It asks us to be human. Theopposite of what society wants us to be. But society’s negative presence is stillthere, influencing some, making them believe they have the right to judge and tohurt and then explode and exploit when someone, especially weak looking andunintentionally reminds them they are human. Not perfect. Not all knowing. Notin control. Human, living in the dirt with the rest of us.  Yes, that’s right.  And for the record, I don’t have a degree yetand I never wanted one to become an artist , or because I thinks true artistsshould have a degree. That is what city wants us to think. I do not judgepeople, especially artist by how many degrees they have or fancy rich schoolsthey go to. We all have the right to express, speak and create. How dare you,you for throwing my degree in my face. How dare you for using that to accuseme.  I never even wanted to do the degreebut I am because I know I can do it. Because it’s good for me. And when I getit the following year it is because I have earned it.

                Buthere stand the question. Can I continue working knowing there is no love for me?No respect and complete and utter hate? Am I willing to subject myself to suchtreatment to savage my career? Is there a possibility that I can work thingsout on a professional level? I want to be performer but I feel like I need tobe honest and accept the punishments I deserve and turn away from the ones Idon’t.  It saddens me also because as aresult of this situation not only may I have to leave a community that I lovebut I will also be leaving friends, directors, artists that I will miss dearlyand I have already lost a friend that I truly and whole heartily respected, andloved and supported. It doesn’t seem fair. I don’t want to leave, and therefore I’m angry and at a loss. I don’tknow if it’s worth continuing t try to work things out. I don’t know.

                Ihave to be confident that other companies and performers will work with me. Iwant to be this is not going to destroy my career, but the thought and fear hascrossed my mind.  This is a difficultbusiness, and one that pretends it cares about the well being of it performers.Some people and companies sincerely do but I know others that don’t. So how doyou know which ones and how do you prepare? My biggest question is whensomething goes wrong, how can you trust that they won’t keep people justbecause they are being paid and under contract and don’t care what happens toyou because they won’t lose a thing by losing you. At the moment, that isexactly how I feel.

                Ifeel like I’m still disregarded. I’m only five feet tall so why not try toshove me around? Throw my ideas out the window and then treat me worse when yourealize I can defend and fight back?  Mysecond conflict is my religion. I have not gone to my convent in about a month.I’ve been putting off returning because I’m concerned. Again no names orlocations, but the last time I was there I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t feelspiritual joy or relief.  And even nowI’m hesitant to talk, because everytime I have spoken to someone, particularlywomen I have been told the same thing: “It’s not a big deal.” “Don’t worryabout it.” “Nothing happened so there’s nothing to worry about.”  So what? We have to wait till I get hurt torealize something’s wrong? Another thing about society that I hate, it onlylikes to acknowledge evil when it’s convenient or part of an agenda.  We are celebrating the death of Osama Bin Ladenbut ignoring the rapes of women that happen one time too many and letting thoserapists and pedophiles go free.  York hasproven over and over that they don’t care about the safety of women and eventhe death of a woman on their property, under their watch and protection forcedthem to take action and stop another rape. Being a woman is still a plague to society, and that’s why homosexualsare ridiculed still. The men for wanting to be like a weaker sex and women for tryingto be something they are not.  Women arenot cared for in today’s society and it is an atrocity.  That is the issue that is happening in thiscoven. I thought it was a place that celebrated women but I am finding themasculine energy sees women as sexual objects and expects it. And I did not gothere to feed some man’s selfish desire. I came to realize and solidify myfaith that is still very new to me. And now I don’t know what to do. I don’tknow if I can practice on my own or grow on my own.

                Ihate it that even in religion, I can’t escape that dark part of masculinity, ofthe rape culture that exists in today’s world and surrounds us. 

                Theclock is ticking and today I realize I cannot escape these conflicts. I have toface the situation with my coven tomorrow and I’m contemplating on whether ornot finally go and face my fear with a knife and pepper spray in my pocket.Which by the way is apparently illegal for women to carry even though we are notoffered any sort of assurance or protection against disgusting and cruel men.  And people like Lady Gaga are continuing tosolidify this culture, pretending to be whores. Wearing slutty clothes andusing sex to become famous.  I hate itthat she is using the concept of being a freak to become famous when she is nodifferent from the other celebrities and puppets, whose job is to lull theworld into a sleep  of dreams of onlyconsuming things and people. No love. No honour. No respect.

Can you blame me for being mad? For feelingout of place? Trying to work and create in such a world?

Can you blame me?

 

 

~Full Circle

Posted by cellair on February 11, 2011 at 6:03 PM Comments comments (0)

With the release of myfirst novel, two things have happened. The first is this project has finallycome to an end and I can now begin to devote more time the things I have been neglectingsuch as my studies, my next play and even just resting. The second thing that hashappened is I’ve realized that it’s been two years. Two years since I beganfuriously writing sentence after sentence, poem after poem. A year and a halfsince I realized that I had all of this works sitting on my laptop and in my limpheart strings.

 

If somebody had told methen that I would be sitting here, looking on the final Galley’s of my firstpublished book, I would have told them I didn’t even believe I’d live to seeanother week.

Since my last blog, it’sbeen washes of school, theatre, but mostly the book. Rewriting pieces,finalizing artwork, editing, rewriting, and revisiting. The work has taken itstoll, but it has also been worth it.

It’s funny how thisexperience reflects the path I took that led me to writing the book. I’ve had tolearn to take the good with the bad, and understand that from it there is achance for me to grow.  Having said that,I’m here now reflecting on my book.

 

For the longest time, I’vebeen looking at it from the perspective of the person living the experiences,saying the words, and feeling the ripples of cause and effect. Now, I’m lookingat it as person that’s gone through it and has made it to the other side. Iwant to try to describe the feeling without going to the “poet” in me. But it’sgoing to be hard. I feel incredibly grateful. I know that I have been soblessed and so lucky to have been able to do this and the last thing I want todo is not acknowledge the work, not acknowledge the people who have helped tomake this happen and helped me. At the same time, while I can understand hownecessary my past experiences were, not just for the book but for my own growthand development, however I do wish I didn’t have to go through all the painthat I did. I do regret putting myself through a lot of things that I reallydidn’t need. Suffering is suffering, and I am not an advocate in suffering yourway to something better. That’s not true. Who’s to say one will be able tosurvive through that suffering?  I stillhave regrets but now I can say I am pleased beyond articulation that I made itthrough in one of the best ways I could have. It feels amazing.  I can literally close the chapter on this onedark time in my life and charge into the next one with my head held high. Itfeels so incredibly good.

            Now comes the next question: What do I do now?  Well, I have my theatre work, I have asemester to finish in school. I have friends to meet and greet, I have a clubto plan for.  Life is continuing, and whileI still have anxieties and I still feel the weight of my grandmother’s passing,but it only pushes me to want to do everything that I can, because I m aliveand there is still so much I can do.

            Now contrary to what you might be thinking, this blog isnot going be just : “And the tragic artist lives happily ever after.” Not onlybecause this isn’t a Fairy tale,  but alsobecause it’s not an ending, and “happiness” depends on the individual person andwhat makes them happy. I love keeping busy and I love what it is that I do. Iget between 3 and 6 hours of sleep every night but I’m satisfied. Is lifeperfect? No of course not. I am still very much a perfectionist but I want tolearn to be gentle with myself. I’m still going to get frustrated. I’m stillgoing to get angry. I am a woman, and a woman of colour, and I know I have dozensof battles left to fight, and I’ll probably be fighting for most of my life.You know what? I love a brawl. I love a challenge, and I love coming out ontop. My only hope is that I’ll be strong enough to face life, and if I’m notstrong that I find that strength.

            After more than a year I’ve begun my training and lessonsin Wicca. My hope is by next year I’ll be taking part in rituals. So the witch isofficially out of the bag and that’s ok. That poor maiden has been locked insideme for so long and every week I see her blossom more and more. I have started towrite from that vein and the work is flowing. The community I am working withis so welcoming and has been good to me so far. If I do decide to take onanother writing project, I know my faith will play an important role the next timeround.

            So, here comes the million dollar question that I know isgoing to be on every reader’s mind when they pick up my book. What do I have tosay about love? Well, to put it simply, I just don’t have the time to evenconsider it. I know, I know. It’s not something you consider, it just happens.I’m not so sure. Taking myself out of market and keeping myself out is aconscious decision. I would like to think that choosing to be with someone on aromantic level would be a conscious decision as well. Me, being the controlfreak that I am, I will make sure that anything any everything I do and everydecision I make is my own. As for the topic itself, my attitude hasn’t reallychanged. Unfortunately the experiences I’ve had with some men, not anywherenear a romantic level, have not been positive. I have also been forced to come toterms with the reality that I have been shaken and time can’t fix that. Timewon’t take away my distrust. It won’t take away the cynicism I’ve developed. Itwon’t remove the hurt and the reminder of the hurt I experienced. Writing thisbook and re-reading certainly forced me to remember a few things and it stillhurt like hell because it’s going to hurt. But it’s okay. I’ve made peace withthis reality. It’s a part of me now and I’m just going to continue to try andmake the best out of it.

            If you happen to go out and find love, or you havesomeone special I say good for you. I’m happy for you. It’s a wonderful thingto experience when it’s real. But it’s not for me, and I know I’m not going todie from it, so really it’s ok. I’m ok. I’m finding happiness. I’ve grown up. Iknow I have. And I am surrounded by people who I know love me, notromantically, but real love. The kind supports you without being asked. Thekind that stretches its arm out and grabs onto you the minute you walk throughthe door. The kind that will answer a text message at three in the morning. Thekind that made this book happen. Yes. I have that. So there’s no need to fear.I really am alright.

 

            I am Darkness. I am the Princess of Darkness. I am AtraParvulus. I am a Wiccan. I am a witch. I am an actress. I am a visual artist. Iam a director. I am a writer. I am a seer. I am “chick”. I am Latina. I am asister. I am a friend. I am an aunt. I am a student. I am a warriorness. I amleader. I am thinker, not a dreamer, because dreams alone can’t do much. But Iam a doer. I am singer. I am a grandchild. I am what was, is, and what will be.I am me. And there is no shame in that. Never. That little girl I was two yearsago, who cried herself to sleep every night and woke saying “fuck” verymorning. I take her in my arms, and I say to her: “It’s gonna be ok, baby girl.See, we’re gonna be ok.”  I still cry.But not like that. Not anymore.

 

I did it. And I did ok. Inthe end, seeing it from the other side, the book is a bonus, but it is atestament of what I’ve done, and what I can do. 

 

So today, I am savoring thismoment and taking it all in. I have never been more proud and it’s proof that Istill have a purpose. There’s a reason the Gods and Goddesses did not let me gotwo years ago. One year ago. And I’m so glad they didn’t let me go. Because Iwasn’t ready.

 

They’re not the only ones.This blog goes to my friends who didn’t let me go. Thank you for not letting mego. Thank you for letting me hold on. Look at what we’ve done together. Look atwhat love has done.

 

For the past, for now, andforever,

 

Blessed be!

 


~Deconstruction

Posted by cellair on September 13, 2010 at 6:57 PM Comments comments (0)

~Deconstruction

Usually, every year I try to write a blog on my birthday,even though naturally I keep a journal and write often. I held back this yearthough because I knew a lot was going to happen this summer, and I wasright.  I had a very busy, very challenging,and very difficult summer, which in a few ways tested me the way the summer of2008 tested me. In other ways it was more difficult. I lost my grandmother inMay and I went to El Salvador immediately after Anime North. It was probablythe worst thing that happened to me this summer. Even now I still feel a mix ofdenial and regret. I do know though that it was time for her to go. She lived agood and long life and left behind a huge family she can be proud of. I feelblessed, knowing as an ancestor she can still watch over and guide me. But Imiss her terribly, mostly because she was the only living grandparent I knew. Ialso lament the fact that she suffered so much before she died. No one deservesto die like that, least of all her.  Alldeath, all partings are bitter sweet, but as a result, instead of our familycoming together we’ve broken further apart.  That was the second worst event I experiencedthis summer.

Luckily, after a tearful but calmmonth in El Salvador, I returned home and was able to keep busy during the lasttwo months of summer. My two new plays were written during July, and the firstdraft for “Faerie Dust,” was completed. The platform for my first artexhibition was also written out in July and the script for my upcoming film wasalso written during this time. In August I had the pleasure of returning tobcurrent’s Summer Arts Program for a third year. Even though I’ve been throughthe process twice, the feeling was still overwhelming. To create and memorize ashow in three weeks really does feel impossible. This year the content was muchmore difficult, for me personally. In most of my works, I try to distancemyself from them not because it is emotionally difficult but because I don’twant the story to be about me. However, bcurrent has always forced me to bringmyself into the piece and let art be the end result.  This is not to say that my work does not comefrom myself. It has everything to do with what I know and what I’ve lived. It’sjust me, Aracely the person is never the character speaking the words in the writing,nor who you see on stage. It’s my alter ego, my stage persona Atra Parvulus,the artist that you will often see and hear.

                Idiscovered on the first day of bcurrent that for the past few years I thought Iwas working on myself. I had my crisis, my loss of self and I wanted toreconstruct it. Go on a journey to figure out who I am and who I want to be. Igave myself the barcode, and also vowed never to cut myself from this worldbecause I belong here. But I still ended up focusing solely on my education andmy career. I’ve been burying myself in my work, perfecting my craft and tryingto understand the theory behind what it is that I want to do.  The reality is, all this is time, it’s not methat I’ve been creating, but Atra.

You are probably finding itdifficult to understand what it is that I’m talking about. Or you’re probablythinking I’ve gone insane or I’m trying to be something I’m not. Let me put itin another way.

                Someperformers need to see themselves as two separate beings: The Performer andthemselves just as they are. The reason is because in any form of art you areasked invest a lot of your emotions, real emotions. When you are angry on stageit is because you really are angry. Real acting is not fake or pretend. Whenyou are in that scene it is real. The problem is to put your real and whole selfin the work can be dangerous. It’s your psyche that will suffer. Take forexample, to be angry for hours on end and then to be asked to suddenly stop andcalm is terrifyingly difficult. If you are really angry, how do you turn itoff? Emotions don’t work like light switches. The alter ego helps because you sayto yourself, me the performer is about to get angry, but the real me can befree to go out and have a lovely dinner once the show is done.

I know who Atra is. I know hervery well. But I haven’t been taking care of me.  I get so busy and caught up in my work it’snot often that I have some down time. I know it is because I don’t want todwell on my pains but I understand that partly why I can’t heal completely isbecause I haven’t’ allowed myself to face my hurts. When I went to El Salvador,you would think that I suddenly had sometime to myself. But we know from mylast entry that I was forced to pretend, and lock away even more of myself.  Now, I want to find out who I am. Aftereverything that’s happened, I want to know what I’ve become.

                HonestlyI know I’m not completely clueless. I know that I’ve still haven’t fullyrecovered, and I might not heal from everything. Currently, I’ve hit anotherrough patch. I was between homes for a short period of time and wondering wheremy meals and meds were coming from. When you’re “in the moment” a famous actorterm but also very much about life, when you’re experiencing the present, youcan’t see the future. That’s why we shouldn’t always be so impulsive. Thepresent situation can only tell us so much, but the future can be differentthan what we anticipate.  It can be verydifficult not to act out of emotion or from the first thought that pops in yourmind. Especially if you’re in pain or desperate. I want to someday becomestrong enough to ride through the tough times. Then again, for some reason Ialways ended up taking the hardest road to recovery. I swear I don’t do it onpurpose. Somehow I just manage to attract bad drama. But I can also say I’vebeen very lucky. If only I can remember just how lucky I am when I’m in a toughspot. It’s not easy. Writing about it on my desk in the calm is easy. Trying toremember a good time during a panic attack for example is not as easy. I guess,sometimes I really resent the human condition. We’re so fragile in terms of ouremotional state, and society likes to turn around and say that its strength tofight against, or even hide our hurt feelings. I discovered though that you’re actuallykilling yourself. If you want to cry, cry. If you need to shout, find a safeplace and do it.  Hiding those emotions won’tmake them go away. That’s why a lot of us get headaches, stomach aches, orother pains when we’re upset. Our bodies can channel pain, but it can only meanmore burdens for us.

                In themonologue I performed in the Summer Arts, I am forced to relive a pain, or acouple of pains. Acting for me isn’t “pretending” but it doesn’t mean I’veperfected it yet. I remember during a session on the first week of the trainingand rehearsal program and I got into a heated fight with a member during ascene and we ended up shoving each other. Well, when she started pushing me Istopped acting mad. I was furious because of what she did and because I thoughtwe were both going to end up getting hurt because the scene had suddenly lostcontrol. I was still mad when the scene was called and it took a while for meto find peace of mind and move on to the next exercise.

This isn’t a game for me. I tryto use my training in drama as a way to learn more about myself, and what Ilearned specifically from this year’s experience in summer’s arts is I have notyet completely defined myself, and I haven’t taken enough care of myself.  The piece I performed was loosely about mygrandmother and how it impacted my life and the lives of my family members. Itwas my most difficult piece so far, but I am very glad I did it. Afterbcurrent, I spent the remainder f my summer working at CNE. Another challenge.I’ve realized now that I’m looking back, that the challenge has never scaredme, it’s the idea of how the experience will shape and change me. I detestchange, but I know if I don’t grow and evolve I won’t become stronger.

                I wassorry I couldn’t see my friends more often this summer. I miss them terribly.Of course it’s normal for high school friends to branch off to their careers. Ialways have this fear of being dependant on other people because I believesurvival is learning to be alone. I can say I’m a stronger person than I wastwo years ago. Strong enough to be alone when I have to. I also know thoughthat it’s ok to want to spend time with people.

                Now I’mreturning to school and I’m both excited and anxious. I’m half way through mydegree and I’m finally focusing on my chosen disciplines.  I also want to continue on my spiritual pathas a wiccan. In November it will be year since I decided to make my transition.I admit I’m not ready to initiate because I want to continue to explore more ofmyself through the Craft. It’s unfortunate that I have to continue to hide thepart of myself, but I’m going to be patient. I can say now that I do feel proudof who I’ve become  and no matter whatI’ve been through in the past, I don’t have to feel any shame today. I stillhave insecurities. I still get frustrated with myself. But I want to believe nomatter how much I hate myself, I can slowly learn to love myself more. Thatpart of me is still struggling to come out, but someday I hope it will comethrough.

                I stillhave doubts and fears, so I marked myself again almost a week ago. This onerecords my biggest fear. One day, I hope I can be strong enough to face it andovercome it. My new symbol represents the promise to myself, to remember mypains, to learn, and rise out of the ashes stronger than before. I know I cando it, because I’ve done it before. 

I say I am darkness, but because I understand that it isthrough darkness that you mature and true strength is earned.  

 


~Away from home

Posted by cellair on June 24, 2010 at 8:53 PM Comments comments (0)

By now, I assume you know I’ve gone on hiatus for the month because of my grandmother’s passing. I have flown to El Salvador to mourn with the family on my mother’s side. I never thought I’d be back here exactly a year after my last visit, under such circumstances. She was my only grandmother so that hurt is deep. And of course there are other issues and emotions escalating. It is a difficult time for all of the Romero family, so I do appreciate all the well wishes you’ve sent.

The time in between seeing family members and making preparations I’ve been trying to keep busy drawing, reading, and writing. As you can imagine, the time between the first two activities are very wide. A lot has happened to me since my last visit, and the evidence is hitting me hard in the face now that I have returned. Quite shockingly, it looks like I’m going to have to own up to those changes, especially where my family is concerned.

It’s no secret that I am very disconnected from my culture. I may speak the Spanish language, but living in Canada makes it very difficult to understand a heritage that is physically apart from you, even if it is thrown in your face every day by your parents. In my case, I am in many ways a by-product of my surroundings, but I have chosen not to be a project of only my parents up bringing, because I have grown with different concepts and understandings. But don’t confuse me with being white-washed. Let’s not forget I’m completely eccentric in Canada too.

The problem is that when I return to my heritage, and it is suddenly outside my door step and I have no choice by to live and breathe it, I find it very frustrating but I consider it to be against the very fiber that I consider to be me. The simplest example I can give is I am a vegetarian, and sure I got it literally from my father, but in El Salvador vegetarians are considered an American fad, something ‘gringos ‘ do to lose weight or to stay young and healthy. In El Salvador, most people only want to survive for the next day, and perhaps the day after. The farming industry is huge here, and most farmers raise chickens, cows, goats, and pigs for human consumption. Except for breakfast, every meal cooked at home, or found in the restaurants and fast food places here have some from of meat. So, I have no choice but to eat just the French fries, or the buns without the hot dogs and burgers, and any leftover bread. If I want a meat feed meal, I have to get my untainted vegetables and cook it myself. But my family, even after the several times I’ve been here, either forget or are still in shock that I don’t eat meat. Did I mention that El Salvador claims to be Latino and takes a great deal of pride in their unique culture? However, I walk through the shopping malls and see ‘Iron man 2’ brand t-shirts for little boys and Hanna Montana in the girl fashion stores. The country wants to be American in many ways, and yet they criticize those of us who leave the country because of the corruption and poverty and come back ‘Americanized’. My family thinks I’m pale and thin because I’m malnourished. They don’t believe I’m going to live past 25 and don’t understand why since e I come from a rich country. I’m not surprised that they’ve drawn such conclusions, but it does surprise me that the culture here is just as shallow as the one in the U.S and Canada. I remember in the last few weeks of my grandma’s life she wasn’t able to eat or keep food down anymore, but she was still plump and chubby that way she had always been. For that reason alone a lot of people who saw her assumed she was alright, they said she was ‘full’ of life. A lot of people here have not been told or taught yet that being overweight can lead to heart disease and stroke. So I’m often called skinny, in the context that I’m not healthy and lacking life.

I told you that my eating was the simplest cultural gap I have to deal with here, but it’s not my biggest. For the past four weeks, I have been pretending to be a catholic for the sake of my grandmother and the pride and honour my family has for being a catholic family. When my grandma was alive and I came to visit, I never saw her without her rosary and she would say a dozen prayers every day. And that was fine, that was her faith, but the problem is she forced it upon her children and they have now forced it on her grandchildren. On to me, and unlike most of my cousins who have either submitted, lied to themselves and gone along with it, I refused, and turned my back on a faith that has failed me more than once and has more contradictions and lies than I can count. Or at least in the way it was taught to me. It is not just my family though, the whole of El Salvador is strongly influenced by the Roman Catholic religion which is really quite strange to me. And I cannot help but believe they adopted it as part of trying to become or be like America. If you think about, the Catholic religion is partly responsible for the British colonization of North America and parts of Central and South American. They believed that their ‘God’ allowed them to take over and claim any land they worked and improved. This caused a dozen of problems that are still present today. I would hate to see that happen in El Salvador, but it’s already started. Luckily the only battle I have to fight is my own against my family. In church I’ve been pretending to cross myself, pretending to mouth the words of prayers, but I refuse to receive communion or go to confession. And it does hurt to have my mother yells in front of my family members, or calls me a bad person. But I’m not a bad person, just not Catholic. But that’s a secret. I can’t shame her, I can’t shame my grandmother. We’re supposed t be celebrating and honouring her memory, and she would want me to be catholic. But I think, more importantly she would want me to be happy, and to be honest. Or t least I would hope she would. I don’t know the rest of my family well enough, but I do know that if my mother can’t have reality she likes and wants me to play the fantasy and play it well, even if it is suffocating me, because that’s not the important thing. So I’ve been torn for the last while, and it’s been getting under my skin, because I’m reminded all the time that here I’m wrong, here I am persecuted and belong in hell or in some other nasty place. My mother even says and reminds me all the time I’m like my dad, the non-believer, the one that took her away and ruined her life and left me with her as punishment. I hate it that she’s doing it here, in front of my relatives, letting they know she’s disappointed because I’m supposed to be like her, the way she wants me to be.

So I’ve been pretending, and hiding. Hiding myself. My suit case has maybe two or three pieces of black clothing; I left anything obviously gothic behind. I’ve been wearing a wristband to hide my tattoo because my family can’t know I have one. In this country, to have a tattoo means you’re a bad person, or you’ve been to jail, or you’re a part of a gang. They mentality has forced gangs here to search for new recruits by searching them for tattoos. The superstitious and pious people gave them a really stupid idea and made it reality. So, much like everything else I have to hide.

I’ve thought about what would happen if I just peeled off this nasty, pink mask and just told the truth. Then I remember what my dad told me, and I know it’s true. I can’t negotiate with them because they believe they are right. They will either blame my age, or my upbringing in a white-base country, and even my diet. Or they just say what my mom says that I’m either possessed or am the devil and they will see me as nothing else. The only reason I bite my tongue so I can get along with them and make this mourning process a little easier. With my uncle’s drinking gone out of control, they don’t need my rebellion added to the trauma of losing the elder, my grandma. They don’t need to know I’m a witch. They don’t need to know I love the colour black and Halloween sis my favourite holiday. They don’t need to know the real me. And for this one month and the duration of the trip, till I can come home, I can live with that.

~The Curtain

Posted by cellair on April 27, 2010 at 3:52 AM Comments comments (0)

 


 

Curtain…And voila! Hello. A great deal has happened. My second year of University has come to an end. I can barley believe I’m already half way through. I quite pleased that I have made it this far. Honestly, six years ago I would have probably laughed if someone told me I was going to be a University student. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I am capable of such a thing.

    This year was quite a change and while the changes are not quite over yet I can say that I’ve work really hard and whatever successes come my way they are deserved. What ever failure, I am ready to learn from. The most difficult class for me this term was my theatrical comedy class. The reason for the difficulty is simply I am not funny. I do not enjoy performing comedy because naturally I enjoy writing and performing honest pieces, more than often, dramatic and tragic pieces. Comedy is the other side of acting that I have barley practiced and barley take seriously. Comedy, particularly on television seems really vulgar and insulting and hardly relevant to today’s world. I am also very much an activist. It knew however that I can’t call myself much of a performer unless I learn or try to tackle every dimension of the art. The marks have been released for that class and I have very anxious to see how I did in the end. I just feel so grateful that I had a friend in the class. I don’t think I would have made it through without her. Especially since we did the final two projects together.

    It was a difficult final month all round. I’ve lost the most sleep this year so far. And I’m having trouble kicking the habit as you can see. I know one of my faults is I am not very good at caring for myself. That need sot improve somehow or else, as everyone around me keeps telling me, I won’t live to do all the things I want to do.

    I am planning to use these months off and focus on my art. I have a poetry book in the process of being published. I am constructing the manuscript and hopefully I’ll be holding it in my hands in a month. I will also be writing a new plays and working on tons of pieces for a possible Gallery space at the library. I’m also submitting at least one painting into the Gallery/contest at Anime North this year. I’m using this as practice because I am thinking about putting up a table. But I don’t know if I’m ready.

    I’m sure, if you’ve look at the topic, you’ll notice this blog is supposed to be related to the theatre. I want to talk a bit about my plays since I had a big year this year with two show mounted. The first was “Hagoromo” at the Paprika Festival, and the second is my one-woman-show ~B-R-O-K-E-N M-I-R-R-O-R-Z~ (it’s actually read “Broken Mirrorz.” Two words only.

    “Hagoromo” was my pride and joy. I finally did it was half a full cast, half full costumes and a decent set. It was one of the most difficult projects I have ever taken on and but also a very rewarding one in the end. My past directing experience could not even come close to what I did from December 2009 to March 2010.  I had a cast of six girls and one boy. I wish I could talk explicitly, but what I will say was I was happy to have them in the show. They gave the piece a completely different life which is always wonderful to see.  I did experience setbacks but I knew they were part of the process. I also had a stellar groups of staff to help me put the show together. They were amazing and did so much for me. I was also generously supported by Kevin Wright and Scott Dutrisac, the technical directors at the L.L Brown Theatre.. They donated the rehearsal space to me, and even made the Japanese screen set for us.  If any of you are reading this, please know that I am eternally grateful to you all. Thank you so much for allowing me to bring heaven on earth once more.

    The piece itself, in the end, particularly the very last show was well done. It keeps on getting bigger and better. I don’t know when I’ll remount it, but I am certainly looking forward to it. I think the largest challenge with doing a piece like this is that you can easily lose yourself in the stress, in the tasks, in the acting, in the large visual aspects that you can forget the story itself ad why it is so significant. The story message is one I hold dear and it was something that IO took it upon myself to make sure it wasn’t lost. Women have a very important place in this world. We play a very crucial role in  humanity and that position deserves the utmost acknowledgment and respect. It should never be taken for granted, or forgotten. Not ever.

    My next show that I have been working on almost as long as “Hagoromo,” is show ~B-R-O-K-E-N M-I-R-R-O-R-Z~ . If you know me personally, then you know I rarely write a piece that is surrounded by dark theme.. Having said that, you should consider this play to be a  combination of a lost of dark and tragic themes. 

    It is the eve before my one woman show B-R-O-K-E-N M-I-R-R-O-R-Z. I have been working on this piece particularly for about two years. It is one of my most difficult pieces. Even now, having just memorized the last bits, and still stumbling through others, I don’t know how I’m going to do tomorrow night. In a way, I feel like, I won’t be able to go on as a artist, and as me, if I don’t do this piece, kit one of those barriers I need to face, fight and pass through. I cannot take the easy play, or the easy path. Because those things won’t ,make me strong.  It sounds selfish to always want to be the best or the strongest… I can’t help it though. The alternative… scares e too much I’m afraid.

    All of my pieces are important to me,. I never, ever work on something that isn’t what I consider and extension of myself. Aside form my love ones, nothing means more to be than my art. It is what I love for. It’s what gets me out of bed every morning. It’s my purpose in life. What saved me from giving up, and what keeps me going. This piece however is one of my most treasured pieces for a very specific reason. In many ways it is like a mirror of my self. It si a reflection of what I have been through in the life. This is not to say that the piece is biographical, but it is inspired by some of the tragedies I have witnessed to been through. Because it is so close to me personally, it is going to be difficult to perform it.  I’ve had to shorten it sadly because of the constrains o the festival but I’m going to do the best that I can. These broken stories, as I call them deserve to be told. I don’t know if I am the right person to tell me. But I want to try. I am going to try to be brave, and yell that cry o f help that so many people are afraid to cry.

    The message that I wan to send with these dark pieces is not about life’s tragedies, but how we survive them.  I believe in everyone there’s a Gisele. How do you set her free?

    So, I will let you know at some point how tomorrow goes. I am going full out in costume, make up (theatre only) and with as much of my acting training that I can remember.

In terms of life it self. Lately, its been hard. With school and tensions running high at home,. I have fought and had a small falling out with almost every member of the family of my family. Recently I have been thinking strongly about breaking away and being off on my own, physically. In many ways I know deep down that’s its better. I can’t say that I won’t feel loan some but at the sae, tie, I know that I a, alone either way. But I don’t want to be angry, or suffering needlessly. I want to work and live at ease. And I don’t want to be depended on anyone to take care of me. I think its almost time to make my own path. I won’t be easy I know but life itself isn’t easy, and I’m done looking for the easy path.

    I was listening to  KOTOKO the other day as I was completing my final exam for arts marketing and the music made me so happy and sad at the same time. It was purchased roughly two to three years ago, it immediately brings back those days when I still in high school. I had hardships but honestly I was also really quite happy. I didn’t accomplish every I have today but I had a lot of open and dreamed a lot. I also was surrounded by group of people who I can’t remember if they knew how much they meant to me but I certainly knew.  I look back I know a lot of that part of my life has disappeared but with listening to this cd, for a very brief moment, I am there again, laughing and smiling and believing that this moment choice just maybe last throughout my life. And you know what? A part of it has, and if this cd is proof that I am. But I may not smile as wide today, or as much, but I can still smile, and that that is bigger than any ever hope or dream than I could have possibly have now that I am content that I can produce good work and that I have worked so hard already.

    I said before that my goal was to work really hard in the future. To create and to tell stories. I never want to lose sight of that hope, or stop it all together.

 


 


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