Friday, March 13, 2015

     Years ago, when I was young and naive, a handsome stockbroker in my adult university class told me that I was “a foxy lady.” I was dumbfounded, as I knew in my heart of hearts that I was way too young to be labeled a “lady,” Siri hadn’t been invented yet, so I couldn’t access her to find the definition of such label. It didn’t occur to me until recently that the part of that comment I should have examined was the “foxy” part. When I stumbled on a post today that described the “animal in you,” I realized that, yup, I share many traits with the red rover who keeps squirrels away from our roof.

     Such characteristics as “gregarious, creative, always active, sly, manipulative, best left alone when angry”--yup, that’s moi. The fox “spends a lot of time in its head, and is often surprised to learn that its intellectual pursuits are intimidating. A love for exploration is mixed with enjoyment in overcoming challenges, and foxes are often out climbing mountains or journeying to exotic, forbidden places. With an appreciation for the finer things in life, they demand quality in entertainment, food and friends.” Some bored retiree probably made all this up, but it fits, so I’ll use it. 

      With recent discussions of “lone wolf” terrorists, I noticed that the wolf tends to be a loner. Me too. I am not a “group” kind of person, but I am a performer, and my mentor, George Carlin’s take on loners versus groupers (not to be confused with the fish that sells at over $24.95 per pound) is fascinating. George says, “The aloneness of the stage makes groups irrelevant. Few things dramatize the face-off between loner and group more starkly than the artist before the audience. And there’s an irony here. If this loner can’t get the audience to act as a group---laugh, applaud, together--he’s f-----.” 
I am preparing a performance, so I am all about getting my loner/wolf cape on and motivating my audience (the group) to get their Group-on (not to be confused with the coupon available for groups) and award me a standing ovation.

     George nailed it when he said about performing, “To be intensely alone, intensely myself, in control of everything, the center of a self-created universe, there can’t be anything better than that.” This is true. People have no idea the time, focus and creative energy that go into preparing a performance--a self-created one-person show. My peers think at my age, it’s a miracle I can get out of bed in the morning, so they’re impressed that I will just show up. This is good, as it gives me a senior edge. But the actual creation of a one-woman show, that’s something they could never imagine, unless they’d done it themselves. I will be a stellar show person, or I will crash and burn. No one else can take the credit or the blame. 

     So, I suspect you are looking for a point to all this. So am I.