When creating choreography, if I have to stop and ask myself-- “Does this really work?” -- just the fact that I have to ask myself this question means that, no, it’s not right. There’s something about that question that lets me know my process in that moment is not organic. It’s desperation born of creative block, not true creativity.
No matter how strange our families might have been -- you know, like mine, much like The Addams Family -- we all have a gut that tells us when things are wrong; even if we can’t put it into words. My gut shoots the question into my brain, “Is this normal?” If I’m thinking that, I know it’s really bad.
I have, and I suspect most of us have, very wide what-is-normal parameters. We have high “weird” thresholds. I actually embrace the weird. I have been called weird. It’s really okay with me.
However, when weird gets to be mean and you are forced for particular reasons to deal with it in a personal way, you do have to strengthen your boundaries. You have to decide what you will and will not do. You must practice Birthday Cake.**
Or run away. Far away.
We had a difficult house guest staying with us and I was trying to be accommodating. I thought to myself, after an entire evening of what seemed like jumping through hoops, “Is this normal?” Then I thought back to all the other times in my life when I’ve had that exact thought. (There were many.) In hindsight I can say -- NO, those incidents were never normal. So when you ask yourself, “Is this normal?” the answer is NO! Again, my advice is: RUN AWAY, FAR AWAY! It’s not any “normal” you want to be involved with anyway. And if you think it’s weird, it is.
Countless times I pushed that question out of my mind. That is the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and saying, “lalalala, I can’t hear you!” Not anymore. I trust my gut and if it looks like a duck……well, you know.
My point is this: if you think it’s weird, it’s weird. You must then make sure not to give yourself away by putting energy into changing the weirdness. It doesn’t work.
“Normal” is what YOU think it is. Trust your gut. It’s as” normal” as you’re ever going to get.
And it’s perfect.
**Birthday Cake: The process by which one makes dog poop look like a birthday cake; the act you put on when you are smiling to indicate, “I’m so happy” when you are really miserable.