It's been hard to live in the internet lately. As a disabled person, the internet/social media can be one of the primary ways that we connect with each other. But also as a disabled person, when I am trying to engage with the physical, immediate world around me, it can be hard to keep up with the self-promotion and online updates necessary to sustain the work that do and want to do more of. Every day I wake up to news notifications that more Palestinians have been murdered in Gaza for trying to stand up to the corrupt alliance between the US and Israel. That high schoolers have been murdered for going to school. Love to Gaza. Love to Texas. The next thing I check is my bank account balance, and it's $145.00, which is relatively high for so late in the month.
The only thing there is to do is hustle harder. And the harder I hustle, the more that gets missed. With the work I was put on this earth to do (make dance and help others value and put forth the value of their bodies), and the body I was put on this earth to that work with, it is not possible for me to work a full time job outside of the work. I am currently in my final month of Personal Trainer School (a roll I had to slow in order to be with the work, gigs, and auditions I had already committed to this spring). On June 27th I will take my Personal Trainer Certification Exam from NASM. The work I am doing in this course is multidimensional. To supplement what I am learning there, I also signed up for a Human Physiology Course on Coursera, and I am also teaching myself Ballet a la Terre (Floor Barre) via studying classical ballet technique primarily from books (and Misty Copeland) and Ballet in Form via Youtube. Not only do I do the work of memorizing all the standard information I am given about bodies, but I do the translating work. Making it work for my body, and imagining what could work for many other kinds of bodies as well.
Even though my course will end by the end of June, my monthly payments that I owe NASM continue till January of 2019. I am a part of three volunteer based collectives/cooperatives/teams creating Access Centered Movement curriculum, parties, events, media, fashion and visual art, and expressive opportunities by and for people of color, and using careful research and congregational interviews to find a new minister for my church. Oh and being the Front Desk Intern at Velocity Dance Center! Other than the $530 I get from SSI each month, all of my income is gig based. Since my little fingers are already in all the pies with all my community based volunteer work, planning my wedding with my beloved, creating the safest, most comfortable, and most community loving home as possible, building my Pacific Northwest beautiful and medicinal garden. I will always apply to part time work that makes sense for me, I will always apply for grants and for shows which pay, my goal is to become a sustainably supported performer, community organizer, Access-Centered Personal Trainer and Dance Teacher, but all this takes time.
My disabled homies, y'all know what "Time" is like. It's different for us. We often don't have the choice but to take it, to disappear temporarily from either the online or in person worlds while we grow and heal and take stock. It is such a relief when we can take pride in our own pace. When we say, to quote India Harville, that we must survive "in, but not of capitalism". Part of this, is not feeling that we have to mimic capitalism's prescribed pace in the beautiful, life affirming work that we do. The catch of course, that many of us without trust funds are so familiar with, is that Capitalism doesn't stop just because we stop modeling and internalizing its value system in our lives.
I don't know who of my beloved community/scene/human landscape have the funds to kick in $2 to $500 a month. Only you know that. It seems silly, after all that, to say, every little bit helps. As a queer Black disabled choreographer trying to save the world, I gots expenses! Will you support me financially with whatever you've actually got to spare? Will you share excitement about my work and my Patreon with your networks? I'm back on the internet more consistently, at least for a little while. It will change week to week, but love and desire stays in the world.
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