WISDOM: A PORTRAIT SERIES
A N A M A T R O N I C
ARTIST, AUTHOR, + BROADCASTER
SCISSOR SISTERS + BBC
Photograph by Damian Weilers
I. Going to Tranny Shack and being in San Francisco were my performance art college. That was when my aesthetic and knowledge grew, because the performers and the people that I met were from all over the world, all different ages and from all different eras. This was just after what my friends refer to as “the gay holocaust,” which is when all of their friends who were HIV positive were dying. We were a group of people who were united in celebration and recognition in all that we are, have been, and have been through. That is the same sort of energy and recognition that I try to bring to my performances and my life experiences with other people. Recognition of the moment that we’re having together, and reveling in that moment. Giving yourself permission to go as crazy as you want to, and recognizing that it’s a way to deal with the darkness, as well.
II. It helps when you’re working on something to stop and allow the collective unconscious to come down. I’m really into this physicist who has his own brand of spirituality, Amit Goswami. It’s the idea that when you are working, your brain is in one mode, and when you are not working, your brain is in another, relaxed mode. Often, great thinkers talk about their breakthroughs happening at those moments when they’re actually not working, when they’re doing dishes or in the shower and they have that Ah-ha! moment. Dr Goswami talks about the idea that as important as it is to do, it’s really important to be. He calls it do be do be do.
III. My husband and I are in the Joshua Light Show, a psychedelic light show that’s been going since the sixties. It’s a collective of light artists, and we do light shows behind bands, making handmade light visuals. I use a giant overhead projector, and drop liquids into it, and manipulate the liquids along in time with the music. It’s stuff that’s been going since the days of Jefferson Airplane, The Who and The Doors. There’s nothing like working in collaboration with people on this kind of thing, where you’re seven people behind a screen and you can’t all put light on the screen at the same time. You have to know when to pull away and when to come in, and it’s a really fine line.
IV. I believe in the concept, as Elvis did, of TCB. Taking Care of Business. You take care of the business and then that allows and frees you to enjoy it. Understanding what your business is, and what everybody else’s business is, is really important. Everybody coming in knowing what’s expected of them allows for a really nice experience.
V. I gave up on wanting or striving for success a long time ago, because that’s bullshit. That relies on outside acceptance. If you strive for success, you’ll probably be disappointed, and you probably won’t gain any wisdom from it. Working toward fulfillment finds you gratified at every turn, because every little bit of recognition that you get, every show that you play, every bit of applause is earned and earned for an honest expression. To me, that’s so much where I’d rather be.
VI. I am for the Black Lives Matter movement. I’m really thankful for social media for that, because you get to interact with people and with minds who are thousands of miles away, have fantastic points of view, and really help illustrate thought in a way that you might not get in your normal social circles.