Featured Artist of the Month: March 2019
by Clare Edgerton
I love who I am.
Yet even in the most content of moments
I always wish I could contain 10,000
more versions of me.
More like my mother.
More like the girl I could be in the hat.
There are multitudes of me inside myself.
And so I create and
kiss beautiful men and
tear apart my soul and
in the same moment
can be Enough and
I struggle with personal branding. And not just because I feel like I’m far too complex of a person to be distilled into something as commercial and digestible as a ‘brand,’ but also because I am resistant to the 21st-century necessity of artists creating and embodying a clear, concise, and sellable product. I am not a brand. I’m a multifaceted, contradictory, ever-changing spirit having an Earthbound experience. But that doesn’t make for a very marketable tagline.
I should know, I work in marketing.
And yet I go around and around, trying on different titles, different identities, different roles. I struggle with the multitudes of me inside myself and how to express them clearly to someone outside my head and heart. In the last three years alone I’ve been a Theater Maker, Empathy Activist, Content Editor, Storyteller, Education Manager, and Idea Midwife. Some of those have been official titles, others are varied expressions of an essence I’ve been circling around.
I care about stories, I care about people, I believe in connection, and I’m really fucking creative.
When Alex asked me if I’d be interested in being the featured artist for March -- and the month’s exploration of Women’s History Month, empowerment, and femininity, I started to ponder my relationship with the feminine. And I questioned when it has and hasn’t empowered me throughout my circuitous journey.
I’m undeniably feminine in my appearance. I’ve always been rather soft and round-ish, even at my most fit and thin. I was never going to play what they call the “pants” or “breeches” roles in Shakespeare. All those amazing roles where women dress up as men as a form of disguise or dissemblance. Rosalind, Viola, Imogen, Julia, have never really been on the table for me. No matter what trousers you put me in, my ass is going to give me away.
A huge part of why I stepped away from pursuing theater as a career was my fatigue with people (mostly white men) telling me what stories I could or could not tell. What I was “believable” as. For some this may have led to a desire to direct, or write, or change the narrative of the industry I had trained for over a decade to be a part of. But somehow I found myself exploring the core of why I loved the theater, and found that I could be similarly fulfilled through other channels.
There are a great variety of channels that currently flow into the ocean of my understanding of myself. I’m a writer, poet, very occasional performer, aspiring witch, tarot lover, and insatiably curious human.
Lying in Bed
My mind is moving a mile a minute while
I’m lying, still in bed, at 11am
Paralyzed by potential energy
Too many roads diverging becoming a melange of metaphors
And I’m leaning on cliches as I limp
Toward the end of this moment.
Where is my yellow brick road?
How do I get out of the woods?
Fuck, I miss the trees.
I now read tarot. I love it. I especially love reading for other people, and I most especially love reading for driven, passionate women. My curves and feminine face are no longer the liability they were when I dreamed of being a classical actor. Feminine power, strength, and grace are now at the center of much of my life, particularly my creative practice.
I host a monthly event called Creative Coven out of my absurdly cozy little apartment in Greenpoint with my partner and some of our delightful friends (one of whom is a wizard, yes, really). Creative Coven explores creativity as intuitive/divine expression. It’s part church, part witchy-weirdness, part discourse, and lots of fun.
I truly believe everyone is creative. We all have a spark. We all deserve to have the space and time to explore and kindle that spark. And we all deserve to be more than a brand. Let’s keep exploring and expanding together, shall we? Stay curious!
there’s more to life
but there’s also
but also the complex
hurrying up to take your time
pretending to be an insider only makes you
more of an outsider
leaving something unfinished when it doesn’t need an
*all poems in this piece are written by Clare Edgerton