When I was first dragged into…er, invited to work with Phoenix, I thought, “Are you sure? I’ve got a theater degree from a state school and a maxed out charge account at MissLulusShinyStuff.com. What on earth do I have to contribute to a collective of conservatory-trained dancers/actors/singers, besides the prescription pain killers from persistent ‘knee problems’?” But they seemed convinced and I’m always willing to try just about anything once or thrice. So I figured why not?
In getting to know the people behind Phoenix, one characteristic I’ve continually noticed is the lack of Concepts. Yes, that capital C is intentional. You see, I don’t like most artsy people. 99% of the time, they’re annoying, pretentious ninnies who can’t see past their own imagined fabulousness. I have scant patience for bullshit and most artistic folks are masters of it. But the people of Phoenix, while enormously talented, are (and I hate to use the word) nice. There’s a distinct lack of ego among all the company members. While we all want to show our art to the world, it’s not about My Grand Vision. It’s about doing good work and having fun.
I was recently having an artistic crisis (I never said I wasn’t in the 99% of annoying pretentious ninnies) and was so busy focusing on “making my career” that I forgot why I started taking off shiny bits of clothing in front of a room full of strangers in the first place — because it’s a damn good time! There is no greater rush than getting naked in a public setting and having people cheer about it. But I’d forgotten that part. The people of Phoenix are helping me remember that this is supposed to be fun. The best part of being a performer is getting to play make believe. And now I’ve got a bunch of new playmates.
Buckle up, possums, it’s gonna be a wild ride.