I am a real Jeckell/Hyde type when it comes to optimism. I was born with a strong cynic inside me, one who sneaks in at unexpected times and layers its whim over the top of my natural sincerity and hope, giving me a speech impediment wherein I may always sound like I am being sarcastic, but trapped underneath that veil is a sentimental fool. So today I had one of those moments that, since 1998, I refer to as an American Beauty moment. If you've seen the movie, you know the one. Annette Benning, playing a real estate agent who has failed to sell a house after a manic episode of reciting positive affirmations while housecleaning , crumples against the floor in disappointed tears...and then, there is this moment, a conscious shift that she will not let this destroy her, that she will keep trying. Benning begins to slap herself violently, cursing herself for being weak, and a moment later she stops crying, adjusts her suit and is off to try, try again.
I guess I identify with this moment--I have failed a lot in my life, but I am incredibly persistent as I move toward my goals, and this stubbornness has gotten me up off that floor many times. Yet there is something a little masachistic about it, and today when I crumpled to the floor in dissapointment it was not Annette Benning I thought of--no more American Beauty moments for me. No, the pop culture icon that sprung to my mind was Ugly Betty--the persistent and sincerely optimistic television character who consistently transcends the meanness of people, the ugliness of life and the inequity of the workplace with her positivity. In my frustration, I asked myself, "What would Ugly Betty do?", and the first thing that came to mind was "start a blog". My focus will be "What do I do with a Masters degree in Contemporary Performance?", therefore this blog may meander between larger issues of being over-educated and under-employed to more specific discussion of contemporary performance.