Transformation Complete

Dear Marilyn,

This is me as you from August 4, 2013. I feel the photographer captured something of you in this photo. Thank you for loaning yourself to me and for giving me a taste of the moments in time on your last day.

What I want to say for now it this:

we were always free

trapped in a golden cage

lit up like a torch of hips and lips

burning through all the old papers and heart saws

rest awhile beautiful

sleep in perfect wisdom

rock out your work of nowness

enter the back room territory

as i float above alone

Love,

Alice

This is a drawing of me as Marilyn by Anne Saitzyk.

I will be on retreat until the end of August, but look forward to sharing more experiences from the day of this performance when I get back. The live stream is still available if you want to watch any of the installation. Go here.

Advertisements

In Between Identity

It is the conflict between where I am and my version of you that holds all the truth and beauty of this piece – and because you are you – all your truth and beauty lies in the push pull of Marilyn and Norma Jean. Also maybe between what was expected and what you were able to manage in your life.

-Project Journal June 2013

Thanks to Sonora & House of Minerva for bringing this Shaw photo session to my attention.

Giving & Receiving

Dear Friends of Room One,

I have created an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to help this project come to fruition. If you are able to make a donation of any size (even $1 helps!), please do so here. Furthermore, it would be a great help to me if you could also share this campaign with your people and help get the word out.

I want to share some gratitude today. I have been thinking of the last year and all that has transpired since I set out on the path to become Marilyn Monroe. This choice has created a dialogue with a network of supportive and creative friends. My blog has attracted other creative and open-hearted individuals, and we have read each others writing, commented, liked and generally celebrated the act of engaging with this thing called life.

I have also grown closer with friends and family as a result of sharing myself in a more open way through this project. There is really something to be said for going to the places that scare you and then looking around to see who else is there. There is a special bond that grows when we can be with each other in a way that says “Yep, me too.” I have always craved this kind of connection and feel very lucky to experience this giving and receiving.

Throughout the year, I have had the opportunity to look with honesty at my relationship with this body of mine too. I started out thinking that becoming Marilyn Monroe would encourage me to slim down at last. What I discovered is that I am an emotional eater. When I feel groundless I turn to food to feel grounded. I have felt groundless a lot this year and I have turned to food a lot. And I am okay with that. I realized that this project, Marilyn Monroe, or any book, diet or exercise regime is not going to change this relationship with food.  Only I can dance this dance of not enough/too much until I tire the whole story out. Since it is a lifelong habit, I might need some time and space to really learn the dance.

I have been a witness to Marilyn’s relationship with her body and in the witnessing have found a lot of compassion for all of us women who fear the true beauty of our hips/breasts/mouths/minds and all the rest.

Often I ask myself if it is necessary to keep going with this project and see it through the performance. I have wondered if it will be of benefit to anyone. But lately, I have felt that I am cracking the code. I am opening the doors and saying have a look, don’t be shy. There is safety in groundlessness. We are born in the space of not knowing. In that space we live and die, each day a new chapter of the story is being revealed to us one moment at a time.

On August 4 I will perform as Marilyn. We will step into that unknowing together and exist there for a full twelve hours, our existences blending. This happens to be the last full day that Marilyn lived (She died August 5, 1962 at age 36). In the performance space I will be posing this question: How will we each spend our last day? I invite you to come and spend a few minutes or an hour or the day contemplating this question with me and Marilyn.

If you are unable to come, you can support by giving something to the Indiegogo fund. Also, I will make sure that you are linked in on the webcast the day of so you can take part from afar.

Down The Rabbit Hole

Dear Marilyn,

I have been feeling really afraid. I’m ready to run. My whole objective here is to NOT avoid fear, so I can’t really run. And now i am terribly afraid. Here’s why I am afraid:

I don’t know where we will perform. One really exciting venue has expressed an interest. There are some great spaces to rent. It’s all do-able but unknown right now. The unknown thing is driving me crazy.

I don’t know how much I will really change. If I don’t change then what is this story? If I went around the world in a whole year and then came back to find all the same things still there…what is that? Is that the story? Am I coming home to me? How do I write about that and how do I perform that? Lately, I am struggling with all the same issues and it seems the more I change, the more I stay the same. How does one measure change anyway?

I suddenly feel I may not have your posthumous permission to be doing this. I have been thinking a lot about why I have chosen you. I know that I have always connected with your vulnerability, feeling myself like a very vulnerable person. It has occurred to me that I felt I needed your light and inspiration to embark on this project, which has allowed me to communicate some of my creativity, joy and sadness with a greater audience. Also, I feel that I may be claiming you as one of my ancestors. I am so curious about all the workings of women artists, being raised be one and being one myself. I feel I need your blessing in some way but am not sure how to get it.

I am not losing very much weight.  I don’t want to say anything else about that. Ok, maybe I do. Fear usually makes me want to eat and sleep. This project makes me feel afraid. I want to do things that scare me because I know it builds courage and I want to live a courageous life. I want to engage with the rich colorful deep mysteriousness of the world around me. And lately I want to engage with a lot of toast.

Someone commented negatively on my project. The exact words were: You don’t look anything like her…move on!!,,, get psychological help!!!! This is unsolicited advice from someone I don’t know, but I do realize that putting myself out there is an invitation for responses positive and negative. In some ways, I feel like I have entered into a new arena with this negative comment…like it is a rite of passage. Not everyone is going to like it. I wish I could create something that everyone would like, but that wouldn’t allow me to include all the mystery, confusion, clarity, and uniqueness of my own heart. How did you deal with those that thought you were crazy? I know that you feared insanity, as I do, and I think many artists do as we have to dive in to some unknown territory again and again.

On the very first day of this project I wrote this quote in my journal:

Our message is simply one of appreciating the nature of things as they are and expressing it without any struggle of thoughts and fears. We give up aggression, both toward ourselves, that we have to make a special effort to impress people, and toward others, that we can put something over on them.[…] We need to be honest, real, and very earthy, and we really need to appreciate things as they are.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche – True Perception

So, I think I am supplicating you here Marilyn. Please help me to have the courage to face my fears and see this thing through. Please help me to let go of the need to impress and just be genuine. Please allow me to join you in the ranks of women artists and make something that rings out truth. Please guide me to the heart of the matter, bringing lightness, courage and right effort.

Much love and gratitude for you,

Alice