“I’m changing, I hold myself to keep from shaking/ These hands are done, but I’m not/ And I’m not full, but I’m not done either – just trying to hear what I need to see” -Listener “You Were a House on Fire”
It was barely 9am, and it was already ninety degrees. My iced coffee was already melting, even though I was in air conditioning. A slow work morning made for good chatting with my co-worker. Somehow, we got off into this flurry of the best shows that we had ever seen. I grinned, “You know, what is weird? My favorite shows that I’ve seen have not be in L.A. People are so dead at shows here. I have been to some of the best shows in the smallest venues in small cities.” My coworker glared at me, “Well, that’s because people in L.A. are just too cool to have fun.”
When you grow up in suburbia, you come to think that everything that is great happens in a big city. In fact, I had an acting teacher tell a girl in a class one time that she was suburbia. Cities were where great things happened, and she was boring and would never make it. I think that attitude is true for many people still. It’s hard to look at the community around you as see the world of potential. Don’t get me wrong, cities are wonderful places for opportunity, culture, and individual growth. However, I am a huge supporter of the arts in places that you would least expect or even in places that you may have just overlooked. Art and culture are not just in New York and Los Angeles. Exciting things are not just happening everywhere else. Spectacular things are happening where you are right now.
I recently read this lovely article in Charlotte Magazine “Les Provocateurs” about “twelve artists and creatives that are shaking up Charlotte’s cultural scene.” They are artists, musicians, filmmakers, directors and everything in between because when you are truly an artist, you cannot be placed in a tidy little box. These “creatives” seek to influence the world around them and to make their community aware of what is happening there. Their passion for their craft and their city is infectious. Perhaps, this quote by filmmaker Scott Lazes said it best, “I often say that we really don’t create anything; we just point the camera at creative things that are happening in the community. If anything, the creative work in Charlotte simply needs more exposure.” I could not agree more.