I’ve stepped to a few mics in my day. I suspect I’ll step to a few more. I consider myself a writer and performer working in the quilt industry. Today, I write plenty, but most of it is within the sphere of the American quilt industry. And I perform in the same industry, as well; being in front of the camera is performing, even as you try hard to just be natural.
But in Mary B.Q. (“Before Quilts”) I wrote scripts for media companies, education companies, syndicated content. I wrote marketing plans and white board papers. Those were less fun than the tons of book content I wrote for a publishing company that makes books on things like dog facts, the United States, and The Top Ten Haunted Houses in America. It was a decent gig; I learned an astonishing number of random facts that slipped into the slurry of factoids sloshing around in my head, likely never to be retrieved again. What do bloodhounds and poodles have in common? Ask someone else because I have no idea.
The performance part of my life before quilting took over involved slam poetry in the beginning and evolved into performance art eventually, mostly with the Neo-Futurists here in Chicago. The Neo-Futurists are an ensemble of rare creative types who are slightly weird and head-slappingly talented; if you know Chicago, you know of the Neos. I was extremely fortunate to win a place in the ensemble and perform and tour with the Neos for nearly six years. (I’ll tell you more about the Neos someday.) I have been grateful to be invited to share work at many “live lit” events in Chicago and that still happens with fair frequency. So yeah, I’m a performer.
Clearly, I’m still writing — and the ol’ PG is outside of the quilt world, even with a post here and there regarding quilt-related work. I write all the time on my own, too. But I don’t get to step to an actual microphone as often as I’d like. There’s nothing like a mic stand, a mic, and a sound system. So simple. Elegant. Just a stick and a prayer, you know? Sound waves and things. I love standing behind a mic and sometimes, when I’m giving a lecture at an actual lectern, with a podium that separates me from the audience with that big block of wood, I miss the other part of me that doesn’t need (or want) to have any barriers up there.
Maybe I should just buy one and keep it in my house.