First, feelings. Second, practical stuff.
(I promise most of these posts will not be this long. I just have a lot of feelings today.)
Part I, FEELINGS:
Wow. Just wow guys. I don't properly have words to thank you thank you thank you. This week we managed to blitz my first two goals (of $200 and $500 a month), which I thought would take mayyyybe 6 months? I wasn't sure. All I know is that I was not expecting This, and I am so grateful, and it comes out through emphatic dancing (see gif above of me dancing to this song after I found out I got a pledge of $100 a month! WTF!?!) and a bucket of eye juice.
When I put up the Patreon page a week ago I thought this was mostly about money. Like obviously not all about money, it's partly about money, and partly about community, but what I didn't realise was that it's also about this process of Becoming Real. I've been making art for the past eight years, and I have never really expected (despite my efforts) to be able to do it as my Real Job. I have always done it because it genuinely keeps me sane, and because it makes my life meaningful (and hopefully other people's). Thus I have never reaaaaallly considered myself a Real Artist. I've always just thought of myself as a person that "does things that make sense (to me)", like create a pseudo-science social research centre or make a film from inside a psych hospital. I always realised that these activities were not going to get me the BIG BUCKS (or many bucks at all really), I did them because I'm interested in how we can be in the world, and putting myself in (often) ridiculous / vulnerable situations to convince myself (and hopefully others) that there are more options for who and how we are than we might think.
So to have been putting myself Out There for years, and to have it come back in spades through something like Patreon, that isn't just about money, that's about completely rethinking what I do and who I think I am. I have made a habit of trying to show the world my most authentic, vulnerable, afraid, and timid bits, and to be supported in this way for doing so makes me feel - and I know this sounds cliche - but, it makes me feel loved. For who I am. It's that kind of old old friend love, from that person who has seen all the ugly bits of you and not only says "you're okay", but "I support you for being who you are, and I want you to be more of you".
I will admit, there is an aspect of "hey Dad see I can do it!" and being less afraid of explaining myself at high school reunions (not that I've ever been to one), but the rearrangement of how I think about what I do is more complete than that. I have always, since forever of remembering, thought that there was something "wrong" with me, that I was someone who was, inexplicably, broken. I felt (still feel sometimes) on the outer, like I Do Not Fit Properly. Much of how I deal with this is through my art, by trying to uncover myself so that others can see bits of themselves too. And so being supported for my art is not just about what I make but who I am and who I would like to be.
A couple of years ago, I remember driving through the bush listening to Alec Baldwin's interview with Lena Dunham from GIRLS. Right at the verrrry end, Lena says "I think I always had a feeling like if you just stick around and continue to be yourself, the correct people will find you, [and] uniting with your people is like about as comforting as feelings get." When I listened to that, I was like, that sounds like home, I want that. And now, I feel like I am really finding it, it's the hug that took eight years, but it's the best fucking hug I'll probably ever get. Thank you for being here, thank you, from the bottom of my strange human heart, for The Hug.
Part II, PRACTICAL STUFF:
The new episode of Being Honest With My Ex is up and you can find it here. This one is all about polyamory (and the giant mess Peter and I made of it) and there was way more dredging up of dirty laundry than I expected. This was thanks mostly to the fact that I pretty much blocked out all my memories of all the awful shit that happened or that I was responsible for (Note: I look bad in this one).
For $5+ patrons I'll be posting up the first edit of Episode #32, Cheating On My Ex, which is by far the most cringeworthy episode so far because I look reaaaaaally bad in it. You'll also be getting some deleted scenes from episode #32 (because it was soooo long) for your enjoyment. They are exclusively for you guys, because I can do that kind of stuff now, which is super cool!
Postcards! I'm going to get some Proper Postcards printed for $5+ backers, so they'll take a week or two to get to you because I want them to be special :)
Other Things: you'll be getting a personal email from me about The Things That You Get Now, it's just taking me a little while cause holy shit there's so many of you and I want to talk to you all personally. If you've sent me an email / message, I'm on it. You'll hear from me once I pick myself up off my grateful artist floor.
Notifications! I'm mindful of not cluttering up your inbox with notifications, so I'm going to try to only do an update once a week at most. If however, you're receiving other things like podcast episodes, being involved in group chats etc, you'll likely get an extra private post for you, so I can get all the things to you. I'm very much still learning my way around how to best give you the things without it being annoying / burdensome, so stay with me. And if you've got ideas / feedback you can email or comment on this post (click through to the Patreon page if you're reading in your email).
Melbourne people (sorry everyone else): this TUESDAY I am starting the mental health discussion group (oh god it needs a better name) that I've been talking about on instagram. If you are interested in coming along to philosophise and wax lyrical with each other, send me an email ([email protected]) with the subject "I want to talk about feelings" and I'll send you the details.Also! I'm doing a talk THIS WEDNESDAY (oh shit!) at Global Ideas on "how the labels, assumptions, and expectations of health professionals and broader society have impacted [my] sense of identity". There will be feelings and socio-political unpackings and I'm sliiightly terrified. If you want to come there are a small amount of tickets (it's an intimate event I'm told) and you can find them here. In the spirit of transparency, I'm doing this talk FOR THE FREE because it's an issue I'm super passionate about, and because Global Ideas is a small organisation trying to do good good work. You being a patron helps me to be able to do things like this because anyone who's done stuff for free will know, participation is not cost neutral. It takes time / energy and so having an income from here means that I have more freedom to do the Things That I Think Are Important, like this thing.
And lastly, CA$H DOLLAR$: just a reminder that all pledges are in US dollars because Patreon is an American site. Also, pledges are made on the 1st of the month. Just wanted to make sure y'all knew :)
That's all for now y'all. If you have questions / comments you can send me an email [email protected], send me a message here, or comment on this post (again you'll need to click through to the post if you're reading this in your email).
Holy shit it's real guys. I'm real. Woah.