That Time I Danced Thriller

So I was in a talent show. I know, shocking, right? I actually participated in art this time! I mean, that’s a very loose definition of art, but I did it, so that’s all that matters, right?

Here’s the skinny (seriously, why don’t people talk like this anymore, it’s so freaking cool): I’m in InterVarsity Undergrad, or IVU, a club/Christian group on campus. Our leader/staff worker/patron of silliness Jess was speaking at the weekly meeting of Asian InterVarsity, or AIV, one of IV’s chapters on campus, so naturally IVU had to attend. I mean, it wasn’t mandatory or anything, but you get the idea.

I don’t know if there’s any history behind it or anything, but AIV typically has a post-AIV thing that they do each week, and of course the week Jess was speaking they were having a talent show.

Now, I vaguely knew about this but I didn’t really know until my good friend Stefany emailed me (and everyone else in IVU) and informed us that AIV really really really wanted us to participate. The email was sent out Wednesday night. Thursday night IVU met for our weekly meeting. Friday night was the talent show.

As you can probably already tell, our “talent” was not very talent-y…and that’s being nice.

But I mean, we had a plan of action, so that counts for something, right? We were gonna use our talent of silliness as our actual talent, and by that I mean we were going to wing it the whole way.

We decided on opening with a game of “Raptor Tag,” which seems pretty self explanatory but I’ll explain anyways. You go around, hopping around like a raptor and with your arms close to your chest because “I have a big head and little arms!!!“ You try to tag other peoples’ arms without extending yours because you;re a raptor obviously, and when you lose both arms you’re out. It’s kinda like ninja meets tag meets playing raptor. In any case, we were gonna start with a mock game of that to confuse our audience. And then, once we’re all dead, Dean would give a raptor-y cry of victory, and as the beginning notes of “Thriller” sounded over the speakers he’d raise us from the dead, raptor zombies here to change the world and get funky.

This, in theory, sounds wonderful – we were gonna learn an easy, 20-30 second dance to “Thriller” and it was going to be flawless.

We had about an hour Thursday night and Friday night to learn and practice our dance. So I’m sure you can predict how utterly flawless we all were.

In reality, I was a beat ahead of everyone else, forgot the moves and couldn’t shimmy to save my life.

But the thing was, it didn’t matter. I was giggling, next to me my friend Hannah was red-faced and smiling, and the whole auditorium in front of us whooped and cheered when they heard the first beats of the iconic song. They didn’t care that we were off beat and could never live up to the perfection of Michael Jackson’s dancing, just like we didn’t care that the slam poetry section ended up being “We’re All In This Together.”

Usually, I don’t try to make grand statements about Art in my blog posts, but tonight, I’d like to try. That night, I realized something. Art is about community, about ideas being exchanged between people in a creative way. And that talent show I was in was all about community. By the end of the night, when I complimented Zander on his terrific HSM dancing, he graciously accepted and said to me and my friends “You guys should come more often.” That invitation, that acceptance of us even though we were outsiders, made me feel as though I had just built a community of my own. It made me feel that art, in it’s silliest, wildest, least choreographed, most unpredictable form, brought us together that night to soulfully sing “We’re All In This Together.”

Because we are. We really, really are.


There is art and then THERE IS ART.

Notorious for proclaiming every damn thing in my life can be art, I am going to continue to cast my art-golf-umbrella on everyone who reads this: art is everywhere, everything is aesthetic in some manner, and sometimes everything sucks (or is so good) that aesthetics are all I can talk about without wanting to performance art myself into a plane and never come back.

Now 2 days ago I stopped writing my thesis and left the honors program ( and I’ve never felt better. However, it’s been interesting to see how people react to my news. From “TAYLOR?!? REALLY??!?!” to “I support and think that this decision will make you happy.” I appreciate both sentiments–it’s fun seeing what people do when I throw their world axis off just a smidge, and when I can surprise them. (boom.)

In the wake of all of this, I’ve received so much support and love. I’ve never felt more comfortable with a decision or more proud of myself, and it’s all because my community stepped up and validated, affirmed, and actively supported me. A community that I thought I had a solid grasp of who was in it, but, then again, I myself was surprised.

Come a month ago, while still writing my thesis, the most support I got was from my books, my tears, and “dreams . . . drugs . . . waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls” (a little Ginsberg goes a long way, no?). I’m not trying to call anyone out but the support I got while in the thesis process was no where near the level of support I have now. This got me thinking.

Support is an art form.

About a year or so ago I got in the habit of saying “I approve” at everything I wanted to affirm. Quickly, I realized that very few people need a white cisgender man to give approval–it’s weird, it’s unaffirming, and it’s just a little much, in my opinion. So I reflected on what I meant by “I approve,” and I came to the conclusion that I meant, “I support.” I support verbally, physically, emotionally, mentally; if I say, “I support _____,” you have my permission to use me and my resources to the fullest extent because I care, I support, and I want to validate and affirm you and your endeavors.

What I’m not so eloquently getting at is: support needs to be known.

Support isn’t some canvas on which I am painted. I need support to be painted on me. Covered in it, filled with it, not born from it. Support can’t be implied or unspoken because all it looks like is somebody somewhere following you or looking at you or sending some good vibes, which, don’t get me wrong, is wonderful, but isn’t really how I use or mean “support.”

Support is an action, a verb–to support. It necessitates motion from bodies and minds and hearts. It is not a watercolor. It is spoken word, it is slam poetry, it moves oceans and causes storms. I need support that will rock me to my foundation.

What stopping the thesis process has taught me is how to really support someone. I’ve learned this from those who’ve pretended and from those who’ve succeeded in supporting me. And today, perhaps, I can call myself an artist supported by fellow artists (friends, family, peers, acquaintances, coworkers, facebook strangers, grindr peeps, and people eluding my words)–with a general mission to support and affirm and validate.

Community and V for Vendetta: My First Viewing

So I’ve had a busy few days, mostly because of my procrastination, but luckily I got everything done pretty early tonight.

Unluckily, I almost forgot about my blog post. I’ve had a topic in mind for the past few days, but I’ve been working on an English assignment due tomorrow, so I’ve been avoiding the actual writing part. So here I am, sitting in the South Lounge at Markley, writing my post at the last minute.

I was going to talk about fall and how pretty the trees are, and although that is my new favorite thing to talk about since this is my first “real” fall (Houston, where I’m from, really doesn’t have a fall), my friend suggested a new topic as I rushed to get my laptop.

I’m in the south lounge because I’m about to watch V for Vendetta with some girls from my hall. I know about this movie, I’ve seen the clip of a speech from it as well as analyzed it, but I’ve never actually gotten the chance to watch it, nor do I really know what it’s exactly about.

I’m honestly a bit ashamed to say this, since I claim to be such a movie buff (seriously, if you don’t remember an actor’s name, I’m the one to ask). But that also means I get a unique experience. Not knowing much about this movie, I’m going to see it with an open mind, and with my friends, something I probably wouldn’t get if I was watching it alone in my dorm.

However, that also means I don’t have much to say about it. So as the movie is about to start, I am talking with my friends, just enjoying the community we have here, and wondering what I’ll think after I see it. But I’m also thankful – I really love getting to know everyone, and I feel like this is the way movies are meant to be seen, with friends, in a community.

Hopefully I’ll enjoy it. I think I will, seeing as it’s considered such a classic. Only time will tell. So as this night comes to a close, I have only one more thing to say:

Remember, Remember the 5th of November.