do you consider yourself a performer or a performing artist? why?
that’s a really interesting distinction to make. i’ve never thought about it that way. is there really a difference? i’m a performer. i’m an artist. i’m a performance artist. i suppose it all depends on how you break down these terms.
a performer. i perform for audiences. i have a costume. i have a character. i utilize the small amount of acting skills that i have to play this role. i do rehearsed improv.
an artist. i perform to express myself, to be simultaneously vulnerable and strong, to have fun, to create beauty. my highschool art teacher would always say “take something, do something to it, then do something else to it. that’s art.” i’ve taken my body, i’ve covered it in white clothing and makeup, and i’ve made it remain motionless in a pretty pose to create the illusion of being a statue. i’ve created art.
a performance artist. my art has the four basic elements of performance art, according to wikipedia. time, space, the performer’s body, and a relationship between performer and audience. i perform for an hour, or two, or three, or four. i hold a pose for a length of time that is determined by the frequency with which i receive donations from kind strangers. i perform in a public space, on a sidewalk, in a park, in a cafe. my body, as mentioned earlier, becomes the my canvas. and while i could pretend to be a statue with absolutely no one to witness it, i’m not that crazy. i require an audience, to watch me, to talk about me, to interact with me.
so, with all that in mind, the answer is: yes.