Without argument, my absolute lack of anything published academically (or anything academically publishable) is my biggest Grand Canyon-wide gap as a doctoral student. While my academic adolescent self would argue that writing something just for the sake of this requirement and publishing in journals that are only accessible to universities and to people willing to pay a significant amount of money are against my values, it doesn’t erase the fact that writing—in spite of my values, in spite of my great love for it—is difficult.
This candidacy portfolio caught me in a year when what I wanted to do the most was to just put myself out there and do things (and journal about it creatively). I wanted to see if I were ready to assert myself as someone who actually knew some things versus someone who was still learning. Indeed, I accomplished a lot of projects in 2018, but it came at the cost of “academic” writing. (I did write a critiqued book review, but I don’t count that.)
This is something I inarguably want to work on. While I still am conflicted about the medium, i.e., the academic journal, I am certain that I want to write. I’ve been completing this portfolio while volunteering part-time in a hostel. Whenever I would talk about what it is I’m studying to a curious guest, whether they come from Japan, the United States, or anywhere else, they would always exclaim, “I never knew theatre could do that!” It could, it could! I want cry. I want to write about applied theatre somewhere the everyday person can read about it, or maybe somewhere young people—and not just when they reach university—can learn about it.
All that said, for this requirement, I feature a year-long project that I explored with New York University’s Verbatim Performance Lab (VPL). A curiosity we in VPL wrestled with was how our artifacts could be used by schools and communities and what those curricula would look like. I was deeply involved in two of VPL’s residencies in New York City during autumn where we used our Kellyanne Conway artifact and our Kavanaugh artifact. This March, I facilitated a process drama in an all-girl’s high school in Manila using our Duterte artifact.