In my real artwork I analyse the world around me: I moved around as I was growing up, and didn't understand things because the rules were always changing. Through my paintings I looked intently my surroundings. For instance, I could see that people planted little shrubs too close to their houses, then the shrubs grew into huge things that pressed up against the walls. So I was undercover, but not by choice -- trying to figure things out from a purely visual standpoint.
Once I worked as a waitress. I did it because my friend Anne asked me to please work for her. Waitressing is part theatre and part nursing as well as part undercover spy. I was tickled by the undercover spy part: if you want to know which people are genuinely nice, work as a waitress. I'd never been in that section of society before -- holy moley it's a bizarre place. I should add "invisibility" to my list of waitressing components, as some people don't see you (as a person). I've always liked grumpy people, so the nursing part -- waiting on people with low blood sugar grumpiness who suddenly become wreathed in smiles after eating -- made me laugh.
Because I'm just that way, I've been searching for something "cool" about having ms, and let me tell you, it's been a fruitless task of many years -- until recently one morning as I was staggering up the stairs bearing a load of laundry. I don't know why it didn't occur to me before, but being a hopeless crip gives undercover observer status. I went to a Japanese teahouse once, for a tea ceremony, and as each person receives a cup he or she turns it and looks at every part -- observing and appreciating the weight, the texture, the dimensions, the color, the shape, the design, etc. I'm inclined that way anyway -- so what better way to turn life in my hands and observe each part than to have many roles? I like to see all around things -- so I have to go here and see life from above, here to see from below, here to see from any of a vast number of possible viewpoints. Makes sense to me.
One place I am able to explore now is art from the inside. Second Life gives me the ability to interact with my art in ways I'm not able to do in FL. I can build a house of my paintings, create any kind of avatar to be, design a stage set and upload it for 10L then act in it five minutes later. It's a bit like being inside the frame looking out. I have gone from analysing cultural subtext to exploring my own artwork, my own brain. It's turned the process from the charting of an unknown and hostile region to the exploration of the familiar, as new slants give perspective to old methods.