Day 3, Tuesday, March 10, 2009 –
Today was rough. I hardly wanted to step outside and thought of any way of avoiding it. I am not a very social person and this performance has been extremely difficult. Early in the morning, I headed to Pete’s Cafe to have breakfast with 7 other colleagues. The meeting went well and the support I received was making me feel much better. A friend suggested that I got a disposable camera and approach people to take a picture. I thought this was a great way for me to get over my anxiety to approach people and it has worked well so far. However, it turns the performance into a sort of amusement park entertainment which is not the intention of the work. But it has eased some of my anxiety so I have used it only as a tool to loosen up then I hide it for the remainder of the day.
I find it interesting that people frequently say to me when I explain the work “So you’re not a REAL soldier?” in a low, monotone, seemingly disappointed tone. I tell others that I was a military spouse. I’m curious if they think that the performance is less valid . I also wonder if people are initially interested to talk to the ‘soldier’ because I am woman? Does that make the performance more of a spectacle?