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radiation patch
  • Dustin Curry

Updated: Jan 17

If you think my starting a blog in 2023 is some sort of late-pandemic existential crisis, I'd tell you you're probably right...but then again, what do we think all my patches and pins are? (To be fair, I started dressing like that before the pandemic, during a previous existential crisis.)


Dustin Curry
This haircut from 2012: crisis.

At this point in my life and career, like a lot of performing artists across the globe, I am trying to get my sea legs as we navigate new audience habits, deepen our understandings of equity, inclusion and cultural humility, as well as re-examine our own relationships to our work.


We've all had to do a lot of growing over the past three years, that's for sure. And the last time I seriously sat down and wrote a blog or opinion article was almost a decade ago.


Dustin Curry
My last blog: same age as this haircut.

But we all have memories and Facebook status reminders from our less graceful years. The cringing lets us know how much we've grown, I've heard.


A decade ago I was living in and loathing the South. Any queer person in the South can tell you a lot about loathing. I had grown up in Arkansas, was attending undergrad in Oklahoma and would eventually spend four years in Dallas, Texas: I guess I was going for the Yee-Haw Triumvirate.


I said and wrote some things in that time that came from a place of college angst and anger. I still stand by many of the beliefs I held then, just no longer in that tone of voice.


Dustin Curry
Pictured: the personification of anger and the Rule of 3's on that haircut joke.

Fast forward to 2020, and if you're a white person or a predominantly-white organization with any shred of conscience, you ought to be doing some personal reflection and considering racial literacy.


But that's not what this blog is about. As a matter of fact, you and I both have no idea what this blog is going to be. I have a general understanding of what it won't be. It won't be perfect, it won't be consistent, and it won't be a cooking blog. I need an outlet, this website needs some SEO, and you're still reading, so you need...something?


After I lived in Texas, I ran away to clown school in northern California (see "crises" above). For better or for worse, I watched the pandemic, racial unrest and political upheaval play out from the dorm room of a small hippie MFA program in the Redwoods.


Dustin Curry and Nathalie FitzSimons
Although I'm still calling it "clown school" because they hate that.

One of the most fundamental principles we learned at clown school was the idea of "bouncing." Whenever a clown messes up or drops the bag, they have to bounce back. One of my teachers challenged us to perform "in the ascendant."


That's what I want to put out into the world in 2023: art and projects that are ascendant. Work that is kind and just and thoughtful and progressive. A lot of ridiculous with a little sublime.


This blog is one of my first steps in trying to put that kind of work into the world since the pandemic began. I still don't know what I'm doing. But at clown school we also learned to "live in the unknowing." And maybe that's enough.


Dustin Curry as a clown.
Pictured: a clown gag that didn't make it past the pandemic.

Dustin Curry

Portland, OR

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