THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Creativity

Emily Reeder and Cal McNamara

Emily Reeder and Cal McNamara

 

Date of Interview: October 24, 2016

Name: Emily Reeder and Cal McNamara

Age: 27 and 25

Pronouns: She/Her and He/Him

Location: Arlington, VA

 

If you were a sea creature which one would you be?

Cal: What’s the biggest whale? That big ass whale, that just opens it’s mouth…
Emily: The blue whale?
C: No… It’s huge…
E: Humpback whale?
C: Maybe… Whatever that biggest one that lives in the ocean because they cover the most distance and like, the ocean is huge so… You kind of need to be able to get around quickly.
E: I don’t really identify with the creatures so much. I have a really good relationship with the ocean and just, as it is… It revitalizes me on it’s own. So I think I’m comfortable with the ocean being itself and me being myself.
C: ::Whispers:: Choose a creature.
E: If I had to choose a creature I would be… I like sea urchins the most. I’m very attracted to their form and I’ve made them in art a few times. I don’t know if I would want to be one, but I like them a lot ::laughs::

What are you passionate about?

Emily: I’m really passionate about making art, making jewelry, teaching. Very… Very very creative. I paint, I sew, I make jewelry, basket weave. Whatever I am able to get my story out in is the media I choose at that time. And so it’s more about getting lost in that moment and breathing for the first time in two or three hours and being like… Woah. I got lost in that and it took me somewhere. And hopefully it will take someone else somewhere. That’s what my passion is.
Cal: My thing is music mainly. I’ve done some collage work before but it’s mainly been recording and writing music and playing guitar since I was 11 so… Then I introduced other instruments into my life so being able to be a one man band… It can be tough, not having the input from other people but I’m able to get lost in the tools that I have. It’s kind of like she said, coming out of that haze of a five hour session, literally forgetting what time even is, not even considering that time has passed to coming out of that and hopefully able to get other people to feel the way that other music has made me feel and what made me want to create in the first place.

Do you think emotion plays a big role for you creatively?

Emily: I know for me, I didn’t really understand art as a creative outlet until I stopped taking medication for ADHD, when I was 13 or 14. I used to want to be an engineer and I joke a lot that I am an engineer, it’s a joke around the house a lot. But when I stopped taking those prescription drugs I kind of realize that the sky was blue and that there are colors in the world and there were ways to do things… It was something that was kind of closed off to me for almost all of my development in childhood. And so it was this “WOAH!” Moment and that’s why I want all the things, whatever is the best way to explain a certain something, I want to find it. That just… Since it came to me, once I was already developed, I was past puberty and knew how to interact with others and had independence when it started so it just became a way to… Share myself.
Cal: I think for me it’s all emotional, because I’m such an emotional person, whether that means being overly happy about a certain thing to the point of tears or a panic attack- being able to turn that into music and knowing that the energy spent going into music versus a bad interaction with someone, or an embarrassing one, I can feel that energy leaving in the same way but it’s put into something I can repeat in my headphones and… It’s like having a conversation with myself. It used to feel like and can sometimes still feel like something that has to be drained. Like cycling new blood, it’s cycling myself through the shit that piles up and getting it into this pureness. I think it’s an important communication tool, to be able to communicate with myself and to those who are important around me.

Does your individual creativity go into your romantic relationship?

Emily: Hell yeah ::laughs::
Cal: Yeah ::laughs:: Like the other night, she was working on crafts and stuff that she’s doing for Halloween because we’re throwing this big party and I was remixing this song, and I could look over and see her working things out in her brain as it’s going on behind me and we both look up and make eye contact when we notice that the other person found a stride in their project and that was so cool. So we get that immediate feedback and she’s not just sitting there watching, she’s doing her thing and we get to ping pong that, that energy and experience.
E: Our relationship started long distance and one of the things that I found was we got so excited about telling each other what we were doing, so we wanted to do it more. So the conversation kept coming back to creativity and the process and you know, how we could do more as artists in our own fields. And that, it just became this snowballing of wanting to do more so we could talk more sooooooo now I do more! That back and forth has always been just… This really strong part of how we connect with our own things and it’s certainly not the same craft at all, but we can understand the concepts and how that relates to our lives.

How did the relationship begin?

Cal: We’ve been dating officially for like… 6 months?
Emily: Yeah.
C: But… This like, knowing that this was heading in this direction happened about a year ago around this time.
E: Talking everyday for about 11 months or so. It was something that happened really naturally. It kind of started off as a “hey, how’s it going” to constant contact even though there were hundreds of miles there, and thinking “what do we do… What’s the next step?” and to came down to closing the distance so we could have a relationship that felt like it was real.
C: The important thing to know, from my end of this, about how this started was that I was coming off of this coming of age feeling of like… I had moved away from home and then I moved back home and I felt like I was living in a ghost town and my mom was trying to get into the groove of her own life in her 50’s, to prioritize, and everyone was kinda getting into their own cove of life and then there was me just endlessly anxious for more and all the freedom to do it. I tend to spin my wheels a lot and I would go and talk to my mom and she didn’t have the energy anymore to deal with my repetitive life complaints with no attempt to change on my end and she told me that. So, with Emily, the first conversation over the phone after I saw her come back for the holidays because she grew up in Connecticut too, was her asking how I was doing and me telling her that I was in the worst way. And then we got on the phone and I knew she was… I knew it was gonna grow when I would completely unload about my life and my current mindset and she would just like… Be there. She never said to go get help, she was willing to take me on and that helped me open up in a lot of ways.
E: Yeah, that first phone call happened with advice from my Uncle ’cause he said that if I was really trying to get to the bottom of how my friend was doing, how that other person is, to just get him on the phone ’cause you can tell.
C: Always.
E: You can see right through it, you can see right through all of it. And I told him to just give me a call…
C: No better way to diagnose.
E: Yeah, we started talking to see if we could solve the issue at hand and then it became a constant conversation.

What do you think of love?

Cal: What do I think of love… Or what do we think of love…
Emily: It’s a heavy, wonderful, beautiful, scary, exciting, thrilling thing.
C: Yeah. I don’t think I ever had experienced it. I had tried to prop up my emotions to try to feel it in previous relationships thinking that it was a thing you do and try for the sake of feeling like you’re not wasting your time. But that’s not how it works at all. When I told her I loved her though… It blew my mind. It was a level of life that I had only heard people talk about.
E: For me, I had been in a long term relationship, I have been married so I was like… Over it, in a sense. And as our relationship started to develop, I started seeing and experiencing all these things that I never had. And holy shit… There is this feeling that this person is your safe space. Is your happy place. They want things for you, they encourage you. And you know when you’re there, in that space together.
C: We are able to retreat to each other.
E: To recharge and be there.
C: Being able to show the affection that we both need so we’re able to face the world.

Matt Ingram

Matt Ingram

 

Date of Interview: September 22, 2016

Name: Matt Ingram

Age: 23

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Location: Washington, DC

 

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

I saw that you ask this a lot and tried not to think about it too much… What is that joke that dolphins are really just gay sharks? What is that from? I’m compelled to say a dolphin because they are beautiful and smart and don’t they have echolocation or something? I feel like that is something I would want, something kind of like a super power. To be a super power among a bunch of sea creatures would be pretty cool. I’m doing a quick inventory of all the sea creatures I can think of to make sure that dolphin is the correct selection. Ummm… I’m gonna go with dolphin. And they can jump out of the water! That looks really fun! And they can squirt shit out of their hole… their blowhole. Definitely dolphin.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be?

A lot of things. I remember distinctly in kindergarten wanting to be a… so some of the first music I was exposed to as a kid was boy band pop music, who knows maybe that’s why I’m a homosexual, but I remember just thinking that the Backstreet Boys and NSync were extremely cool and so I really wanted to be that. I’m clearly very close to achieving that dream now. Yeah, so I wanted to do that and then for a long time I wanted to be a film actor, then a stage actor, then I got pretty content being creative in any capacity that I could be in.

Does recognition matter to you?

Yeah, I think it does. More than I would like it to. Yeah, it does sometimes and I think that I try to tell myself and to remind myself that it’s not everything and personal goals are more important than meeting the standards that I’ve decided that other people have. But, yes, yes it does matter to me. I just try to be conscious of how much.

What are you passionate about?

I think that’s a question that has made me fraught for most of my life. Or for at least recent years because I haven’t really been able to pinpoint something and that’s been pretty frustrating. But when I think about where I derive good feelings from, like what gives me joy, I don’t necessarily have a specific thing that I can share. Like, an activity, there are activities that I like but it’s hard for me to say. Most people would say ‘music’ or ‘art’, like people who hold themselves to their art or their ‘thing’ and for me I would say that my thing is like, moments. Good moments. Things that give me joy are fleeting, moments that aren’t long lasting. So anything that can make a good moment. That’s what I would say I’m passionate about.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

Well I think that playing into the moment thing, all that we have, I mean, okay so… there are these movies by this guy Richard Linklater, he made a movie called Boyhood which you might be familiar with, but he also made these movies- a trilogy. The first one is called Before Sunrise, the second one is Before Sunset and the third one is called Before Midnight. These movies follow this couple over the course of their relationship and the movies were made in nine year intervals. So ’95, 2004 and 2013 and every movie is kind of a snapshot of the couple at that point in the relationship. My point is that there is a line that the woman, it’s of a heterosexual relationship, says to the man which is that she, she’s talking about how, I’m probably going to fuck this up because I can’t remember it all, but she’s talking about God. She says something like “I think that God is the magic that exists between two people”. They have this very romantic night, this chance encounter and she says that she thinks it’s God- them being together, the magic that exists between two people. And so, yeah. That’s what I think of relationships, they’re fleeting, some last for forever, some last for a second and you don’t know which are which. And that’s really stressful sometimes, but I think they’re vital.

Have you been in love?

I don’t know. Next question. Maybe, but, not now. ::laughs:: I mean, maybe, yeah, I’ve been in love with a slice of pizza before.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

I’m bad at this thing like thinking of my superlatives on the spot. I think that I feel similarly, well I don’t want to call you out in my interview but, I feel like it would be really lame to try to go through the history of my life and hoping to find something because I’ve never thought of that, like quantified that. But my biggest accomplishment is that since high school or since I’ve realized that you can feel self conscious, I’ve worked through that as much as I possibly can. I feel like I’m still self conscious in the ways that matter to everyday life, but my real answer is that I have gotten to know myself well enough that even though it can still hold me back sometimes, I can acknowledge those parts. I think my biggest accomplishment is growth in the way that I can talk to myself. I can talk to myself and get over things that before, would have been debilitating. I’ve grown to understand it. You’re state of mind changes, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. The thing I’m proudest of is recognizing that and being able to tell myself that and knowing that I can talk myself through it. The clarity to say to myself when something good is happening- this is good and enjoy it.

Kailasa and Saa

Kailasa and Saa

 

Date of Interview: September 15, 2016

Name: Kailasa and Saa

Age: 25 and 5

Pronouns for Kailasa: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

K: Ummm, maybe about four days out of the week. I like to bathe a lot, but I don’t get to.

If you were and underwater creature which one would you be?

K: Seahorse. They’re pretty.
S: Seahorse.
K: I don’t even know why I said that, but I guess it’s because I’ve always thought they were interesting. They don’t have any arms or anything, they just kind of float. With their tail. It’s the first thing that came to my mind, other than that a turtle or octopus. Or something bioluminescent that has a light on it.

Do you like to plan for the future?

K: Oh hell yeah. Yeah, I like to plan things, I’m not great at it but I do like to be aware of my future. Of where I’m headed.

What are you passionate about?

K: I’m passionate about my community. I’m passionate about being a mom. And being a better person everyday. I’m passionate about pursuing my dreams, which are being as creative and artistic as possible. And following through with my ideas.
S: I made it!
K: Yeah! Being able to say, “I’VE MADE IT!” ::both laugh:: But yeah, by community I mean, support the people who have supported me. I have a couple ideas that I’ve created business plans for and they’re both geared toward contributing to a healthy and successful community. So community is the people who’ve raised me. The people who support me, I want to support them back.

What is something that you feel accomplished with?

K: Raising that little one. ::laughs:: I feel pretty accomplished with that. I’m finally in my own space. Though I don’t own it, I’m at least supporting myself and my family. I’m accepting more responsibilities with self-assurance and accepting what I’m responsible for. I think I’m doing a good job. Don’t really know what I’m doing.

Do you think she knows what she’s doing?

S: YES. Whatever she does with me, she never gets upset.
K: Mmmkay. I mean, I guess I don’t get upset.
S: I have a splinter in my toe.
K: Let me see, do you feel anything? Do you feel water?
S: Yes.
K: Maybe it’s just a scratch.
S: Noooo, on the other side. It’s on my boo boo. Right there.
K: I think it’s just a scratch.
S: Okay.

Do you have family traditions passed on?

S: Yes.
K: Like what?
S: When we go on walks together! When we ride bikes together! When the whole family goes on a field trip.
K: Yeah, I mean spending time together.We’ve had a family function every year for about 28 years now, I was the host for last year. We call it ‘the family love exchange’. Umm, carrying on traditions. Being in tune with my inner being. Carrying on that awareness to her. Being confident in my divine nature as a melanated woman. My mother was a cosmic woman who was aware of her powers, she studied a mix of different religions and passed on her knowledge. So yeah, I think passing down some spiritual knowledge and a connection to my native heritage and culture is important.

Do you believe in God?

K: What… who’s this “god?” ::laughs:: I believe in a God. Do you believe in God, Saa?
S: Nope.
K: Alright. You sound so certain.
S: Because you mom is my grandma. And I don’t believe in God.
K: Okay. Well, what do you think God is?
S: An animal.
K: What kind of animal?
S: A stinkbug. And a… a puppy. Together.
K: A stinkbug puppy?
S: The face of a puppy with the body of a stinkbug.
K: Okay then.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

K: I’m afraid sometimes that I will get caught up in other people’s stresses.
S: I’m not scared of nothing.

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