I love running in the rain.

When I left my apartment yesterday for a run, I didn’t plan for it to be in the rain.  The sky was overcast and the air was cool (or at least cooler than it has been), so I decided to lace up my running shoes and strap my iPhone to my arm.  Among the many fancy things my iPhone can do is track my runs with GPS and give me a read out of speed and distance.  It also holds a fair amount of music, and so it has become my constant running companion.

(At work this week in the Shubert at NYU, photos ©2010 Michael Heck)

Mike and I were in the theater until about midnight last night, watching the subtle changes we had made to the projections and interviews during the day.  We also watched the loop of introductions for the first time together.  Without taking too long to explain, the show begins with a video loop of each person in one of the portraits introducing themselves.  The loop will start before the house even opens and continue in the preshow until I walk onstage.  Today, however, is about lighting.  Heather is writing cues in the Shubert right now, so I took the opportunity to come out to the lounge here at NYU Grad Acting and write.  Later this afternoon I’ll run through the whole piece for the first time.  Everything is moving so quickly, and yet at the same time, it’s happening exactly as we planned.

As I started my run yesterday it began to rain.  I pulled the sleeve of my tee shirt over the arm band that held my iPhone but decided to keeping going; it had enough protection from the rain, it would be fine.  As I continued to run the six mile or so route I take through Riverside Park, it began to rain harder.  I usually find running in the rain exhilerating, but my mind kept returning to the expensive piece of electronics strapped to my arm.  I wondered how much my sleeve could really protect it from the rain, and whether the damage would be covered by my warranty.  As I began the last mile or so, it began to downpour.  And suddenly I laughed at myself.  There was no further way I could protect my phone, so what was I worrying about?  I had made my choice to keep going and there was nothing else I could do, so why not just enjoy that last mile in the falling rain?

To a certain extent, I’ve already met the goals I set out when I started this project.  I wanted to make art that was personal, and I wanted to share the creative process with people who might not know what goes into the work that I do.  Now of course I’d love for this project to have a further life, to have a run at a hip Off-Broadway theater, to record an album of the material and find myself in Rolling Stone.  But my initial impulse, to create art for and about my friends, I’ve done.  After Gretchen and Freddy watched the projections and audio I posted of their portrait, Freddy texted me and told me that it was something that they would have forever, that they would show to their children some day.  Nothing I’ve ever made has had that kind of permanence, or frankly, that kind of impact.  People all across the country are following along via the blog.  Like my iPhone in the rain, the rest of it is a little out of my hands.

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