Ghost Town


Imagine a see-saw. On one end is you and on the other – an elephant. If that elephant moves, you’re toast. If you jump off, nothing changes for the elephant. You don’t matter / you may as well not have matter. Now you’re an elephant sharing a see-saw with a little-bitty human. I imagine you might wish to experience some flight, but there you are: massive, gray and tough-skinned stuck at the bottom of some dumbo playground utensil. Proportionally utensil seems right. Either way, this see-saw isn’t seeing much action.

True story:

I once sat on a hydraulic stool at its tallest setting. I pulled the lever expecting to float down closer to earth and nothing happened. Even when I bounced on it hoping for some sort of jump-start. There wasn’t enough of me to prompt the chair to lower. Then, someone handed me a 2-liter bottle of soda and down I went.


Sometimes it’s just too much. Everything, or all of the Nothing at once. The way things happen and when they don’t happen. The extremes, Too Much and Too Little collide and together they don’t make Just Right. When nostalgia is too intense and when the present is not enough. When there are too many little losses in succession, so you’re alone and transparent. All the solid melts to liquid and drains out. Like some human-shaped souvenir cup you might win with 1000 tokens at the Bodies Exhibit, or buy because you wanted the beer it held.

Held between existences, I’m a ghost.


Dance was never something I pursued logically; the pursuit was driven largely by sensation. Over the years, I’ve come to crave an understanding of what it means to pursue something that has a more predictable trajectory. I wonder if dance has always been this amorphous and blobby dream and I never noticed because my eyes were closed and my body was on. Turns out making a career out of dance is not equational and maybe I wish it was. Coming to realizations like this feels like a major disappointment and heavy loss of identity. This Emptiness seems unfair after all this time. And Its timing is terrible with a performance looming less than a month away. Here’s where I eat an entire bag of gummy bears, which is edible optimism, and remember that being empty allows room for becoming full.

I make appointments with the sun and coffee, paper and pen, friends, dance, a chiropractor and bathtubs. I cry whenever possible, tremble when I’m angry or scared, feel elation at a well-timed breeze. All of these things (and more) are welcome reminders of my weight and mass.


On July 17th and 20th, at ODC Theater in San Francisco*, I will present a solo which is forming under the conditions outlined above. It’s called Biography and the following is the description I’ve provided for the press release:  Biography is a solo created and performed by Angela Mazziotta, which explores the emerging consciousness of a woman with slippery emotions and a fuzzy sense of identity. Driven by her affinity for sensation, she hunts and gathers her ghosts to reclaim them. Then swallows each one whole to feel incrementally full, heavy, opaque, complete and alive. It is every person’s life story.

*To learn more, go to

Photos by Eldon Christenson

One Response to “Ghost Town”

  1. Susan Mazziotta

    Continue to write you know how to touch others so deeply and all the while exploring yourself!

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