Birthing The Monster: The Harrowing but Triumphant Tale of How My Website Came into Being...Finally
I've always said it's hard to live a life worth bragging about as well as doing all of the bragging. It's said in jest but there is truth in this statement, it is hard to be present and to report back about the things you've done and seen and learned along the way. Truth be told I bought my .com over two years ago with the intention of getting my shit together and leveling up, of scrapping together what was at that point 4 years of professional chaos. I've been a full time performer and artist since leaving the cold and grey of Seattle six years ago. As I stepped into the sun of southerner California whole new worlds opened themselves up to me and life filled up petty damn fast.
So much has happened since I began down the path that I am on today, achieving a life long goal in attending film school, my return to the stage after ten long years away, the birth and release of my Burlesque persona Donatella MeLies, my first professional photo shoot (pictured below shot by Chris Blakely) two cross country moves, countless tours, endless love, remarkable sisterhoods and new understandings about people and human nature as I became an exotic entertainer and BDSM professional. Traveling the world and studying yoga, facing my fears of working with children, the accidental creation of a musical theater company, stumbling through what it means for me to be a polyamorous person. I've wanted to share so much of this and have been writing and recording and filming for years but it's all been so disjointed, to many ideas and nowhere to put them, but now I am clear. I have found my focus and created my platform and am ready to leap into the next phase of this adventure with confidence.
For a brief moment in my early burlesquing days my tag line was “You’ve Got to See Her, to Believe Her!” tired true, but catchy non the less. It was my mantra, a daily affirmation to be present, to be now, to be in the moment and to treasure that moment in all it's fleeting glory, ecstasy, joy or despair. Documentation felt unimportant, if you weren’t there you missed it plain and simple and even if you did document it, it would only pale in comparison to the real thing. Funny coming from someone who had just graduated with an AA in Film and Video Communication and Production.
After a few years of performing and meeting people and building relationships and skill sets I began to feel exhausted not just tired but drained physically, mentally and emotionally. There was simply no way for me to be available to everyone that I wished to be available to, there was just not enough of me to go around. But how do I make more of Myself? How do I create access to myself and the knowledge that my exploration has afforded me? How do I compress time? And bend space to my will? To live in the ether where time and space is liquid.
But as I drifted with purpose it became clear that I needed a home base, but no home base that could be found on a map, or plucked from memory, no latitude or longitude would entrap me. But I needed a place I could be found easily, I wanted to be everywhere not nowhere. The digital frontier lay before me vast, daunting, full of unexpected pit falls, forcing me to look at myself in ways I had been blind to, asking myself hard questions like “well, who the fuck do you think you are?’ and “what the hell do you have to say about anything anyway?”How on Earth was I going to be able to capture the delightful nuance of myself live and in person?The good news is I think I am finally finding a rhythm with the technology that will allow me the freedom I desire.
My lack of digital representation has caused me great shame and anxiety over the years. There was always so much to do, a million other things that required my immediate attention and I simply couldn't make the time I needed to take on this daunting task. I took classes and workshops, I consulted web designer friends and asked the community for recommendations. I wrote ads asking for assistance, I drafted ideas on dozens of sheets of paper tacked to the wall trying to create a road map to success, I even took my desktop computer with me and drug it around New York for a month in the hopes of creating something that would become a way for me to tell the story of my life as it unfolds. But I mostly just ended up feeling like an ass for not being able to wrap my brain around the enormity of this project as I just kept sinking deeper and deeper into the creative abyss and it got harder and harder to come up for air. The amount of mental anxiety quickly outweighed the actual project only making the whole thing seem that much more impossible. Technology is still not my strongest suit but I am spending a lot less time feeling incapable and at the mercy of it at the moment.
As time went by I just kept visualizing and hoping to manifest the perfect person to collaborate with to bring my chaos to life on a digital plane. I didn't know it when I bough my .com that it would be another two years before the day would come that the website listed on my business cards would actually lead somewhere besides a picture of myself with the words Coming Soon scrolled across my face. I printed cards and stickers with nothing but MysticOReilley.com on them to motivate me to create my site to no avail and wrote my number and email on the back of them as the days and then years just kept passing me by. I just stopped handing them out because it got to embarrassing to keep having the under construction conversation. The amount of mental bandwidth I'm going to get back now that this project is in it's first proper incarnation is thrilling and feels like a weight being lifted off of my chest. I am overjoyed to be creating space and mental energy for the present and future now that I'm finally catching up with my past.
I never would have thought that it would take a winter volunteering across Nicaragua to afford me the time and focus that I would need to piece together the entirety of my creative life. A place so remote that nothing could distract me from the task at hand. No new projects, no new shows, no new costumes, no parties, just peace and quite and time. I'm sharing all of this because it has been hard, it has caused me stress and shame and embarrassment. Have I let those things show? Hell No! But it doesn't mean that the feelings weren't ever present and affecting me negatively in a constant way. The shame of knowing that the only person that could help me was myself and I just couldn't find it in myself to rise to the challenge.
But I'm here now pushing 200 hours into the cataloging and organization of all of the life I've lived, all of the chicken scratching, all of the photos, all of the audio refections I've bothered making and the fleshing out of new ideas and writing of content to create my digital self MysticOReilley.com! 10's of thousands of photo's, countless shows, endless notes, I have a whole folder of audio files called Dungeon Ramblings that I recorded on my way across town to work at Jumbo's Clown Room every night after leaving Sanctuary LAX from the beginning of my BDSM career that will eventually work their was into a pod cast or something. And now that I have a proper platform I've always wanted to start a Stripper/ SexWorker Talk Show series because I'm sick of being represented by people that know nothing about us. Fuck the outsider looking in approach, we are the insiders and have worked hard to get where we are and gain the knowledge that only living life can attain, we deserve spaces where we can tell our stories honestly.
I've taken many chances and said yes to things most people would feel uncomfortable or even scared just thinking about. Sometimes I forget just how comfortable I've become in my own skin and have to reflect on the fact that there are things I'm comfortable doing and being that others will never know. But also that there are places that I may never feel comfortable either that so many seem to experience with great ease. I still have so much to learn and so much growing to do but I know who I am and I've worked very hard to figured that out, and I will continue to do the work. My name is Mystic O’Reilley and I am a Sexual and Spiritual, Entertainer, Educator, Revolutionary and Pervert! I live to create supported space to explore to challenge to learn and to grow. I create this space for myself and for others. It's what I do, its why I'm here. I have afforded myself a platform where I can represent all that I do and all that am and I have given my voice the volume that it needs to be heard outside of those in my closest proximity. Now I will streamline and use that voice to bring attention to things I care about and to elevate the voices and vibrations of others. The girl who's name is tattooed on my butt Maya Papaya always says that a Mystic is never late, that a Mystic arrives precisely when she means to...Well I have Arrived!
And This is Only the Beginning,
Love Always Mystic O'Reilley