The Happy Story Continues...

Beloved friends!

Last time I wrote to you, it was the summer of 2016 and my internship at Camp Now was coming to a close. I am writing to you today from the southwest corner of Michigan, where I study anthropology and sociology at a small liberal arts college. As summer draws nearer, I begin my transition from late night cramming and even later-night coffee runs, back into the hills of New Lebanon, NY, where I hope to rekindle my own Crealitation journey.

A beautiful day spent hiking on the Kal-Haven Trail here in southwest Michigan [Ayla Hull].

A beautiful day spent hiking on the Kal-Haven Trail here in southwest Michigan [Ayla Hull].

As I prepare to return into the world of Cassidy A. Maze, I’d like to offer my reflections on the year that has passed since my internship with Camp Now--because my experience was one that seeped into my daily routine in ways that I couldn’t have expected.

To watch the Happy Story evolve and to engage with Maze’s creations firsthand shifted my understanding of my own assumptions of the world around me. Unraveling such an intricate creation required me to trust in a world that defies many of the social constraints enforced by the “material” one I assumed to live in. When I first encountered the world of Crealitation, although I found it to be interesting, I did not fully understand its intent. I often found myself trying to walk the line between my “real” world and the new one offered to me by Cassidy A. Maze. I would often ask myself questions that aimed to rationalize this new world under the pretenses of my reality. In trying to explain my work to friends or family, I would struggle to describe my new world in all of its intricacies. “It’s a multimedia work…” I would begin. “Part literature, part musical theater, part collage.”

But the longer I engaged with this new world, the more I began to understand; Crealitation aimed to entertain exactly this confusion. This work allowed me to traverse a line between two worlds. In a world that purports only one truth, Crealitation aimed to expand the confines of social norms.

And with this discovery, I realized just how deep “creality” can go.

I began to rethink my own life. Still today, I find myself wondering, “How does this person’s truth differ from mine?” Let’s say I am drinking coffee with a friend. I have a specific perception of the conversation we are having, the environment around me, and even the cup that I am drinking from. But my friend’s interpretation of that that conversation, that environment, and even that cup may differ entirely from my own.

Me and my roommate Claire pose at an anti-Trump rally in Grand Rapids, MI, following the 2016 election [Ayla Hull].

Me and my roommate Claire pose at an anti-Trump rally in Grand Rapids, MI, following the 2016 election [Ayla Hull].

With this understanding of truth, Camp Now offers a portal between two worlds--one that encourages its audience to push back against the social constraints that can so heavily influence our everyday lives. And so, each of us must play the game of Crealitation ourselves if we wish to fully understand the depths that this Legend has to offer.

Learning how to integrate Crealitation into own truth has not only helped me grow as an individual, it has helped me in my academic career. Since my time at Camp Now, I find myself more readily able to critically examine worldviews different from my own, place a higher value on collaboration, and hold myself and my colleagues to a higher standard of creativity. The effects of Crealitation shows in my liberal arts studies, pushing me to challenge my own reality.

Me and my roommate Claire pose at an anti-Trump rally in Grand Rapids, MI, following the 2016 election [Ayla Hull].

Me and my roommate Claire pose at an anti-Trump rally in Grand Rapids, MI, following the 2016 election [Ayla Hull].

I have come to realize that Camp Now has indeed provided me with a sort of meditation, whether or not I knew that at its conception. By traversing the various pathways of Cassidy A. Maze’s world, I have learned how to engage myself and those around me in a new way. It is with this knowledge that I wish to return to Camp Now to continue my work. With my roots firmly planted in the Legend’s ground, I am inspired to rejoin the Camp Now Productions journey to challenge my own conceptions more than ever.

This meditation will be crucial as I take my next step in life. In August, I will move to Madrid to participate in a semester abroad. In this brand new city--filled with unfamiliar language and culture--it will be crucial for me to stretch the boundaries of my current truth to adapt to my new surroundings. In the meantime, I look forward to another summer of Evolution with the oh-so-talented Camp Now crew!

Until next time… love Now,

Ayla Hull