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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Dublin Future Show TraceI will say “so difficult to fall asleep in” And once I say this, you will clap.  Even those of you who were a bit bored will clap because it’s a comfortable way to signal an ending.  You will clap as though shrugging your shoulders.  Those thirty minutes are gone, and now you can move on with the rest of your night.  I will close the cover of the ipad that you have watched me scroll through, move the white board back to where it is now, and walk out of that door over there, briefly touching the speakeron my way out. You will notice the space is empty for a split second, and that split second will seem long, and will stand outside of time, when the clock that you hadn’t noticed ticking at first will tick, and the lights will turn on, and you will feel almost embarassed as you turn to each other and smile or make a face like this.  In the moment the clock takes to tick, I will be standing outside, readying myself not to care so much.  I will be standing outside, and I will realise that when you walk out and see me it will be awkward, as though I was waiting for you, so I will  decide to go look for a washroom to change out of this outfit, that you had not realised was a costume. Before I have a chance to do this the door will open, your hushed ambiguous chatter will become notably louder, and I will hide from you in the student kitchen. I will turn the lights off and I will watch each of you file out the door, and among conversations about things totally unrelated to the show, I will hear one of you say “Spooooooky”, and then I will hear a young voice with a South Dublin accent say “Shall we go check if she’s hiding in the kitchen then?”  At that moment I will step out of the kitchen, and the voice will belong to a young woman, and the young woman and I will look at each other, and we will both have the look on our face that we may have had if someone had just walked in on us doing something wrong.  I will smile and she will smile and I will walk quickly past all of you towards the café.   I will pretend I am still looking for the washroom to change, but as I walk I will realise that I left the outfit to change into in the performance space, along with my laptop and ipad.  I will realise I am trying to recreate the moment after the first scratch of my first solo show, two years ago, when I was distracted by the nerves of having finished the show by seeing a Dyson Hand dryer for the first time.  I will realise that what I am really looking for is a Dyson hand dryer, and that there is no guarantee the venue has one.  As I am thinking this, I will go through the doorway to walk up the stairs next to the café, and I will bump into Andy.  He will be smiling and immediately say, “So, how did it go?  Is it all coming true yet?”  I will say yes, it is all coming true.  Exactly as I said it would.  He will laugh and point out that predicting the first five minutes is the easy part.

Kieron and Veronica’s shows won’t be out yet and so I will be in the particularly strange position of speaking to Andy, whilst being in the café space with exclusively people who just saw the show.  We will all be self conscious, and you will be wondering if you are behaving exactly as I’d pictured you would.  You will be behaving exactly as I’d pictured you would and I will be distracted by this while speaking to Andy.  Andy will not have seen the show, and so he will not realise that he is also behaving exactly as I’d said he would.  He will say, “I bet you didn’t predict this” and he will hold up the cup I hadn’t noticed him holding before, and in it there will be a tiny, perfect mouse which will be too peaceful to be frightening. He will say that one of the techs found it sleeping on one of the parcans and thank goodness he found it before they turned the light on. “We’re torn between Fievel and Ratatouille” he will say.  I’ll say, definitely Fievel. What are you going to do with him?”  He’ll say, I’m just bringing it to one of the people at the Lir and they’ll call the Humane society during Action Hero.  At least four of you will be staring at Andy and I as we have this excange, and two of you will come up and peer in the cup and say, “There’s Fievel.”  Andy will be confused and you will sound, resigned.

Audience members from Kieron and Veronica’s show will begin to file back into the space, and Andy will say “Excuse me” while he rushes down the hall to have someone else look after the mouse.  You will ask a friend which show they watched, and when they say Kieron’s show you will be glad, and begin discussing it. Meanwhile, I will only want to talk about my performance and I will not want to talk about my performance, but Andy will come up behind me and hand me a beer, which I will drink, thinking of the mouse, and the glass of wine will dull this narcicism.  I will see Dan Canham and I will come up to him and we will begin chatting, and I will tell him about the mouse.  I will not be sure how he feels about it.  Suddenly, in a loud voice, someone will announce that Action Hero are performing in the main studio in five minutes.  Dan and I will look at each other and we will follow the rest of the crowd into the space.  I will see one of your faces and I will remember that none of you have come up to me to say well done or to mention my piece yet.   At that moment, the one of you I am looking at, a young man, will say, as we are shuffling in to keep the conversation deliberately short,  “I enjoyed your piece by the way.”  “You did?”  I’ll say.  “Yeah, thought next time I’d say don’t read off the ipad.”  I will smile and then remember that I have left my ipad and laptop unprotected in the room.  The ushers will be closing the door, and directing us to stand on opposite sides of the room.  James will be biking around the space and Gemma will be speaking rhythmically into the mic.  I will silently weigh the cost of how awkward I would feel leaving at this point up against the value of my ipad and my computer, and amazingly, I will stay where I am.

I will have seen Action Hero’s piece many times before.  I will be worried about my technology, but I will decide to leave it up to the fates.  Nothing will go missing.  I will force myself into the straits of watching a show I enjoy and know well, and this will almost keep my anxiety about my most expensive and arguably most important posessions at bay.   The energy of the Action Hero show will be high and the audience will be responding.  I will vascillate between thinking about my laptop and anticipating my favourite moment, the moment I know well, and when it happens I will be glad to be settling into this space where memory and expectation can meet.  But as soon as this moment passes, the show will not be as I remembered.  Gemma and James will begin doing a dance where there hadn’t been one before.  I will look over at Dan, who has also already seen the show,  and he will be watching as though there nothing out of the ordinary is happening.  But I will be sure this is a new dance.  I will wonder whether Action Hero are making it up as they go along.

The audience will explode into applause.  I will applaud too.  During the dance I will have forgotten my computer and my ipad completely.  I will have forgotten everything outside of the room in that moment that was not that dance.  The show will end as it usually does, and people will be smiling and shuffling out of the room.  I will quickly excuse myself and run back to the room where the peformance was.  The lights will be off and the door will be unlocked. As I open the door I will be extremely angry at myself, so angry that the anger will dispel and turn into something like indifference or extreme resignation.   The first thing I see will be the white board. On the white board, over top of the drawings, someone will have written the words “Lucy was here” and someone else will have written “THE FUTURE IS SCARY” in caps locks with a smiley face.  I will be sure of what I am about to not see when I turn around.  Cognitive Dissonance will already have begun to work its ways and I will be thinking of all the reasons that perhaps my practice will be better off without a laptop.  I will see my laptop.  Sitting on the desk.  I will take out my iphone and take a photo of the white board, and I will feel like a lucky fucking idiot.

With my laptop bag weighing down my shoulder, I will wait at the crosswalk.  I will look across the canal at the factory building next to Tim Etchell’s projection.  I will think it is the most beautiful thing for miles, and wonder if it was an eye sore when it was built. The red man will turn to a green man.  I will put my hand instinctively on my laptop bag, and I will across the street, along the path between the shops and the water,  past the Italian coffee shop, the Fresh, the brand new bar that claims in quotation marks to be the most beautiful bar in Dublin.  Looking at the water as still as glass will make me wish I had a canoe.  I will wonder where I would store a canoe if I had one.  I will walk through stalks that stretch like luminescent red grass, sticking straight up in front of a glass monolith that is a theatre and I will think, “This could be any city in the world.”    I will feel sad.  Everything will be empty so I will walk quickly the park built around an old chimney stack and palm tress (palm trees?) outside of block 6.  I will place my fob to the door and  I will walk past what must be empty post boxes on my right,  into the elevator and press number 5.  The elevator will beep and I will look in its mirror and imagine I was a different person, the kind of person who would live in this kind of place and who would look in this kind of mirror every day, and be okay with that.  I will walk out of the elevator, and go to unlock the door to the catered apartment, and be relieved it is locked.  I will stand in the doorway for a moment, terrified, and then I will forced myself to check every hiding spot in the place.  I will check behind the curtains by pushing them into the corner, I will check in the many closets, the three bathrooms, I will even check the fridge and a particularly big cupboard in case the intruder could somehow fit in those places.  I will realise that places that seem expensive always make me frightened, and I will walk down the hallway into the room where I am staying, brush my teeth, pull the curtains, and get into bed.  I will turn off the light on one side of the bed, then hesitate on the other side of the bed.  I will think – this place is so new, there couldn’t possibly be a ghost.  But I will worry about future ghosts.  I will turn off the lights, close my eyes, say a prayer and cross myself as I always do even though I’m not religious or anything like that.  I will stack all pillows but one next to my head and think, Don’t worry, the ghost won’t try to smother you in your sleep.  I will close my eyes and try not to listen too hard, try not to feel too much, try to shut myself in from the white walls and the concrete and the glass and everything that is so clean, and so beautiful,  with such a short memory, and so difficult to fall asleep in.

Forest Fringe Microfestival at the Lir, Dublin, December 13th-15th, 2012

I kept predicting the same future, to see if it would come true.

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I will say “Tell me.  Is the Lord of the Universe in?”  And once I say this, you will clap.  Even those of you who were a bit bored will clap because it’s a comforting way to signal an ending.  You will clap as though shrugging your shoulders.  Those ten minutes are gone, now you can move on with the rest of your lives.  I will close the cover of the ipad that you have watched me scroll through and walk off stage stepping over those mic cords over there.  Then this space will remain empty for a split second that you would not have noticed otherwise.  That split second will stand outside of time, and will seem long.  You will be relieved and almost sad when Ryan will come onto the stage and holding cigarette. He will introduce The Half Sisters, the next act, saying, “Beautiful people and beautiful music to make you remember things.”  Two sublimely beautiful women will come onto the stage.   One will play the guitar.  One will close her eyes while she sings, like she is joyfully praying.  They will sing, “I told you I won’t let you down.”  I will be sitting over there, trying to blend in.  Many of you will remember how at the beginning I had described myself trying to blend in, after I finished speaking, and you will either avoid eye contact or smile at me reassuringly.  Soft female voices and the sound of maraccas will fill the room.  Quietly my performance will disappear.  During their last song a tall woman standing next to me who I’ve been touching only because of proximity, with poet’s eyes and glasses, will nudge me and hand me a note.  On the note will be written, “I bet you didn’t expect this.” She will open her dark grey coat. As she does this I will be momentarily afraid that she is going to flash me or take out a weapon.  Then I will see, in the inner pocket of her coat, what at first looks like some kind of rat or rodent. I will notice little wings, like withered paper skin, and see that it is a sleeping bat.  This woman will wink at me.  The song will end and during the applause she will begin talking to another friend. Ryan will come back up on stage, while the half sisters are packing up and the audience applauds enthusiastically. Ryan will say that we are going to have a break.  One of you will yell out, “How long is the break?” and he will say, “About the length of one of these.”  And hold up a cigarette.  Someone will come up behind me and I will scream.  I will look around and see my husband who will smile and touch my back and say, “That was great.”  And I will say, “Wasn’t the band great?”  And he will say yes, “You were great too.”  Then he will remind me that he never likes it when I mention him in one of these monologues.

I will consider asking him for a cigarette, then I will think that I really should not ask him for one, because when I smoke I lose my right to ask him to quit smoking.  I will decide to ask him for a cigarette.  Before I can do this, Ryan Van Winkle will come up to us and ask Morgan for a cigarette.  My friend John will come up to us and I will hug him hello.   He will compliment me on the show and tell me he enjoyed it, but he will ask why I chose to read off the ipad.  “Something about ipads”  He’ll say.  “It’s very hard for the audience to be on your side.”  I will tell him that I had no time to find a printer, but as I say this I will think that if I had really wanted to find a printer before the show I could have found one.  There was probably one on the way.  I will silently curse my own complancence. My husband will ask if I want a beer. I will not want to talk about the performance and I will only want to talk about the performance, so I will say yes, and have a beer, and the beer will dull my narcicism.  Ryan will look at his watch and say, “Oh crap,” and then he will run up on stage and introduce Brian.  I will feel excited. Brian will get up on stage.  He will make an announcement and ask people to join him, and they will, and it will be beautiful.  My phone will start ringing.  I will see that it is my friend Ellie and I will pick up.  She will be looking for the venue.  I will walk out onto the street, holding my iphone to my ear, and my ipad in one hand.  I will be  speaking loudly in a North American accent on a side street in East London with expensive technology.  I will say, “Okay I’m just out front.  Can you see me?  Where are you?”  The darkness before Ellie arrives will seem long and I will hold onto her voice on the phone like a rope in dark waters.  The woman with the bat will exit the venue.  She will wink at me again.  I will imagine the bat flying away.

Ellie and I will walk in the door. Garrence will be playing accordion.  Three other friends of mine will arrive with their friends.  Nobody will know each other and they will all have missed my monologue.  I will be glad.

We will move, and then we will dance. I will think about the performance, and I will think about my friends, and I will think about the bat.  But we will dance until thoughts are not thoughts at all but atoms of thoughts – atoms that hang in the air like specks of glitter at a rave and then disappear.  The music will stop.  We will be standing on the thin line between wanting and not wanting to go home.  The musicians will be packing, hugging and kissing goodbye.

Brick Lane will be a haze of queues for the bagel shops and men dressed as vampires peeing against walls like the walls were thirsty.  When we find my building I will swing the main door wide open, and push past Ryan and my husband and run up the first two sets of stairs to our flat before it closes.  Ryan will say “What are you doing?”  My husband will say, “Deborah does this every time.” I will say nothing.  I will be glad that yet again I have won the bet I made against myself about the future.

When we get in we will go to the kitchen.  I will pour myself a glass of water. My husband will take out his tobacco and ask Ryan to put on a record. I will leave, brush my teeth, worry that I will see something scary in my peripheral vision in the mirror.  Then I will look at myself and think that I look older, but not be sure how or why.  I will walk to our bedroom.  I will change into a nightgown. I will turn off the light by the couch.  I will bring my ipad into bed.  I will check twitter.  I will miss having someone next to me, so I will decide to stream a movie.  I will pick “His Girl Friday.” 40 minutes in the light will be on, I will be drunk, and I will fall asleep to the 1930s lilt of a sassy woman.  She will be saying, “Tell me.  Is the Lord of the Universe in?”

The Gorilla Perfumes Golden Hour Tour, October 27th, 2012, somewhere in London

I will say “I will feel alone and scared and temporary and glad to be here”  Once I say this, you will clap.  Even those of you who were a bit bored will clap because it’s a comforting way to signal an ending.  You will clap as though shrugging your shoulders.  Those ten minutes are gone, now you can move on with the rest of your lives.  I will close the cover of the ipad that you have watched me scroll through.  I will walk off stage stepping over those mic cords over there.  After I leave, the stage will remain empty for a split second that you would not have noticed otherwise.  That split second will stand alone, and will seem long, and you will be relieved when Ryan will come onto the stage and be holding a glass of wine. He will introduce Robin, the next act, saying, “The next act is a good man and a good musician.”  A man with a kind face and a guitar will come onto the stage.   I will be standing in that corner over there, trying to blend in.  Many of you will remember how at the beginning I had described me trying to blend in, after I finished speaking, and you will avoid eye contact because it will be a bit awkward, or smile at me reassuringly.  Robin’s band will begin playing music and quietly my performance will disappear.  During his last song one of you will come up to me and tell me that you are a psychic. You will have an intense energy, and a rat tail with a bead on it, and be someone who I would not normally speak to. During the song you will nudge me and whisper, “I am that psychic you talked about.”  And I will be amazed that my prediction came true.  I will even briefly become superstitious and wonder if you are someone very important for me.  The music will end, Ryan will come up on stage, and you and I will begin chatting. You will ask me about theatre, and then you will begin quoting to me from Shakespeare, while eating a yoghurt.  I will say I am going to the washroom and I will be relieved to lose you.  I will walk into the washroom to look in the mirror.  I will check my smile, ruffle my hair, and wonder if and how I am getting older.  When I exit the washroom I will look around for someone I know, and I will take a seat with Ryan.  I will then no longer want to talk about my performance, and I will only want to talk about my performance, but I will get a beer and the beer will dull this narcicism.  The dancers will begin to dance and I will wonder if I could do any of the moves they are doing, and if I should try some of them later, when I am alone.  I will run into a girl I know from theatre in Bristol, but I will not be sure if she works for Mayfest or Arnolfini.   The gig will end and we will all applaud.  From my seat in the dark, I will feel tired, and begin wondering whether there is a television set in my hotel rooms, and which programmes I will watch. I will watch the musicians pack up and mentally reference all the other times I have stayed in a hotel with a television set, and decide the time I had made most productive use of this resource was when I watched “Jolie Femme”, which was Pretty Woman dubbed into French.  I will take a sip of beer, which will be luke warm, and I will decide that once I do get to the hotel I will make myself a cup of tea and will continue to read the theory book I am avoiding. As I make this plan I will doubt that I will follow it through.   I will worry that I will just watch a reality programme and continue to lose trust in myself, increment by increment, and I will be annoyed at myself for both the fact that I set rules for myself and that I break them.  These thoughts will happen quickly, during the time it will take Robin and Ryan to pack up Robin’s guitar, and they will not be quite complete, but the thought loop will be predictable, when Ryan interrupts me to tell me that one of the musicians knows about a place that is open late and we are all going there for a drink.  I will look around the bar and there will be about four people who I will recommend as audience members from before. The performance will crawl back into my mind like an insect and I will also be a little drunk and feel like I did something embarassing, like standing up on stage in front of people is embarassing.  I will tell Ryan that I am still feeling a little sick, and I will wonder whether or not this is techincally a lie.  I will ask him for the key to my hotel room.  Ryan will tell me he’s disappointed in me as he hands me a plastic card with the hotel insignia on it and a swipe strip.  I will consider changing my mind and I will remember that all of the most fun nights I have had are generally nights when I felt like going home. I will wave goodbye to everyone and walk out alone.  I will suddenly be very aware of being alone in this city.  It will be snowing.  I will walk in the snow next to the water and notice a yellow house boat with a light on inside. The night will be still in the slow motion of a snowflake falling to the ground. I will walk past someone who is begging in the square and time will become fast again. I will briefly consider inviting them to use my room in the hotel.  And then I will wonder where I would sleep, and I will realise that I need to quiet irrationally charitable impulses as often as I need to quiet irrationally destructive ones.  I will walk across the square into the warmly lit lobby and smile at the female desk clerk who will be wearing a blue polyester suit and an orange kerchief.  She will tell me to walk to the wood panelled elevator and press 12.  A man in a grey suit and shiny shoes will enter the elevator with me.  I will wonder what my life would be if I asked this man to stay the night.  I will think through the possible repercussions – a stain on my new marriage, immediate regret, possibly getting murdered.  Or even falling in love.  I will look at this man’s shiny shoes and wonder if he and I could ever fall in love.  The man will notice me staring and I will think, who knows if he would even come to my hotel room?  Which will seem exciting.  The elevator will stop at floor 8 and he will politely nod at me and exit. I will focus on the lit up numbers that will remind me of the elevator at my grandmother’s place, my most consistent and longest relationship with the lit up numbers of an elevator.  I will get out, walk down the blindingly lit hall, and look for my room number.  1246.  I will swipe the card and walk in.  The room will be smaller than I’d expected.  I will walk to the corner and look for a herbal teabag. I will try to follow the instructions next to the teabag to put the wireless network number into my computer.  I will be successful and then appalled that I have to pay £15 for wireless access. I will go to the washroom and force myself to brush my teeth with the little toothbrush in a bag.  I will turn off the light of the washroom and I will look at the bed. I will grab the remote control from the side table facing the bed.  I will take off my clothes and I will get underneath three layers of blankets. I will fit myself into a very tightly made bed, like a letter in an envelope, I will think. I will turn on the television and a panel show will be on. I will turn off the television.  I will look around the room, take note of the door, the closet, the television, the window and the vertical drapes.  I will turn off the lights.  I will lay in the dark.  I will wonder if anyone could ever feel at home in this room.  After a moment I will turn towards the door and say a prayer, and then I will cross myself as I always do, even though I’m not Christian or Catholic or anything else.  In the warm quiet dark I will think about this temporary bed and I will feel relieved to be here. I will feel alone and scared and temporary and glad to be here.

 From the Gorilla Perfumes Golden Hour Tour, October 25th, 2012, at Café Kino