THE CURE FOR FEAR is a physical theatrical/ digital arts exploration around the disconnection that occurs from trauma. In a world where the power holders would have us privatize and distrust our feelings in silence and obedience, how does one begin the process of decolonization and reconnection? What transformation happens within the psyche as a person emerges from despondency and disembodiment?
Oh. This is a clown-show. Yeah, so how can one find lightness in the heaviest of topics? How can the subject matter be delivered in a way that surprises the experiencer with their own discoveries?
Am I making myself clear? I’d love to know what you think.
Welcome to my creation process… THIS IS MY WEEKLY REPORT!
The Miracle Potion
Part of the research for the CURE FOR FEAR is exploring images presented through my psyche- so in this, I have made a ritual of writing down my dreams every morning.
I am fascinated by our dreams. I feel that the images we create in our dreams are often a way of connecting our inner world to our outer realities. I don’t believe it is as simple as “this image means that”, but more about deciphering the feeling, or decoding the metaphor. I believe that the symbology of our dreams can help us identify where to take meaningful action in waking life.
Apparently Thomas Edison said: “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”
I’ll be darned if I can remember exactly what I asked last night- but as of late, I’ve been requesting insight into extraordinary presence, my role in the revolution, and meaningful artistic expression. So I’m going with that.
Last night’s dreams were very full. This morning, after writing down a bunch of seemingly random bits and pieces of people, places and things, these three themes/images rose to the top:
- Don’t try to be funny
- Whales trapped in frozen waves.
- Whenever there is a choice, choose the option that allows for human interaction.
The whales? I’m not sure- if that seems obvious and I’m missing something- please let me know. I can only think of pending climate disaster. Sigh.
I’m noticing today where I have a choice to choose human interaction over automation or screen. I ordered a book from Iron Dog Books. (AWESOME INDIGENOUS OWNED BOOKSTORE. They’ve asked if I can prepay so I’m choosing to walk down and do that in person.
I’m somewhat of an introvert. I LIKE being alone. LIKE A LOT. Texting, automation, and screens are in a way a safeguard from awkward interactions. Even writing this blog is so much safer than filming myself expressing my ideas. I can write, and edit, and research and edit, mull it over and edit.
Over the years I’ve really come to own and claim awkwardness. I’ve also discovered that I seem to have some sort of neurodivergent patterns when it comes to communicating with speech. Anxiety amps it up. Perhaps it is anxiety and anxiety alone causing this blockage. One thing I’ve noticed is that if it matters to me, and I’m nervous, then I will often wix up my mords, or worse, go blank- TOTALLY BLANK. I’ll forget words for what I’m trying to express, I’ll forget peoples names. Dang, I’ve gotten pretty good at faking it. Phewf. It’s exhausting, and it seems to have gotten worse with age. I think part of what I love about clowning and physical comedy so much it that I can use my body to express myself to feel understood.
I have always had a lot of telephone anxiety and do appreciate the ability to text information. I forget that if someone doesn’t respond that I have the option of calling. (aaahhh.. No thank you.) My point here being that I’m going to challenge myself to reach out to the HUMAN behind the screen. Let’s go for a walk. IRL.
I like the idea of including “TELEPHONE ANXIETY” in THE CURE FOR FEAR. It feels irrational and funny to me. (Dream says don’t try to be funny!) But, if we go the way of the clown, and make it so big and absurd, then to me, it becomes funny. I have some ideas about Loretta teaching Telephone Etiquette in a youtube tutorial.
Segway to Writing for Comedy course that I am participating in with Movement Theatre Studio in NYC. I am 2 classes in and have just submitted a little script to the teacher for feedback.
It is funny to me to see 15 or so little zoom boxes full of very serious faced students dissecting humour. (contrast- serious/comedy) I’ve once read about dissecting a joke is like dissecting a frog- you can’t dissect a frog without killing it. True, but you can learn more about what made that frog a frog in the first place.
When is it funny? When it’s surprising. When it’s true. When you have an ah-ha that you can relate to the information being presented. When there is tethered absurdity. (As opposed to random absurdity, which can also be funny but not as satisfying as when it is tethered.) The teacher Virginia talks about what she has named (for lack of a better word) THE GAME. The game includes: FUN for the performer, to be shared with the audience, relationships and rules to “the game”, or the world that is being created.
For Loretta, I find it fun for me to play uptight and falsely happy while physically expressing sadness or pathos within the character’s body. This is part of the game.
My homework is to write out a short scene with awareness of this GAME. Of course it is not as simple as one rule and there are a variety of modifiers- like escalation (speed, emotional intensity, volume, scale etc) repetition (rule of three, rhythm, callback) and a button, which is a comedic ending which is more rhythmic if anything- and very satisfying.
I have a couple scenes already created for THE CURE FOR FEAR. Scenes that were born within the creation of the character. They might not make the cut for the show, but I will make comedic shorts for them as that is a part of the digital research for this show. I’ll pinpoint for myself what the game is and what the modifiers are, and look for opportunities to raise the stakes.
For the class I have scripted out a new scene that has Loretta experimenting with FACE yoga and other absurd beauty industry contraptions.
Of course this theme was born of my own insecurity and image management. I hate the stupid beauty industry. Seriously, coconut oil is magic- probably works wonders over hundred dollar skin “science” crap. Don’t get me started.
But also, I’m targeted through social media with tons of beauty industry crap- from skin rejuvenating concoctions to plastic surgery. On facebook I have listed myself as being born in 1923, so maybe it’s that, or maybe it’s because I HAVE fallen for the glamour game and have purchased the miracle potion in the past.
I am NOT IMMUNE TO MARKETING!!! Though I wish I was. Just another reason to smash the patriarchy. Can’t I just get old naturally and feel beautiful doing it? Is that a political act? Feels courageous- I’d rather it was just normal.
Ok. So this week’s post is somewhat of a ramble, but some good personal work I feel. Another part of this research for the CURE FOR FEAR is about the ways in which I can decolonize myself, the way I think as well as HOW and WHAT I share with the world.
Here are some amazing resources that I have utilized this week.
- THE SECRET LIFE OF CANADA – The Mounties Always Get Their LAND (part 1 and 2)
- Decolonize myself– “First Nations Personal journey. Exploring colonization, decolonization, healing, & culture”- Instagram
- The book- BRAIDING SWEETGRASS by Robin Wall Kimmerer- Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. A Gorgeous book. So poetically beautiful and inspiring. I could go on and on.. Order it through IRON DOG BOOKS!
- MST FUTURISM– AN EVENT! -Decolonizing the City through a Matriarchal Lens. Uplifting and celebrating xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) visions for the future of what is currently known as Vancouver. They invite you to hear from incredible MST Host Nation thought leaders to re-envision the built form centred in right relation to our land, waters and skies. REGISTER HERE