LAUGHING WITH OUR SADNESS

I spent a good portion of my adult life depressed. I used to think I was born into a sad body. I feel incredibly grateful to feel some semblance of balance and joy in my life now. It is from this safe space that I now explore sadness. Perhaps it is because of my own experience with loneliness and depression that it tickles my fancy to “play” with sadness- and in some way- it allows me to be present in the SAD FEELINGS without letting them get the better of me. 

So, play with sadness instead of “BE” sadness? 

In exploring the character of Loretta for the CURE FOR FEAR I made a short film, which I thought was very sad, touching and funny. 

Interestingly enough when I took it to my working group that has been exploring “clowning for film”- they barely laughed. When I went back to re-edit the lonely film- I saw it from another side- Does it seem like I’m making fun of a lonely old woman? Is it JUST sad? 

In this working group we talked about what changes would make this short film more funny, and I realized that maybe it wasn’t just laughs I was going for? 

What WAS my impetus for creating this? Aside from the act of making it which is a means to an end in itself, I’m curious about facilitating the emotional journey of an audience- and not everything NEEDS to be funny. 

Laughter is such a safe, and FUN emotional response, but, can we laugh at people’s sadness? I don’t think so, actually. In reality, I have no desire to laugh at other people’s sadness- but somehow laughing with my own sadness seems ok? When does sad get laughable?  

Well. It’s done now, and this film probably won’t be a part of the show, but it’s an experiment nonetheless and I want to share it.

Which brings me to thinking about “FAILURE”. I had “failure” a couple times this week- and on a positive note, it was because I have been so active in creating and sharing. I noticed that an initial response to “FAILURE”, ie- not getting the response that I was expecting- is to QUIT. And it comes on so fast, as if there’s this LAZY DEMON that will take any small bit of criticism to try and convince me to give up and go to bed. 

Another way of responding to failure that I’m trying out is to be a scientist where I don’t take the critique personally in which it makes ME the failure. I’m simply gathering the information generated through feedback and then tinkering with the experiment until I get the intended results. 

Which brings me back to intended results. What was my purpose for making such a sad film? I thought it was cute, sad and touching and it helped me NOT be sad for a little longer. 

I am sooo curious what you think. Seriously, please write to me with your constructive feedback, even if, especially if it triggered something. Negative is ok, just don’t be mean ok?

Thank you for reading “THE BONES”- a process report of art and decolonization.

I am currently researching “THE CURE FOR FEAR” – 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 and continue on a journey of decolonization and reconnection? What transformation happens within the psyche as a person emerges from despondency and disembodiment?

I believe in the power of laughter, 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?

Always open to feedback if it is constructive and kind. No haters please. candicerobertstheatre@gmail.com

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