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Aug 17

Third Performance – A Cup of Water

Blah.

 

A moth flew around the stage as I plugged my way through a technically perfect performance #3.

 

It may have all been my fault.  Something strange happened when I went out on stage.

 

Now, I’m an atheist and a sceptic.  I don’t believe in “vibes” or “hoodoo” or vague notions of “energy”, but something happened.  From the first moments of the show, my energy level was low.  I realized it immediately, and dialled it up… or tried to,anyway.

 

No matter what I did, it felt like, in the words of the Wizard Ged from the Earthsea novels, "All I had in the end was one cup of water, and I had to pour it out on the sand . . . "

 

The sand, in this case, if I wasn’t a sceptic, was the audience.  I felt, however unfairly, however irrationally, that their unresponsiveness, their blank faces, their dour looks, were pulling the life right out of me.  I fought and I pushed and I tried to reach them, but… nothing.  And in the end, I got my first real half-assed polite applause of my entire Fringe tour.  It wasn’t just a quiet audience… it felt like a malevolent audience.

 

But that is irrational.  In the end, it all comes down to me, and I need to search myself and figure out why my performance fell flat and why I couldn’t activate them.  London proved that 39 is not an alienating show and that while some people may not “get” it and thus be pulled out of the world, most people, even those a bit lost, will allow themselves to venture forth with me on my odyssey.

 

As depressing and upsetting as it was, I will try to take this experience on board and reflect on it so that I can improve the show for Tuesday.

 

It wasn’t all bad, though.  I think the two burnout scenes were the best they’ve been yet, and the shuttle launch sequence was the most physically grounded it’s ever been.  Oh, and I had a big dog in the audience, so I got to play some of the post-human bits to him/her.

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