Hey, what’s up? How was your weekend? I never ask that of you. I always just go into my rants which like the last one deserves to be destroyed. A hard-back man like me complaining over three pounds. Hmmmp I should be ashamed of myself. Anyway enough about you. Let me tell you what happened to me this weekend.
I consider myself a liberal person (well within reason). I am up for new things, events and experiences. So when I got an email inviting me to an event called Spontaneous Combustion on Saturday 20 May, I was up for the outing. The event was described as a short, partly improvisational work performed by an ensemble of actors, musicians and dancers. It is therefore an experimental form of art. Being new to the craft of acting, I took this email as an opportunity to experience something new and possibly learn from the actors at this event.
So, I attend the event and on entering, I am greeted with a person covered in a sheet at the entrance to the seating area. Hmm "How strange!" I say to myself. Well I then realise that the audience was not allowed into the seating area until they saw the first part of the piece. OK, Fine so far. "This is going to be exciting", I thought to myself.
A girl in a wedding dress then comes out and starts humming and placing colored stones around the person covered with the sheet. Then she starts making more noises and then runs off. The person under the sheet starts to stir and then manages to pick up one of the colored stones and move it around in their hand. (Ok a dance piece–I thought). On rising to a seated position on the floor, the girl looks around and then utters the phrase…."Don’t Mess With The Cow. That’s What She Said" (Uh OK). While I am concentrating on her, I don’t realise that the person standing next to me, whom i thought was just peeping over my shoulder, is actually in the piece and she starts moaning and looking rather schizophrenic. Then she repeats the phrase, "Don’t Mess With The Cow"…. Then she looks directly into my eyes….."That’s What She Said"
At this point, my heart is racing as i think that I have stumbled into some sort of voodoo ritual or mental asylum group therapy session. After making eye contact with both women, I started praying. Actually no, I started uttering the phrase, "The Blood Of Jesus. The Blood Of Jesus. The Blood Of Jesus" To all those non religious people reading this, hard luck. I was scared and there wanted some protection from any unseen forces that may have been lurking. The girl in the bridal dress screaming without sound also didn’t help matters.
Well the actors/dancers moved finally into the stage area and there we met a girl who face was almost entirely covered but kept dancing around the audience and a guy just looking spaced out who started to type and mutter the cow phrase. ("I must be mad to still be here", i thought to myself). All of a sudden i look at the seat directly in front of me and there it is…A Cow…well a cow icon/idol (Actually it was a cow toilet paper dispencer but still not the point). None of the actors are paying attention to it but after being told multiple times about not messing with the cow, I decided to change seats. I sat far away from the cow and so did three other patrons on noticing their proximity to it.
I don’t know anything else that transpired because these people kept coming near to me and crawling away. They dropped more colored stones of the stage and then formed a circle and started humming a bit. I was lost as to any meaning that could be derived from this. I just knew that as soon as it was over that I was leaving. It ended 45 minutes later.
Could we leave? No, the performers had a question time after. They asked the audience what did they interpret from the performance. Well i had nothing to say as my mind could not fathom what the hell i just witnessed. Some girl spoke and described the piece as one involving the struggle to be heard and to be individualistic in a world that does not let people be themselves. She went deeper than that in her analysis, but I just tuned out when I realised that she was talking out of her ass. (I should’ve walked with some toilet paper for her to wipe her mouth).
Anyway, they talked about the piece being a dream state and that each performer had only a basic outline when they met for the first time, an hour before the show. They thanked everyone for coming and invited some audience members to try their hand at an improvisational piece. The cameraman from the TV Station Gayelle went up along with another woman and they were given a topic called "Lost Marbles" and were told to use the props on stage to express themselves. What transpired was a bit bi-polar for me and bordered on the insane, but somehow it started to make sense about how people express themselves.
I must point out that the cameraman wasn’t the most eloquent speaker of the night but his piece was easier to understand for me and much more expressive. Strangely enough, the journalist who was there with him, said that he is normally a quiet and very shy person so it was out of character for him to do that. Hmmm, a mentally unstable person finds a forum for his rantings…..
Oh well, I left soon after his piece was over and vowed to not venture back to such events. A normal play will do. My intellect cannot decipher these forms of art expression. I am still a bit linear in my thinking so I think that i will stick within the realms of artistic expression that don’t leave me with a headache or a need to burst into prayer.
Hope you had a good weekend as well.