Day four was a combination of the most rewarding and the most frustrating day thus far. In the morning we were joined by Adam Paolozza from Artaud: Un Portrait en Décomposition – our first visit from one of the artist mentors for our program. A few of the nuggets that I gleaned from our conversation were:
- Sometimes it doesn’t start with the money. Do the work and sometimes the money will come.
- In a rehearsal process, don’t always do eight hours a day: discover the rate at which you’re stimulated and productive.
- Breaks (between workshops and rehearsals, between weeks of rehearsal, etc) are essential and healthy to the artistic process [note: this is completely what I experienced on Re:Union with our workshop a month in advance of the beginning of rehearsal. By bringing the whole team into the room early we were able to create a language and a style to work from so our first official day of rehearsal had a foundation underneath it and we weren't starting from zero.]
In the afternoon we discussed grants and how to write them with a professional grant writer. It was that odd combination of exhilarating and exhausting and at the end of the day I wanted to go home and get to work on my Canada Council grant application. Hopefully that enthusiasm will carry over to a couple of weeks from now when I have a bit more time.
That session ended with a reminder that nobody cares about your art. Perhaps a little bit harsh, but certainly true on many levels. I know many people felt a bit dejected at the end of the day, but we headed over to the Lower Ossington Theatre for Brian Lobel’s Purge, a part of the live art series that deals with the concept of unfriending someone on Facebook while also exploring the death of his ex-boyfriend. It was a really moving piece and lead to many conversations about the economics and politics of friendship, while also underlining the value of friendship in our lives.
After Purge I was sent to another live art show: Motor Vehicle Sundown. This is a half hour long headphone piece takes place in a car and was the source of a large part of my personal frustration with the day. When I arrived at the venue I was informed that they were running a few minutes late. The festival has a timeliness policy so I was surprised, but I understand how easy it is for things to get behind. But when it reached half an hour past our scheduled start time and no one had communicated what was going on, I felt my frustration going. Finally the volunteer arrived to take myself and my partner down to the car, but the FOH manager wasn’t ready and once ore we found ourselves waiting without explanation. It was almost 40 minutes after our scheduled start time when we finally walked down to the car. The volunteer instructed us to put on our headphones, get in the front seat, and push play on our mp3 players.
We did this and began to listen to the stories and follow the instructions, but we quickly found that we had been given wrong instructions. We weren’t supposed to be in the car yet, and oh, we were supposed to get into the backseat first. About 7 minutes in we gave up on the piece. Our frustrations had gotten to the point where we were no longer able to just experience and enjoy the piece – we were angry and knew that if we restarted, everyone else would be that much further behind. Time to move on.
For our final show of the night, many of us headed to the Theatre Centre for The God That Comes, a collaboration between 2b theatre and Hawksley Workman based on the story of Bacchus. This show was by far the highlight of my day. As we waited for it to begin, we drank wine from the bottle and a beautiful young woman draped us with grapes (ever so appropriate for an event about the god of wine!) The show is still a work in progress, but I was delighted to discover that it will be coming to Club PuSh this winter, so Vancouver – don’t miss this show!
After the show, at around midnight, a handful of us made our way back to the house where I was staying and spent some time getting to know each other and laugh – not realizing until too late that it was five in the morning and we needed to be up and useful in only a couple of hours.