(Despite the fact that this was only posted now, it was written waaaaaay back on the 17th of Feb, after I’d come home from the first of two benefit shows that theater simple did for Urban Myth Theatre).
I must be growing up.
I was sitting in The Space (a familiar and homely space to me) watching the crowd drift in to catch “52 Pick Up“. It’s the third time I’ve seen this piece, and I’m keenly anticipating the fall of the cards. But right now my interest is in my partners in this particular endeavor – the other people in the audience.
Those who know me even vaguely should have already made the connection between the previous two paragraphs – I referred to the audience as “my partners”. I shocked myself when I first realised that was what I was actually thinking; in the past, I’ve been adversely territorial to the point of rudeness towards my fellow audience. Now, I felt a kinship.
Then, an overbearing feeling of superiority; now, a sense that we’re about to share something, that – by our very observance of the same act – an unacknowledged bond is being generated between us. Previously, a pathological hatred of every mannerism they bought into the space, my space; currently, a deeper understanding – and even forgiveness for imagined sins of times gone by.
This sense of what others may call “normalcy” – but which I call “kindness” – was completely unexpected. I must be growing up.
And so I watched these people file in – either committed to the cause of the benefit, or maybe just in search of a great show (and they certainly saw one that night). No matter; I watched them with curiosity and acceptance, a smile in my heart. I love watching people file into a venue. I love knowing that I’ll never know their stories – why they chose this particular performance. And tonight – for just about the first time ever – I didn’t feel the stabs of angst, masquerading as superiority and loathing.
And that’s what this biannual event – the Festival/Fringe combo – means to me; a chance to get outside my own head, to expand my horizons (if only for a week or three), the chance to emote where I would normally not, the chance to engage where I would normally remain remote. Emote/remote. Piffly word-play. Good one. Expect more of that as I exercise my normally dormant (thank god!) writing gene over the next month.
For the record: “52 Pick Up” was awesome that night – the cards fell well. The following night – Feb 18th – the cards were nasty. Llysa regarded that show as “whiplash”, such was the emotional contrast between subsequent cards. Still, both nights were fantastic theatre.