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Thursday, May 31, 2007


dance in Mtl

dance in Mtl, originally uploaded by plastictaxi.

Doing dance/ theatre in a bar is great: the mood is loose, and the connection between performer and audience is immediate -- and, as mentioned, you are in a bar. People tell you right away when they love the work, and can buy you drinks to prove it.

Doing dance/ theatre in a bar sucks: everything you first created in a theatre must be reinvented in a ghetto-style improv with half the time you would otherwise expect. You have no place to warm up or escape the noise and crowd before you have to step up and do the show. It's hard to do it well, and when you don't quite achieve what you are going for, you feel like an abject failure.

But hey, you're in a bar: and better yet, this bar is in Montreal.

It's been fabulous bumping into all sorts of people I haven't seen in a while -- a lot of folks are in town for the FTA (Festival Trans-Ameriques), and playing in an "off-FTA" venue.

Montreal makes you look at yourself. The other day I felt good about our work here, but because I was so absorbed in it, and worried about stuff back home, I felt apart from the artists around me. Like when you are lonely and want to connect, but don't know how to be around people. Thinking that you mess up good moods by opening your mouth. It's all nonsense, really, compounded by lack of sleep and other things... We are in a beautiful city surrounded by talented people struggling to make something precious; but at those times I wonder if my longest list of achievements is an interminable sequence of beautiful moments that I somehow mess up... and when I say that, I don't mean my work as a designer, but as a human being.

And then someone tells a joke and you respond, and that moment of doubt is gone.

My favourite Montreal moment?

Visiting a girlfriend's sister there some eighteen years ago and having some guy ask me in the basement washroom of a bar "As-tu de feu?" After I figured out what he meant and produced a lighter he produced something smokeable and we got a little high. Some fun!

Now can you imagine trying to perform something really intricate like music in a bar? :-)
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