D O E – 2 – Commentary

“Don’t you have
your work?”
I’m confounded
with some
beautiful
pursuits
and I have
to know how
to construct and deconstruct
your heart
Though there are people who’d say I don’t
know me well.
I’m not gonna lie to you. This might be as good as it gets. This project may be downhill from here. Not a “one and done” so much as a “two and I’m through”. And I’m not entirely sure if I’m saying that because I really like this one and am scared of all of the un-blacked-out pages left in my ill-fated tome (I mean, that’s probably at least a little bit true – definitely the first half) or if I actually found the best page in the book for this particular creato-destructive technique very early in my process.

That first sentence with opening and closing quotation marks and everything! It sounds like all of those reassuring voices (sincere or otherwise) insisting that even though I’m not acting, I’m making theatre of which I can be proud. And I am proud of what I’ve done. The opportunities to work with the talented individuals I’ve directed. The previously unproduced scripts from D.J. Sylvis (pick any one – they’re brilliant) I’ve been blessed to nudge while they were still in formative stages. The theatre companies who helped me evolve and vice versa. And yet. And yet.

Theatre is confounding, innit? I will always remember a conversation I had with Kat Sandler (for those of you not from Toronto or not theatrically-involved who haven’t heard of Kat, you will – for the rest of you, yes I’m shamelessly going to drop her name into my introspection because she’s my friend and I’m damn proud of that fact and of this particular memory: deal with it). After a couple of glasses of wine or pints of beer or nondescript containers of liquids responsible for similar effects I overdramatically sighed, “Theatre is a cruel mistress.” Without missing a beat, Kat riposted, “But she’s a helluva fuck.” A confounding and beautiful pursuit.

I’ll admit the second half of that middle passage is a little cliché. But it’s there and it’s not entirely untrue, so I’ll neither apologize for it nor will I examine it too closely.

And that last part feels a bit reminiscent of the cobbler’s children, no? I wonder sometimes if directing made sense as a way to go because I’m in denial that I’m better at it than I am at acting. I guess I’ll continue to wonder. It’s either that or full-on navel gazing. Naval gazing. What do you sea? *drops a smoke bomb and vanishes*

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You can learn about the impulse behind this project here.

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