Monday, 18 July 2016

The 55 Days of Crazy, Part 3

Towering above

I always knew the last half would be hard: three solid weeks of One Yellow Rabbit’s Summer Lab Intensive, followed by a full week of volunteering at the Stampede. Heck, just the week at the Stampede is hard enough.

Our days as Labbits (as participants in the Lab are known) quickly developed a pattern, with mornings were taken up with movement: anywhere from sixty to ninety minutes of yoga, a short break, and then developing our own dance vocabularies. An hour break for lunch was followed by two hours of writing (theory, practice, inspiration: you name it) class, another short break, and then two more hours of visual/performance, with some writing exercises inserted into the mix on occasion.

And then home for a quick dinner, a glass of wine (or three), and then collapse into bed to let my mind try to digest all the new information being pumped through it. I found that I couldn’t read anything more complex than two childrens’ books I read as a child because of the overload of stuff I was being exposed to. In the beginning, I thought the problem was because I was the second-oldest person in our class of twenty-five, but I discovered that I wasn’t alone in that problem, especially the first week.

At the end of week one, we received our “final” assignments: we had to develop and perform a ten-minute solo piece. I had been jotting down ideas for mine for awhile (knowing that something like this was coming), and so was faced with three possible alternatives. I tried Plan A, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work. Plan B would have stretched me, but also probably broken me in the process, so I opted for Plan C, which was a glorified artist talk. (Many of my fellow Labbits had asked to see my work, so I figured it was one way to kill two birds with one stone.)

At the same time, we were broken into groups, assigned a number of characters to use, and told to write a twenty- to forty-minute play that we had to perform for the others the last Thursday of Lab (Friday and Saturday being the performance days for our solo works.) To say that I was out of my comfort zone would be an understatement, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the group piece, I got to be a foul-mouthed, judgemental witch, as well as a passive-aggressive talking dog: talk about typecasting, eh?

That being said, the group piece went off without a hitch, and despite some technical difficulties in my solo work, it too was a hit. After everyone was done on Saturday, merriment thence ensued, and we headed up to the Alberta Theatre Projects’s Rehearsal Space (and their deck) to watch the fireworks. I lamented that I hadn’t brought my tripod and good camera until someone reminded me that I had my new iPhone, and it did well enough. Being the wuss that I am, I bailed when I had an offer of a ride home.

The physical changes from the Lab are easy to spot: I can almost touch my toes, and my flexibility has improved substantially, although I need to do more, and so I’ll start taking classes again. I’m still working through all the psychological changes — we all are, I gather, from the emails we send regularly — but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Meanwhile, I’ve resurrected an old project, and I have grant writing and reporting duties to take care of before I hit the road again after Labour Day. Plus there’s new work to build, journal-writing, and the never-ending process of getting back into shape.

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