We went to Burgtheater to our tables in front of Casablanca playing and ate potatoes and pasta. And some drinks also. I had a cigarette. This morning I sound like a demonic old grandmother.
I don’t think I have written here about a performance I’ve been in. I usually stop the day before, then a pause of some days, or weeks, and a slew of photos I manage to purloin from someone. I can think of two people with cameras I would like to take advantage of for this.
I must stop thinking that Melina’s name is Concetta. And accept my peevish inability to remember names even this late and near the end. Johan, Melina, Hans, Anushka arrived early, 11am to attempt to reduce our anxiety about the play. More changes, and finally it became something coherent and… Do you expect we remembered this when near the end of an hour and 20 minutes?
Some warming up, some working through the piece again, first half is coherent, second is… not illegible but difficult, resisting the ease of coming together the first half, first day has. The handshakes are a vortex we can all be sucked under by. Hans says something like, I don’t want to rehearse it too much, I prefer to leave it open a little so… I think he said, so it can grow or become something when we perform.
I wonder if this is a common thing. I think and have said this often when we get to the days and hours before, I like under-rehearsing, I like some quantity of unknowns, maybe paths that fade out and how to get to there has to be invented, or… openness. To know enough and to be comfortable enough so as to have time to think and look when it’s happening and decide then from myriad possibilities what is next. Which is partly why I find steps to counts traumatic.
Waiting, doing things to ankles, wondering if soreness in back and calves will become something I have to think about the entire night. We stand in a circle and yell “C’EST BON CI!!!” (yes, we do say that, I wasn’t imagining it). Into tents, wait, nerves that say inaudible things calmness that says it’s too late for that now, fart, wait, people, talking, darkness, night sounds, crickets, water, running…
How do I write about the inside of a performance? I can say, oh this was good, this bit, this was uncertain here, I forgot this thing. We had fun. We arrived at the other side.
Yes, I had fun. I have almost always performed with groups of five or so, and there is nowhere to hide or pause so much. It is a public way of being on stage. Here, there is so much going on that requires maybe only a few people to be effective, much time for watching and looking then. A nice world to live in, so public with an audience yet as calm and private as digging in the garden.
Afterwards a cigarette with Barbara from Toronto. We talk of ourselves, drink a little, join the others along two benches without a table in-between, warmth of bodies in a warm twilight.