Sunday, 11 October 2009

And we're off …

And we're off …
August 28th, 2009

It's Day Two of the Fringe, I haven't done a show yet, and I'm trulymadlydeeply up for it. My first show is tonight. It's been five whole days since I did a show and I can't wait. I'm antsy, my feet are antsy, my thumb my tongue my skin and my toes are antsy, I rehearse my words and you know what, they're antsy too.

Back on Monday, hauling my slow-ass out of Edmonton with the rest of the scattering circus, I was well-knackered, while on Tuesday, impelled ever further west by the sight and experience of waking up in Hinton Ab., I was … still well-knackered. And Wednesday, ditto for Merritt BC, except I was definitely a tad less-knackered and loving the first-time drive down the valleys, having loved the first-time drive through Jasper even more … and was less knackered because there was nothing for me to do but gaze around, and up, and muck about with Lana Schwarcz's IPod and let her drive herself, me, and her vanload of life-sized Jewish-Australian geriatric puppets the 100k after 100k after 100k to here in Victoria.

And so Thursday, yesterday, having found my lovely billet on Gonzales Bay, I was rising at the unearthly hour of six thirty for a CBC Radio interview, which was a laugh. The presenter is a Gregor Craigie and he's, no shit Sherlock, Scottish, fae Edinburgh, the last place I properly had a home, 40 months ago.

So I bus in, meeting an unhappy Oak Bay horsey-girl teenager on the way, and the interview is a hoot, though probably incomprehensible to most of the listeners because I fuelled myself up with caffeine, I drew back the light blue touch paper and I let myself go. Fun though … whereupon, breakfasting before more caffeine, I discover a nice big fat photo of myself in the Times-Colonist and guess that, maybe this festival is going to go well, at least many parts of the equation are in place for it to go well, what with having lucked in big-time on the timeslot lottery. So I breakfast heartily on Douglas and then end up in front of some camera spilling I don't know what, or for what purpose, except who cares 'cos it's another fired-up hoot and I trawl back to my billets' seaside gaff to watch the otters and the rippled waters before getting the extra sleep of the empty days … and going out for Tarantino and Chinese, some flyering of line-ups and a show or two.

One of which was Catherine Montgomery's Straight. From That Side of Town, of which great show more in next blog … and the other a fine show about the last days of Stalin, Goodnight Uncle Joe … which was, shock horror, a play, with a cast, and a set, and a story … which was just what I needed. A neat cat-and-mouse ambiguity to almost everything about it, and well worth it.

Tarantino was a laugh. In many ways it's a great film, though ridiculous, but then, so were Kill Bill and Deathproof … and Pulp Fiction, if you think about it, but who cares when it's such a kids-war-comic-for-adults laugh, when there is such a marvellous SS bad guy as Christopher Waltz, when you've got the scene with the incognito Jewish girl surrounded by Nazis?
And Chinatown was great, though I will have to get a party together for duck at the Don Mee, a dish I look forward to the whole way across the country.

This much-unnecessary detail is all a convoluted way of saying I'm not as knackered as I was. Nor for that matter are the rest of the gang. They have generally rested up, though a few, like Sharon Nowlan who is now doing Caberlesque as well as Burlesque Unzipped, are as tired as they were when they escaped Edmonton on Monday morning.

Most flew on in Monday and have strolled about and taken it easy and put back on some of the pounds they lost on the Prairies. [Me, I had a strange experience on stage in Edmonton where I realised I didn't have a belt on and my trousers were falling down and I realised how difficult it is to hitch your trousers up a bit unnoticed when everyone is looking at you, the lights are on you and you don't stop talking for an hour.]

So, yeah, the fringe is about to come and take me away. The quiet bit is over and I'm going to get sucked with relish into its maw. So here we go.

But in the meantime I'm a poet, so I'm allowed to get all pastoral and landscapy.

So, it's early morning here looking out over Gonzales Bay, over the hawk ten feet below me on the lower deck, over the second black coffee, steaming in the morning air, before the sun on the higgledy houses on the other side, the formless haze of the high clouds here and there formed as wide rivers or estuaries, the gently rippled water of the flat lapping sea, the soft low waves sighing their final whooshy sigh onto the four or five rocklet/islets out in the small and crescent bay, the wet grey sand and darker rock where the tide has seeped out, the couple of owners and dogs with their long reflections in the flat grey sea across the way, the hundred gulls on the nearest two islets, the heron on another [though there's no sign of the five or six otters I saw playing yesterday and which will, apparently, if I leave my door open, come in and steal my socks, which would be an ecocrime on both our parts], the moss green shoreline below me with its hundred statuesque gulls, the bleached and broken trees washed up beneath me.

And you know, it's pretty pacific out there.

So, I'm looking at all this, recharged and rewired, and revved up and ready to go. I'm off … I-I-I-I-I-t-s ShowTime …

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