It is a wonderful, scary and large feeling to set up on the side of the street, unannounced, and step up onto a white box wearing all black and begin sharing physically-animated poetry and stream of conscious with whoever is passing by. Thanks to those that stopped, even for a moment, to hear a bit of the world I experience, and to Lisa Pijuan-Nomura and the James North Studio for hosting me this past weekend. It’s always a pleasure to share with and receive artistic impulses with the exciting city that is Hamilton.
This summer I took an opportunity to discard any sense of established safety, or comfort in my life and wander, or explore the different vantages defining it. One vantage was from a completely different angle of Toronto, the East End, the Danforth. Another was my, what I generally and defaultly entitle “home” because of my parents in Oshawa. The third was Hamilton, a city I had a romantic vision of because of its rough but so inspiring sense of promise and revitalization. I put all of my belongings in boxes and into storage or on the side of the curb and lived the last three months out of two pieces of luggage and my backpack. Some really interesting moments of realization came out of this choice, both artistically and personally.
I began writing with a pen in a notebook. This is a big deal for me. My fingers don’t like pens. They want to move individually to express my thoughts. They do not want to operate as a whole hand-unit. But I forced it, and recognized a difference in my writing style, something about having to focus on moving and creating each letter, something about not being able to relate my thoughts quite as fast as on a computer made me think about them a bit more, made me contemplate their sentence structure and the information within.
From this notebook, I began picking entries I believe spoke the most to my experiences during this time and created a blog to chronicle it all.
hill & harbour is what emerged. It is composed of a series of writings and pictures. And not much context. Because of this simplicity, I am happy of its ability to be a somewhat naked relation of existence and contemplation.
On top of this:
hill & harbour has been developed into a short performance, using some of the theatrical research and training I underwent during this time and will be presented at the James North Studio Gallery as part of SUPERCRAWL in Hamilton. This weekend!
The performance is free and will happen three times over two days.
If you’re in Hamilton, please come by and experience what it’s like under hill & harbour.
As I make my way through a couple classes at Volcano’s 2013 Conservatory I am pleased to receive some good news concerning my recent trip to Hamilton with my new solo show totem.: The View (Hamilton’s version of NOW!) called totem. “one of the hidden gems of The Hamilton Fringe 2013.” I had an amazing time in Hamilton; meeting some lovely people; getting this show on its feet after only 5 in-depth rehearsals; adapting the show to the gorgeous James North Studio Gallery; being right in the middle of one of the craziest storms I’ve experienced in the past few years; and performing totem. 8 times in about 50 hours. Even though my houses weren’t necessarily packed (i.e. “hidden gem”) I took the time I had in Hamilton to tell a story that I deeply care about to anyone that wanted to listen.
This review from The View, posted below, reassures me that I wasn’t the only one who had a good time during this amazing little escape to Hamilton.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see the premiere of totem. ~ if you missed it, there will probably be some extra opportunities to check it out very soon. Stay tuned!
Written and starring Andrew Gaboury from Toronto, Totem tells the story about a man caught between what he has and what he wants. Gaboury uses his seemingly boundless energy to convey to the audience the inner struggle of a young man being seduced by a beautiful smile on the beach. Gaboury is an actor that deserves major kudos for his performance. As with many smaller shows, there are times where your audience may consist of just a handful of people. Having a small audience did not dampen his show in any way shape or form. This young actor showed his experience and passion for the art as he gave a performance as if hundreds of people were in the room. Totem was one of the hidden gems of The Hamilton Fringe 2013. V (DW)
They came so quick, the clouds.
It it amazing to experience a tornado-level storm in a city you don’t know, while running around the streets looking for a woman you do.
It is amazing to watch the storm blow down the street, from one intersection to the next until it hits you straight-on. All of a sudden sand, dirt is flying everywhere – where does one find sand, where does one find dirt, in a city? Stinging my eyes, making them water. Looking around for shelter. Asking for directions. What once was sweat is now rain. I’m carrying puddles in my shoes. The office door opens behind me, Come inside, she says, It’s crazy out there, briefcase in hand. Another woman vacuuming the lobby.
I made it back for my show, thankfully got to change into my dry costume, wiped off my feet. My shoes are still drying at home as I type this on the bus back to Hamilton. I’m told there was lightning behind me for my second show. For my own storm. There were men from the mission watching from the overhang outside the gallery, just wanting to stay dry. They clapped when I lay down. Cheered me on. I smiled to them when I bowed. As the show ended we noticed they had no power across the street.
So, seeing as how the world’s ending, want to grab a drink?
The Baltimore was candle-lit. We didn’t notice at first; thought it was just the mood they were striving to achieve. More cheers when the lights came back on. Not much of a difference in mood. We drank and ate sandwiches and watched seven artists break dance, we listened to music and generally just tried to absorb the day. For five strangers in a foreign city, Hamilton certainly left it’s impression on us.
totem. at the Hamilton Fringe Gallery Mini-Series continues today at 4:30, 7:45 & 9:15pm. It is playing at the beautiful James North Studio Gallery (328 James North) and is preceded by the stunning Lucy Rupert’s show Frankenstein Fragments at 3:45, 5:15 & 8:30pm. Tickets are $8 for each show and can be bought at the door.