This was also the weekend our tiny theatre entourage produced the world premiere of David Barker's one person show, 'Dodging Bullets' here on Friday and Saturday night. It was a great show, and having David here at the 'bohemian apartment' was a blast. It was non stop entertainment and improvisation. 'Dodging Bullets' is David's personal account of being in the door way of his sister's house when his brother-in-law, (a brain surgeon) shot his sister in the chest and shot at him but missed his head by inches. His sister did survive, and although the bullet missed David, it was quite the harrowing event to go through. David is the department head of the MFA program for 'performance studies' at ASU and a long time teacher, director, and performer in The Valley of the Sun, and we were once again fortunate to have him here for the 'tryout' of his show. Because David has been a teacher to so many over the years, both of the 'houses' were full of people, especially on Saturday, of former students and colleagues of his. We had a great time with 'David Barker Weekend'.
Last night, Fernando Teson, my fellow teacher and theatre all around player came from Phoenix to see Barker's show last night, and mine tonight. There were five of my former students there as well. After, we went to Canter's, which has become our non-glamourous post show work ethic meeting place.
So, here I sit, a few hours again from another show, and of course everything that entails. Although I've done the show fourteen times now, I still have some jitters, and still get a little sinking feeling in my stomach. After I've done twenty-five or so shows, some of that will probably go away, but in the strange world of 'the one person show' I don't think it will every completely subside. Up there alone, there isn't anyone to save you, if you get lost, if you have a bobble, if you miss a line or (knock on wood) a section, no other actor will come to your rescue. You can't ask the audience to 'pardon you' while you go look in your script to find out where the hell you are. If you loose your place for a moment, you take a breathe and start scanning through where you've just been, and hope that the line will come. Doing theatre is definitely a high form of 'thrillseeking', and the one man show is going through rapids by yourself with a very small paddle. Really, though, folks, isn't that really what life is all about? Even though we attempt to secure ourselves and surround ourselves with safety nets and all manner of modern technology, non of us our immune from the 'one man show' that befalls us at times in our life.
Today, I am filled with gratitude, humbled by the wonderful fortune that I had no control over, and optimistic about the bend in the river just up ahead. If anything, though, what much of this has taught me, is that one must always look down into the water of the present, and take notice of its splendor. See you soon.