Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's a wrap for Debbie in South Africa!

     We finished off the run of Debbie Does My Dad yesterday with a matinee at the Spaceframe Theater at the Wits Education Campus.  It was quite the difficult task to do the last show at an entirely new venue with under an hour to set the stage, lights, and sound.  HUGE thanks to Chanel and Desi who worked absolute magic to get the show ready to go in time to open the doors.
     We had a good crowd and again got a great response.  This opportunity to travel across the globe to present the art that I love to do filled me such a sense of gratefulness. Getting to share my work, see others, and engage in amazing conversations with artists from all different walks was such a rich experience. I am so thankful for people that value art. I am becoming more and more of a convert every day. *(I'll be posting video excerpts from the show when I return to the U.S.)
     With this festival I began a new focusing ritual before performing.  I walk around the stage and look at every seat, and I thank the person that I imagine will be sitting in it.  The person who may give me the gift of their time, energy, and attention. It makes me present and also feel the strong responsibility, that if they are going to give me their valuable time, I had better make good use of it.
     Shortly after finishing the run, I was a judge at the National Poetry Slam. Hectic. Damn.  The poetry was incredible, none of us judges could agree. AT ALL.  I love slam and I hate slam. It birthed me as a writer.  But I watched a lot of young poets leave the slam feeling nowhere near as proud as I think they should of.  I want to say LOUDLY that all of the poets I saw perform in Jo'burg last night were incredible. Please keep writing, and please let me keep enjoying it. Much love and respect.
      As I get ready to go to a game park for my last day in South Africa, a lot of thank yous are in order.  Thank you to MAKE ART/STOPAIDS for sending me here and to Drama For Life for taking me in.  Thank you to my Director George Watsky for giving the piece so much attention and care. Thank you to Steve for being the most gracious host I could ever dream of.  To Cathy for being my singing partner at every meal, and in between. Ok, just always. To Hanni for everything, and also for making a really delicious dinner. To Levinia and Lonwabo, and Eliana for the amazing organizing. You guys held it all together and us performers owe you so much. To Ntombi for organizing all of the poetry events and giving me the opportunity to lead a workshop. To all of the other performers/directors at the festival for moving and inspiring me. And finally, to all of the people who blessed me with their presence, energy, and beautiful noise at my shows, thank you so much. The warm response you gave me touched me so deeply.
     South Africa I hope to see you soon!

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