March 21, 2015 – by Andre Lalonde
On Thursday, March 19, I chose to volunteer for a show called ‘Hammer’. When I looked at the list of upcoming shows at The Theatre Centre I chose that one just based on the name. That is how I choose what to volunteer for.
I thought of my upcoming meet-up with an old friend of mine. We are supposed to have an entire weekend together to work on some project ideas—truth be told I already have the idea, and have for quite some time.
I arrived on time and sat in the office with one of the regular staff. When the time came I took my place at the door, took the tickets and greeted the guests. The performer shook my hand and I then joined the small group inside. The performer was Cathy Gordon. I had no idea that in the next ninety minutes, most of the ideas I’ve ever had about art, expression and performance would be vindicated. It was indeed all possible.
‘Things don’t have to stay linear’, I explained to my friend.
It was a participatory show. The two with the worst handwriting—one of which was yours truly—were given blue markers and small white cards with quotes which we had to be written down on large brown pages. Before we wrote, Cathy told us she would leave the room and when she returned, everybody must stop doing what they were doing—their tasks—and look at her; she did return, and we all stopped. She stood there and removed all her regular clothes; she wore her naked body like it was another costume, and finally, put on a tight black, comfortable looking PJ thing.
The show begins with all of us standing around a table with a hammer made out of soft clay sitting on top of it. Cathy broke off the first piece then invited all of us to tear off chunks until the hammer was no more. It was now our job to hold our bits of clay for the entire show. The show was, in fact, six ways to sublimate anger. Anybody who has ever read anything I’ve written, and certainly, if you have read these blogs, it’s clear that I talk often about my failures. I do have a lot of anger, but standing there holding my chunk of clay, I knew that a lot of it was well used.
I still have my piece of clay, and when the time comes, I will tear it in half as I sit there with my friend as we create. Again I will say to her, ‘We can do whatever we want, because it is all possible’.
-Each small candle-