PuSh Blog

The Show Must Go On Cast Blog: Adrienne Wong, Jan 7

January 07, 2010

By Adrienne Wong, performer in The Show Must Go On

So it’s Day Two.

We are 8 songs in.

Tomorrow I will be late and that makes me nervous.

The rehearsal process so far is like a puzzle, a riddle. There is a specific answer in mind. Dina and Henrique have an answer they are looking for from us, the performers. But they want us to get there ourselves. Which is, at once, frustrating and engaging. With each new piece of music I am eager and wondering, “what is this? what is the music telling me? what do I do?” Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t. But who cares because right now we have all the time in the world.

I like how this piece (so far, we are – after all – only two days in) breaks down the notion of “virtuosity”. We do what we can do, and that’s it. Yes, you could do it too. Or, it seems like you could do it. But, seriously, figuring it out is whole other thing (back to the riddle) and beyond getting the right answer (for which we’ve been trained by many years of public schooling) beyond all that is being present. Ha! It makes me laugh out loud, the amount of time directors spend talking to performers, trying to get them to just BE. But what is it that the physicists say? The observation of an object changes everything. Something like that. The gaze of the audience makes it impossible to just BE. So there is the thing, the rub. Yes, everyone could do it but it’s harder than you think. It all comes down to time; time spent preparing, time spent being. And a willingness to sit in the frustration that inevitably comes before you solve the puzzle, before that intensely pleasurable “ooooh!” moment.

I don’t want to give anything away, but tonight we finished with a dance I could have danced all night. And no, it wasn’t from “My Fair Lady”, but something familiar and comforting with its regular beat and repetitiveness. To know what is expected of you is a relief, not as challenging as just BEING, but a respite. And for some strange reason, feeling that sense of comfort and relief is a guilty pleasure.

The Show Must Go On is part of the 2010 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and is presented with SFU Woodward’s and The Dance Centre. Jan 20-23, 2010 at 8:00pm, The Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU. Click here for full details.