I’m back at Cosmic Trigger, the wonderful mind widening show I saw a few weeks ago. It’s the penultimate night. They asked me to play William Burroughs. I was very happy to oblige. There’s a different actor every night. It involved learning some stuff about 23, heroin, dead captains and cosmic coincidence. As it happens they had not sent me all my lines, so I had to learn some just before going on stage. Thank God I love chaos. Or should I say Eris? Besides, learning lines is nothing new these days. Sponge-Brain.
It’s always weird, getting through a part live the first time though. You’re never totally satisfied you won’t go insane or start randomly quoting Hamlet or drop dead or explode in a sticky mess of plasma. None of those things happened, though, as far as I remember. I did sort of quote Hamlet, but that’s in the script. And now it’s done I’m in the foyer waiting for the interval so I can go in and enjoy the rest of the show.
Problem is, all this adrenaline. I feel like I’ve fallen out of a plane. I’ll be tweaking in the audience. Why do I constantly do this to myself? I’ve spent my whole career actively seeking opportunities to go on stage while not knowing what the hell’s going to happen once I’m there. I’m some complicated variety of masochist. You’d think after years now at The Factory, last minute cover, saying yes to the random that I wouldn’t get fazed jumping off that cliff. But I found it a fright. Weird and beautiful, but unreal. I know how to manage those nerves now thank God. Five years ago I’d have had ticky leg. Suddenly I was IN a show I’d seen, looking at the other characters, pretending to be one of them. All the ritual before going on stage was the same even if I’ve met some of the people I’m in with forty minutes previously. Slap on the back. Hi five. Thumbs up. Cue line. Check eyes. We all there? Walk on. “Where the heck am I? What am I doing? Oh that’s my cue to speak. What am I saying? What a lot of people. Open mouth. Words happen connected to thoughts.” They’ve anticipated calamity, so Burroughs gets a chair. He also gets a piece of paper “a speech he is practicing” AKA crib sheet to prevent dries. Now it’s done I’ll look back on this evening, refer to this blog, and wonder “did that really happen.” Right now the unspent adrenaline is enough proof. And all I had to do was remember words and speak them in a deep drawl. The girl that arrived at the same time as me chose to take all her clothes off at the top of the show. That requires very different cojones. Both figuratively and literally.
The wonderful news is that I can return home and have a bath if I choose. An actor friend from York, the recently rechristened “Superman” Granger has been staying on the sofa rehearsing an immersive Gatsby into London which I saw in York and loved. He secretly fixed the boiler when he got his first paycheck.
This evening. What an evening. I had a wonderful welcoming connected evening. And Phil “superman’s” generosity… I’m floored.
Thinking in the frame of Cosmic Trigger I could argue that some of this joy manifested as a result of the active brain change I’ve been doing on myself. I’ve been looking at my own navel so I can see yours with more context. I’ve been sorting my negative patterns, turning on, tuning in, finding the others. I gave this month to work – any work with people and money. Whatever came. Yes yes yes was all I had. The work I’ve done has been surprising and diverse. I’ve collaborated with old friends like Brian, Scott, Maureen and Robin, and with new people I admire, like Jimmy Cauty and Daisy Eris Campbell. Today a psychofinancially troublesome boiler issue was solved by kindness, and I got the chance to go on stage and speak the words of William Burroughs via Daisy’s script. Among them: “The dogma of science is that the will cannot possibly affect external forces. I think that’s just ridiculous. It’s as bad as the church. My viewpoint is the exact contrary of the scientific viewpoint.”
I like that idea. That the will can effect external forces. That there is a third way. Faith, Science or Jzzztsqw. Not that we are forced to choose. But as a spiritually inclined human who is simultaneously open hearted and pig headed, it strikes a chord.
Things have been manifesting like crazy today. Long may it continue for me and the good people in my life. Thank you Jethro. Keep moving forward friends. Keep believing. Find the joy. Find the others.
Call me a hippy all you like. I’ve just played Burroughs to a full house in a play I think is wonderful. Here’s a dressing room shot.
Last night of this incarnation is Saturday night. You won’t get a ticket. But it might be worth a shot.