I tried to give it up. I wanted to leave it behind. I doubted it. But I can’t let it go. It’s not possible.
I have a confession to make:
‘I feel the most alive, when I’m on stage; performing, dancing, improvising.’
Either a mixture of them, or seperately. It doesn’t matter. It’s my thing, even though it terrifies me. Yes, it does!
I fell in love with acting, since I’ve been a kid. Finding my way on a stage of a Steiner-School as a roaring lion, protecting a flower in a play called Parzival. I’ll never forget that moment when I lost my mane on stage. Crawling back on all fours to retrieve it. I thought no one would notice …
There lies a wonderful freedom in the art of performing. It feels like transforming into seagull Jonathan Livingston, soaring the skies. Leaving wordly troubles way behind. Training to become better and better and better …
The main thrill for me is to express myself freely. Being allowed to show a wide range of emotions (anger, hate, envy, ecstasy etc.), characters (murderers, nutters, lovers) without being punished or arrested. Being able to provoke and entertain an audience all at the same time.
Improvising on the spot, with neither the audience nor myself knowing what I’m going to do next. I might tell them about my disastrous experiences with internet dating (I swore to myself to never do it again!) or I might change into a character, who’s lost her mind, looking for her purse in weird places like the fridge.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it. Improvising, performing, dancing. Being on stage.
And guess what I just did before writing this blog. It’s not hard is it?
I danced to ‘Hunter’ by Bjork and then to ‘Alive’ by Sia. Both very powerful songs. I adore them. I get lost in another world of movement. I’ve used them in one of my performances, called ‘I am still here’.
No wait a minute, when I first performed the piece I only used the hunter and a poem (I’ll get to that in a minute). The second time I added the song Alive by Sia. I felt it fitted. It’s very much a work in progress.
Here’s the poem I especially wrote for the performance. I put it in between both songs and I spoke with my face only lit by a torch.
I lie on the bathroom floor.
The tiles are cold.
My face is wet with tears.
Fear takes hold of my body, like a surfer riding a massive wave.
He has been attacked with a knife.
Just like that.
Just like that.
From one moment to the next.
I am still here.
Even though the piece as such has a surreal quality, the performance still has been triggered by a very real event.
A terrible loss a friend and former colleague of mine, living in Hamburg, has been going through. Her 16 year old son died recently. She posted something brief on Facebook. That’s how I got to know. I first assumed her son had been in a car accident. When I finally found out what really happened, I was terrified, shocked and speechless. Her son had been murdered with a knife, attacked with no reason.
He’s gone. Just like that. I possibly even can’t imagine what that means for my friend. As a mother to survive her kid.
How is it even possible to overcome such a soul-wounding trauma!
I wanted to show solidarity in an invisible way. Without my friend knowing. That’s why I created this particular piece ‘I am still here’.
I couldn’t help but thinking about the film ‘The brave one’ with Jody Foster in the lead. She and her fiancée get attacked. She survives. He doesn’t. She changes dramatically throughout the story, becoming a villain herself. It’s a great film.
Jodie Foster’s character says:
‘I never understood how people lived with fear and than it found me.’
I imagine, when such an immense tragedy hits your life, you most probably can’t help but ask yourself:
‘Why did I survive and they didn’t? What reasons do I have to stay alive?’
I personally believe, that we as artists are here not to only challenge ourselves, but our audience as well. We need to travel voluntarily to these dark, emotional places and come back with an enticing piece to lure you, the audience, in. To make you see, what it feels like.
Loss, grief and anger are often accompanied by an excruciating pain of loneliness. They are subjects close to my heart. How do we deal with it? Especially in a society, which most of the time just tells people they need to get on with their lives. Grief is something, which can’t be afforded anymore. No time!
Get on with your life! There’s no time to feel desperate!
Get on with it! Get on with it! Get on with it!
I know I’m not finished with ‘I am still here’. I need to dive deeper into the subject. Maybe even intertwine it with the story ‘The moon has fallen’ I’m working on at the moment.
I promised myself to focus on it within the next weeks. Maybe it’ll be even several months. Improvise a little, see what happens. I’m also tempted to take ‘I am still here’ to different outside locations. Make a short film. We’ll see.
The thing is, I don’t design elaborate concepts beforehand. When it comes to my art, I mainly work from my instinct. Usually I start with an idea and than dive right in. I improvise, see what happens. It’s a fluctuating process. I quite never know where it leads me to.
It’s a brilliant approach, when you want to create original material. And that’s all I’m interested in, to be honest.
I’t ll never be quite clear, what I’m gonna do next. I might improvise, perform, dance.
There is one thing for sure though, you can see me every Thursday evening at the open stage in the St. Ives Art’s Club; performing, dancing, improvising. It starts at 20:00.
I would love to meet you there. That is of course, if you happen to live close by. If you come, please approach me and say hello, I don’t bite.
At least not in real life. Most of the times, I’m quite nice 🙂