This was absolutely the quietest audience that I’ve encountered thus far on the tour. I know they were with me - I could tell by the way they were smiling or nodding that they were with me. But they were so quiet - would hardly let themselves laugh at the jokes…even my big joke, “I wanted to say 5 (times that I’d committed suicide) but I’m a Buddhist, so I keep coming back!” Which usually brings the house down (mostly out of relief from all the tension in the show) — there were light chuckles and some laughs…
After the show I asked them to close their eyes and after the usual questions about being suicidal (all but one) and knowing someone who is/has been suicidal (all), I asked them “How many of you would describe yourself as shy.” All but one raised their hands. Ah! I felt relieved. It’s not that mu show bombed with them, it was that they were super shy. Like when I asked them to say “I am Enough” at the end of the show - they didn’t do it for the first few times and then they joined in with me; They were embarrassed. But they did it. I was really proud of them.
There was a point in the middle of the show when I had a little freak out — everyone was so quiet and reserved and I thought, “Oh SHIT, I’m supposed to be doing HOMO!sapienism! THAT’s why everyone is so quiet. Holy shit; Wait…they had posters that read “I AM ENOUGH” on them and in the intro Adrian, one of the programming directors, specifically referenced suicide.” So…right…I’m doing the right show. Ok.” and I got back into the show again.
I have these moments during the show, I notice a cool chair or I realize that I forgot to set a prop for some ke
y part of the show. Or my foot cramps. That’s been happening a lot — my foot will cramp up while I’m performing. That’s a challenge — to keep acting and keep the show going, when in total pain. Though sometimes, the performing helps to distract me from the pain. I also have what we think may be a fractured finger — sp yesterday it was taped up which made doing certain things during the show rather difficult - like miming that I was smoking or counting on my fingers — it was kind of ridiculous.
Then right in the middle of the show - when I was about to say, “I am alone.” - a dramatic moment - some kind of really intense vibrating started right outside the window behind me. Almost crowed me out - I thought there was some kind of window washing going on — or it was like some Olympian goddess’s vibrator. It was LOUD. And I asked the audience if they knew what that was and they gave me nothing. So, I just continued through with the show, over the noise that came in and out intermittently.
All in all, though, it was a successful show. A number of the students cae up to me and told me things like “This was just what I needed.” and “The box is beautiful, I’m going to keep it as a reminder that things are oi.” and “It really impacted me and meant a lot to me.” and “There were so many new people at the show, they must have really wanted to hear your message” Very cool.
So, that was Seattle, UW (University of Washington) — now we’re working our way toward Spokane, WA and the PFLAG there which is going to be a totally different audience — parents and family/friends of kids who are GLBTQ and, possibly, some of those kids, too. This is going to be super interesting.
See you tomorrow.