Last night I saw Monica Bill Barnes’ show, One Night Only and I cried my face off and laughed, too. All day I have been grappling with my feelings and thoughts about it. I think I want to write something but I don’t know what. Usually, when I write something like this, it just sort of starts writing itself in my head and I really just have to catch hold and ride. Not this time, though. This time there is just a sort of empty space where I imagine words might go at some point.
Partly, this show hit me in the guts because it is partly to do with these branches of action – to act, to do, to perform.
As one who acts and does and performs in the artistic senses of those words, grappling with performance, acting, with doing onstage is a big grapple. From the moment I knew about actors, I wanted to be one. The desire feels almost as old as I am. I cannot remember a time before acting seemed enticing. I think I was four when acting and performing first made themselves clear to me. And while I did not yet know I wanted to BE an actor, I did know that performance was incredibly interesting to me, that pretending to be other people was liberating and thrilling and I was never happier than when making up a story to be acted, performed and done.
The show I saw (or imagined) addresses a bit of that lifelong desire. Or compulsion. And all that we sacrifice to fulfill it.
Dear Reader – I wrote it. It is here.