Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: March 2012 (Page 2 of 3)

The great divide

How do I write about the fabulous Fleur du Cap Awards that happened last night when my beloved dog Gally is sick? How do I talk about the fact that my favourites to win, Nicola Hanekom (Best Performer in a Solo Performance) and Carel Nel (Best Actor) who I hoped would win without believing they would, did, while Gally is at the vet? How do I explain how fabulous Heather Mac, Mark Harris, Amber Parr and Alfred Hinkel’s new dance company Garage were when my heart is aching with the drag of my old friend who is planning to leave us? This is my morning.

Last night’s glamorous affair was one of the loveliest Fleur du Cap Awards I have been to. I loved the show. It was simple, well conceived and heartfelt. Heather Mac and the rest were perfect, giving the whole evening great continuity and flow. Alan Committee is flippen, outrageously, rudely hilarious. I loved him and he is my favourite awards emcee. I was delighted that the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Chris Weare. How absolutely, truly deserving. I loved how emotional he was and I loved his speech about partnerships. I loved that FTH:K were honoured with the Innovation in Theatre award. I loved the additional categories that honour designers more.

I was dismayed by the same old same old ‘this award thing is so white’. We know. If somebody knows how to change this tell me. I will be the first in line to make it different. I was happy to drink gorgeous Distell shampoo. A bit too happy, I think. I loved hanging with friends, air kissing acquaintances and looking at the prettiness.

But, when I got home last night Gally was sick. Here she is, sitting on the stoep with Chassie yesterday morning.

 

An Improv explosion Week

I am ungirding my loins to be as open and receiving as I can for next week, which is an explosion of improv on every level. I am performing TheatreSports on Monday night (our usual Monday night at The Intimate Theatre), and I am emceeing TheatreSports at The Kalk Bay Theatre on Tuesday night, which is a special ‘bring a child to the theatre’ performance. But, that’s not all. I am also running two Intro to Improv workshops for Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s family festival on Wednesday and Thursday, and, most exciting is that I am attending a workshop by a visiting Chicago improviser and facilitator, Joe Bill.

So, yes let’s. Yes we can. And let’s play.

In my city of ghosts

I love going to Jozi. I love that wet air feeling when landing after a summer thunderstorm. I love the huge, green trees that spread their dense branches over roads in the suburbs. I love the city skyline, and the feelings and flavours of the different areas. I love that Jozi is constantly and surprisingly evolving. Braamfontein, after years of being dodgy and weird, has returned to the vibrancy of how it was in my school days, when I would go to drama lessons at The Nunnery on the edge of Wits. I love being there and feeling the excitement of the shift. I love the soft rolling sounds of SeSotho that I never hear at home. I love my family and friends who all live in Jozi, and I love seeing them. I love working in Jozi, and meeting with the people who work there. I love that Jozi is black, in your face and getting on with it.

But because I relocated to Cape Town (this last time 19 years ago) Jozi is still my city of ghosts. Something happens to me there, something visceral and emotional and almost beyond my ability to articulate. It is the mix up of childhood and school, of family and loss, of bravado and insecurity, and of being on the fringe and not belonging completely. There is the tug of ‘what if I’d stayed?’. There is the nostalgia threaded sense of ‘where would I live now?’ and the slightly panicked ‘who would I be here?’ There is the excitement of knowing the old and learning the new.

I drive confidently in Jozi (with Garmap on my Crackberry) but I am nervous of Jozi drivers, where in Cape Town I would just be confident.

I see shadows in Jozi. Shadows of ended relationships. Of a dead parent. Of chances missed and unrealised dreams. Of places where I lived that no longer look anything like they did. I see a city that has moved beyond my ability to contextualise it, and yet it is so achingly familiar. That smell. Steaming tar after a storm. Different petrol smell. My sweat smells different. Those sounds. Thunder and hard drops on the windscreen. Loud crickets in drains. Loeries and Hadedas and black faced small grey birds shouting in the very early dawn. A traffic that is a constant low thrum. The suburban tick of electric fences.

Jozi might almost have forgotten me. My Jozi is a tightrope; of real present, past complicated and future unimagined.

When I drove on the highway to the airport this morning it was still dark. Jozi wakes up differently to Cape Town. It pulses awake while Cape Town staggers towards a later rising sun.

The faces at the airport are different. The hairstyles and the shoes. Then I feel a familiar tug. She is more hippy. He has plakkies and a hole in his T shirt. I hear the clicks of isi Xhosa. Some other people on this flight are going home, like me.

Landing at home I grow straight back into my actual self. I am totally me here. I am who I am. There is no potential me, no limbo me, no almost me. And I am entirely present and comfortable. But Jozi and all it stands for prickles my soul, and will always be part of me.

Thanks for the good times.

Women of Substance

It’s no secret how much I have been loving my weekly voice classes with Liz Mills. They have been a ‘gift of worthiness’ to myself, and have reminded me of what an amazing set of tools our bodies and voices are. I only perform improv at the moment, but I can feel the massive impact the voice work has had on the range of characters I play, and the range of ‘voices’ I have access to. The classes have also given me superb focus when I direct, helping actors to achieve through their voices.

So Liz asked me to put up on meganshead some news about a workshop she will be running, together with Barbara McCrea and I am, with all my recommendation behind it. Really, this work is absolutely shifting, in body, voice and mind.

Women of Substance

You are seen. You are heard. You leave a physical and vocal imprint.

How are you perceived through sound or speech? How do you perceive yourself? Do you hesitate to speak up? Do you feel that you aren’t heard or that people speak over you? Are you over loud? Do you feel that your voice fails to make an impact? Are you interested in voices that change?

This workshop combines Feldenkrais movement practices and voice practice to explore impulse into sound. Through a series of gentle physical and vocal exercises participants will explore physical extension and release to support the opening up of the sound of the head voice and of the chest voice. No previous experience is necessary. The work is done in a group.

The workshop is for those who are interested in change; for those who want more range and texture in their voices; for those who suspect that there is more control and power to be accessed through voice.

Liz Mills is a voice and theatre practitioner.  A long academic career in the Drama Department at the University of Cape Town provided the context for extensive postgraduate research in voice, international publication and the development of personal techniques for working creatively with the voice. She has presented her voice research at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and more recently taught at Rochester University in the USA. Directing work includes Shakespeare’s King Lear, Susan-Lori Parks’ In the Blood, Chekhov’s The Seagull and Martin Crimp’s Attempts on her Life.

Lizmills.voice@gmail.com

Barbara McCrea       

Is South Africa’s only Feldenkrais Method® of movement education instructor with many years of teaching people to use their bodies optimally and challenge the habits and patterns in thinking and moving which hold us back.

021 788 9626  /   083 745 7086

somatics@telkomsa.net www.feldenkrais.co.za/www.wynbergpilates.co.za

The details are

Saturday 12 May 2012,  9am – 2pm, Wynberg  Pilates Studio, 18 Mortimer Rd, Wynberg

R500. Book with Barbara. Space is limited, so early booking is recommended. Full payment is required one week in advance, contact Barbara for EFT details.

 

Short and Sweet

Read My Lips

Fully Committed

I don’t think I have ever just “lifted” a press release and put it on my blog (in fact I have shouted at someone for doing it before) but Pieter Bosch Botha has done such a fine job, and said such lovely things about me it deserves to be kept, word for word. Here it is. Please let me know if you would like to come to our special showing on Tues 13 March in Jozi.

FULLY COMMITTED – Press Release

Pieter Bosch Botha takes to the stage once more in what must be one of his greatest acting challenges yet. 1 actor, 36 Characters, and over 200 character transitions! This smash hit Off-Broadway comedy is swooping in to South Africa and has been spiced up with a whole lot of familiar homegrown flair. Directed by multi-award winning actress and director, Megan Choritz, who is also very well known for her comedic brilliance. Written by award-winning American playwright, Becky Mode.

This devastatingly funny one act follows a day in the life of Sam Cooper, an out-of-work actor who mans the red-hot reservation line at Cape Town’s number one restaurant. FULLY COMMITTED is a frenetic tour through a fictional, extremely fashionable De Waterkant eatery where a cast of desperate callers will stop at nothing–coercion, threats, bribes, and histrionics– in their zeal to land a prime reservation, or the right table.  Amid the barrage, Sam’s got his own needs to contend with: his recently widowed dad wants him home for Christmas, and he’s up for a choice part in Anant Singh’s newest movie.  While juggling scheming socialites, name-dropping wannabes, fickle international celebrities and egomaniacal bosses, can he manage to look out for himself?  FULLY COMMITTED has 36 wildly divergent characters, all played by a single versatile performer.

Reviews of “Fully Committed” on Broadway:  “An immensely entertaining, scaldingly funny play about the bad behavior good food can inspire.” – The New York Times.
“. . . hilarious and touching, gallops along at a swift, almost frantic pace.” - Time Out New York.
” . . .a sparkling one-man tour de force . . . very funny and very believable . . .
” - The New York Post .  “What makes the play so delightful is that all of the frustrating characters in the play get their comeuppance, and we are cheering on the inside at the resolution . . .” - Centerstage, Chicago

FULLY COMMITTED will be part of the Festival of Fame from 12 – 17 March and will be performed in the Space.com Theatre at the Joburg Theatre complex. Daytime performance tickets can be purchased, and the schedule is available on www.festivaloffame.co.za.

A special evening performance has been slotted in for those who can only make it at night. Tuesday 13th March at 7pm – tickets cost R40. Tickets for this performance can be purchased at the door on the night.

Hope to see you there!

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