Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: July 2012 (Page 1 of 3)

Back Home with fires burning

There is so much that is delicious and amazing about being back home. Big Friendly, for one. My bed, and coffee in it, our amazing, fast interwebz, my beautiful home, this stunningly gorgeous city, and my friends. I am also very excited about all sorts of possibilities, work and play wise. This is what makes me happy.

Of course there are the daily niggles that spring on one so quickly. EmptyN suspended my phone today because they are total arseholes, irritating and disgusting. I am carless today because it is in the shop, being fixed. It’s a double edged sword, this car thing. One of my most favourite things about being away was not having a car, and using unbelievably efficient public transport.

The news here at home is less new and more irritating; the school books debacle continues, service delivery protests turn violent, blah blah blah.

But mostly I am finding that my travels have lit a fire under my bum about my creative stuff, obviously particularly the improv stuff. I have completely fallen in love with it again, and everything that is possible with it, and I can’t wait to share, play, train, workshop, rehearse and introduce it all to our audiences. Cape Town, I really hope you are ready.

A litany of Thank Yous

And I don’t mean it in the Ozzie “How youse doing?” kind of way. I am just over 24 hours away from making the long trek home to the loving arms of Big Friendly, the warmness of good friends and family, the complicated heart pullings of a home city and country that inspires, frustrates, irritates, placates, enrages and draws me, and my life that I left behind. Before I get swallowed and absorbed by the many daily things that swamp a life back home I wanted to reflect on the people that have made this most extraordinary journey what it has been for me. Be warned. It is a long list (and if you are not on it, it doesn’t mean I don’t adore and value you passionately.)

First up I want to name and honour my guy, Big Friendly. I have been loved and supported in every possible way by him, and he made this whole trip possible. He is what makes me a lucky fish. Big Friendly, it has been far too long without you, my hero, friend, confidante, go-to-guy and home-fires-burning partner. Next time we go together.

I want to honour and love my amazing fellow travelers Tandi Buchan and Candice D’Arcy. With them we were the magical Team SA, and we achieved the improv version of Olympic Gold for ourselves. We shared a room at the YHA during Improvention, we shared a room at Patti’s house, and Candice and I shared a room at cousin Nicky. Intense. We played, ran workshops, partied, supported, nit picked, discussed, laughed, jolled, and had the absolute best time ever, and I am so happy we shared it. Magical Moments with Benny the buck toothed Koala, jumping photographs, fetta (that’s how they spell it here in Oz) pies, karaoke (shits me up the wall), excellent improv and the making and sharing of other magnificent new friends. It deserves to be said that doing a trip like this is outrageously expensive and taxing; particularly for these two travelers who had children at home, and I want to say bravo to both of them. We have tons of thrilling work ahead, putting into practice everything we got madly excited by.

The organisers, makers and doers of Improvention are next up. What a phenomenon. Nick Byrne, I have no idea how you got us there, three unknown Seffefrican improvisers on a mission, and you will always be my hero for doing so. Improvention was completely awesome, necessary, amazing, inspiring and wild. Ben Crowley and Cathy Hagarthy, organisers, improvisers, home-sharers, lift-givers, and all round amazingnesses you made us feel welcome so comfortable even though we were jet lagged zombies without a clue, and you both had fifty million things to do. The rest of you Improvention organiser type peeps like Reid, Kathy, Brad, PJ and all the others I haven’t mentioned, I know what you did. And thank you. Thank you performers, workshop leaders and directors. I watched, played, workshopped, slept, ate and loved impro(v) all over again, and more. Last on this list is Chris Allen, who was responsible for Mission Roo, and who completely fulfilled this quest, in style. The reality is, if it wasn’t for Improvention, we wouldn’t have come, and my love affair with Oz would never have happened.

Then it was Melbourne and her magic. Patti Stiles; guru, inspiration, hilariousness, fire maker, bird feeder, Quokka hostess, home supplier, map drawer, advice giver, story teller, love machine, music sharer, tour organiser, and all round most amazing. There are no words to thank you enough. I miss you like an oldest friend. Impro Melbourne; you guys, the whole lot of you are possibly my favourite people on earth. Thank you ALL for love, sharing, lifts (David and Kevin and Katherine and Caitlin more especially), partying, eating and drinking, workshopping, and for Exploding Heads (Myron and Josh in particular) for letting us play with you. Thanks Impro Melbourne for letting us do Jill Bernard workshops with you all, and allowing the Improvention festival continue.

Jill and Eric I love you both so much. You were the perfect traveling hook ups and you were best fun, big chats, total hilariousness, tea (Eric) obsessed, gung-ho, crazy, kind, brilliant, silly, dingo-loving partners in Oz travelingness. Here’s the thing; I have a very good idea of all things Austin, Texas, and no clue about Minnesota. I love your improv, your energy and your insights. Thanks for the big, fat share.

My Sydney week has other special thank yous attached. First up, Ange Hume, for taking in a complete stranger. Thank you most gracious lady. To old friend Heather and even very old friend Jenny; it was amazing reconnecting with you, however brief, and I am sorry we didn’t get to do it again. Next time? I can’t imagine not coming back. The biggest, most loving and delicious thanks goes to The Segerman fandamily for unbridled hospitality – Oz style. Every last thing; delicious food, lifts, tour guidage, amazing open house, smoked fish, fabulous stories, Madiba’s birthday, Celebrity TheatreSports, an amazing massage, gorgeous, warm, loving children and sharing your new home in the best, clearest, warmest way. I love you. But, let’s get down to brass tacks, or salted caramel. I owe you my best gelato experience ever. And that is totally huge. My life is changed by Gelato Messina, in both a good way (best ever) and bad way (there is none where I come from).

Maleny, you are so magnificent. B and R I often felt like you guys were living where I should be. Thank you for sharing that. It was profound.

And now, as I sit and write this in Brissie, on my last full day here in Oz, I thank Wade Robinson and Suzie and Chloe, for taking me in at such short notice and being such gracious, open and delightful hosts. Improvisers of Oz, you are a very special kind of loving somebody. And I love you all right back.

 

The Boots

Big Friendly hates it when I buy cheap shoes. This last pair was the worst because they were fake Doc Martens and they only cost R129. I was flippen delighted. They had red and black tartan lining and four red eyelets at the top of the boot. They also had laces and zips. They were to be my overseas walking winter boots.

Everything started off well when I started wearing them in Cape Town and they were really comfortable, but then I went to summer in New York and they stayed at home. I started wearing them in freezing Canberra and they were great – warm, comfortable and fashionably retro-goth, going with all my black that I had packed.

And then came wet Melbourne and something happened when water got somewhere. The boots started smelling funny. And they got worse. I couldn’t understand where the smell of cat wee was coming from, pretty much wherever I went. By the end of week Melbourne I had established that my boots were a little stinky. A lot stinky. Cat wee stinky. I resolved to try and deal with it in Sydney. I tried. I sprayed, powdered and dusted. I left them in my cousin’s garage, with vanilla pods in them for a whole day. I aired them, wore them, smelled them from my feet when I was on the bus.

And finally last night I couldn’t take it any more. We had just been to the Celebrity Theatresports fundraiser at The Enmore Theatre and I had gotten whiffs of my boots throughout the show. I had first tried to hide my feet under the seat in front of me. It helped not one ounce. I covered them with my jacket. Nada. And when the damn boots ended up distracting me from the show I had a brain wave.

As we got into the car to go back to my cousin’s house I unzipped the boots like Speedy Gonzales. I left them standing on the very busy pavement of the trendy Sydney suburb like little stinky soldiers, and I slammed the car door shut, shouting, “drive, drive, drive!” We made our getaway in total hysterics, looking back to see the reactions of passing strangers.

Boots, I loved you while it lasted. Thanks, but no thanks to cat wee feet.

Jill Bernard’s Drum Machine

I am still trying to get my head around a one person impro show, aside from the fact that it was a musical, set on the night of the storming of the Bastille, with five main characters and a moving death and moral message. Yes, this is what I was witness to last night here in Sydney. I was mesmerised, moved and amazed by Jill Bernard performing her one woman (+muso) Drum Machine, and I was once again completely blown away by the (it says so on the poster) USA queen of impro.

Imagine 45 minutes of impro performed by one person. A complete story, with characters, and many and varied songs. With rhyme. And a moral. And hilariousness. I have never seen anything quite like it. What a treat to be able to have witnessed this, amongst the many and varied other impro magic I have seen and participated in.

Jill Bernard, you are my USA Queen of impro.

A moment of home

To be honest, I have been a little cynical of the SA community in Australia; I have carried a suspicion that I wouldn’t like what they thought about home, and too many white ex-seffefrikens are cliquey and ‘old fashioned’ and have switched privilege for privilege in a quite unconscious way. These ideas have made me quite nervous. Added to that has been my projected response to the SA Jewish community in Oz, particularly in Sydney. So, first thing was me catching up with an old school friend who I haven’t seen for 30 years, and it was like swooping back in time to brilliantness. It was so lovely and easy and miraculous.

Then, my cousin, whose family is recently in Sydney (a year and a half), took us to see what the men (dad and two sons) in the family were doing. I was so touched. They had gone to Our Big Kitchen, a Jewish organisation that makes meals for the homeless. Tonight, in celebration of Madiba’s birthday, a huge group of mainly ex-South Africans came together to cook 700 meals in 67 minutes, to feed homeless and needy. It was magnificent. I had to keep myself from crying about a hundred times.

Right now I am feeling horribly disillusioned about home. It’s been a bit of a struggle coming to terms with these new feelings about me and SA, so it was really weird having this touching reference to home in the most positive and pro-active way.

Sexy Sydney

Melbourne was definitely the magical extension of Improvention, with classes, a performance, and socialising with all the Impro-Melbourne bunch (culminating in a huge party and Timtam Slam at Mark’s house).

Sydney has been totally different. I slid into Sydney at stayed over (for the first night I was here) at two delightful strangers. Ange was going to be at Improvention but ended up not coming, and still she opened her door to me.

Now I am ensconced at my cousin’s gorgeous house (the whole fandamily has just got back from SA) and I have spent the last two days exploring the city on my own. It is really beautiful, sexy, stylish and very happening. I checked out the Opera house, walked the cerntral city flat, took a ferry to Cockatoo Island for the Biennale, had great coffee, explored Chinatown, did a bit of shopping, and started getting to know my way around. Love it.

The only really hard thing about being away from home for so long is that I am completely pining for my sweetie Big Friendly.

 

 

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