Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: December 2013

I heart Facebook

Every time one of my Facebook friends threatens to leave Facebook forever, or does leave, or goes on a holiday from Facebook, or announces why it is so terrible and should be banned, or suggests that it is worse for people than sugar is for ADHD kids, I suffer little shivers of shame at my totally guilty pleasure.

See, I love Facebok, Vleisboek, Facebum, Visagetome. In spite of the terrible spelling and grammar in the “lose 50kgs in half an hour” ads, the “Hi I am Mike and I am around the corner and I think we should meet”, those hideous new homemade damn comics (that might just have become passe, I am hoping), the trashy quotes on tie-dye backgrounds. I love Facebook in spite of my few emo friends, in spite of food photos, in spite of endless theatre campaigns to raise money to make this or send that, with their false promises that somehow you will benefit from giving them your money. In spite of the pictures of cruelty to animals, that freak me out for days. In spite of the endless stream of causes that need me to push a button, install an app, allow facebum to get all my info etc, etc. In spite of the fact that it always the person you least want to ‘chat’ with who starts up that typed conversation.

I love Facebook because it gives me access to and insight into friends’ lives, hearts and humor. It is a special way of connecting, ‘sharing’, networking, messaging and recoginising. It is a powerful (sometimes frighteningly so) and speedy way of getting info out there, particularly news about people’s successes, deaths, shared concerns and traditions and celebrations. We connect through word, thought, images, ideas and humour. I especially love seeing my friends animals and children, and even the veggies that they are growing.

I love sharing my stuff on Facebook. I love seeing who ‘gets’ what. I love the surprise of a random status update that suddenly gets attention. I love reading what other people suggest, and link to. I love posting my thoughts and links to my blog and getting responses from friends and connections.

Yes, Facebook is a distraction. Yes, Facebook is an ‘easy way out’ when wishing people a Happy  birthday/birth/Xmas/holiday/year, but so what? So, Facebook friends, I am not going anywhere. I see, like and share you.

A cake for Peter

Whenever I cook or bake something that turns out extraordinarily well I think about Peter Hayes. He was a great cook, who loved his successes, and I learned from him; I was his flatmate for a long time in the 90’s. Whenever I buy something pretty, especially drinking glasses, I think about Peter. I remember many trips with him to the Milnerton flea market (even before it moved to its current location!) for glasses and side plates. In fact, I inherited directly from him a Milnerton flea market side plate fetish, only mine extends to bowls as well. Whenever I paint walls I think about Peter, and remember the black wall I painted in his Vredehoek flat, and that he let me.

Peter helped style our wedding, even though we had the teeniest budget in the world. He suggested that my friends, instead of buying unwanted gifts, gave money for a flower budget. The flowers at our wedding were particularly spectacular, as well as dessert, Peter’s home made chocolate chilli, and white chocolate and rose petal, ice creams.

Pete and I not only lived together, we worked together as well, making theatre. In fact we worked together on my first industrial theatre project ever. Who would have known it would become a bit of a career thing for me? I also worked as Peter’s assistant on many hideous (and not so hideous) commercials when he was ‘art department’. They were hard lessons in an industry I couldn’t manage half as well as he could. Peter’s little PC was the first computer I ever ‘typed things up’ on, and ‘printed things out’ from.

In the last few years we saw less of each other. It is the way of the world. But while he was away on the boat I wrote him a few heartfelt emails (especially when I was truly bleak after Grahamstown and I needed someone who would understand my pain) and it seemed he was really close by, in space and memory. It felt like the beginning of a new chapter of our story. How on earth was I to know it was actually the end?

Pete I am really struggling to imagine this world without your presence. It is entirely less beautiful without you. I think I will bake you a cake, and think about you.

Hamba Kahle Tata Madiba

On Thursday morning, in a villa in St Giles on Reunion Island, four South African improvisers woke up to the news that utata Madiba had finally passed. It was the weirdest out-of-country experience for us. First we felt the huge pangs of not being at home, mourning and celebrating with everybody in the country. Then there was a moment of anxiety, cynicism and discomfort; what were the how, when, wheres of it all? Finally we got all teary and sad and relieved.

I put on my Madiba fabric dress. We went to face a long day of workshops and shows. I arrived at the workshop and my dress was immediately noticed. Lisa, one of the Reunion Island improvisers, started singing nkosi sikelel’ iafrica in my ear. Everyone came for a hug.We spoke about it during the day; Reunion loves Madiba. There is even a stadium named in his honour. Later on there was a spontaneous singing of Asimbonanga.

In the evening, before our show, we observed a minute of silence. It was beautiful. On our last day and night there our host, Keng-Sam, played one of Reunion’s most well known Creole singers Mandela songs for us. It was beautiful. As we landed in Cape Town on a huge airbus filled with foreigners and locals we observed another minute of silence. It was beautiful.

Reunion, a new love affair

I am sitting by the pool in a bit of early morning solitude after another hectic, full, inspirational, hot day yesterday. We ran improv workshops in a yurt from 9am to 5pm and then performed two high energy shows one after another last night in a bar. We got home at around midnight a little like zombies, armed with the knowledge that this week was hurtling to an end and that today was our last day here.

It has been amazing. I am in love with this tiny island and its people, the weird little piece of France in the middle of the sea, the gorgeous coastline, the strange vegetation, the humidity, the quirkiness, the music. Also, the fact that there are 70 practicing improvisers on this island with a population of about 800 000.

Last night the coolest people ever squeezed into a bar to watch two shows in a row. After a minute’s silence to honour Madiba we played our hearts out with two cool local teams, who were doing these two formats for the first time ever. It was incredible.

Today we perform our own creation in the yurt, and join some of the other shows, in a massive telethon style rolling show that starts at 9am in the morning. Then it is party time and home time. We need to be at the airport at 6am tomorrow morning!

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