Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: November 2019 (Page 1 of 4)

The Power The World

I am half way through reading The Power by Naomi Alderman. She wrote this award winning book in 2017 and it is riveting. The premise, in the world that we know, is that teenage girls suddenly, and en mass, discover their power; an electricity that can control, hurt, destroy and kill. They can also ‘teach’ this power to older women.

The premise is loopy and very speculative fiction, but the world, and how it responds, is ours. Religion, gender discrimination, right wing conservatism and fanaticism, power, sexuality, crime, drugs, fear, politics. This is our world with the women in charge, and it is still as broken and dangerous as before. The truth is we have inherited a cruel and dangerous legacy, and colonialism, slavery, war, human trafficking, drug wars, capitalism, rich owned media and corruption are real and will kill us.

I am horrified and drawn to this book like a bible of our times. I will keep you posted.

Wrong Question BBC

When I was at varsity I became obsessed with a movie called A Dream of Passion starring the magnificent Melina Mercouri as an aging actress staging her comeback by playing Medea, and the extraordinary Ellen Burstyn as the woman she visits who is in jail for killing her own children.

This movie is complicated, layered and brilliant, because it pulls together the strands of the original Euripides play (with bits of chilling rehearsals and then performances, even more powerful in the original Greek) and intersects it with a modern day version of the story. Another layer is the actress’s own complicated relationship with her husband, their childlessness, his affairs.

Maya the actress visits the prisoner Brenda Collins, initially as a publicity stunt. There is a moment where Brenda Collins realises that Maya has brought a camera man with her to the interview and her reaction is etched into my mind. I will never forget that moment. It is one that has served as pure acting inspiration for me my whole life.

This camera becomes really important as the film develops. A BBC film crew is documenting the process of the play; following the actress, interviewing her, and recording her as she finds the character and then herself. It is riveting and beautiful.

In a late night interview around an outside fire, when everyone has had a bit to drink and the boundaries are blurred, Maya is asked about Brenda’s guilt. She replies, “Wrong question BBC, wrong question. The question is what would drive a woman to kill the things she loves the most.”

I have never forgotten that line. It pops up so often for me; when women are blamed for the violations enacted on them, when politicians are endlessly asked the wrong questions (like Jeremy Corbyn being interrogated for the false claim of his anti-Semitism), when the impeachment hearings testifiers are bombarded with Republican spewing in the guise of questions.

The BBC has been unforgivably Tory biased in the run up to this election in the UK. They keep asking the wrong questions, covering up Boris’s horrible blunders, and they keep bringing up the anti-Semite nonsense about Jeremy Corbyn. They have remained suspicious of the ‘sale of the NHS’ to America, even in the face of proper evidence that any true journalist should have been able to find and provide. We expect this rubbish pretend reporting from Fox News. From The Sun. They are the laughing stock. But the BBC? Sies. Wrong question BBC, wrong question.

FB break

It’s been almost 3 full days of not being on Facebum and I can already feel the difference. I am a social media addict for sure. The reality is unless I have a project to promote I get too involved in the sad, the political, the vegan, the incomprehensibly racist, and I was being very contentious and grumpy. I think Facebum breaks are necessary for a bit of perspective.

The result has been that I have been writing (a teeny bit) more, and being a little bit more in the actual real world. I have been exercising more, and for longer, I have been in the kitchen more, and healthier. Oh I am sure the old bad habits will creep in, but I am enjoying the one restriction I have placed on myself; my primary distraction, procrastination, opinion making place.

Some of the other things on my mind are, what next? Should I carry on with more shows of The Deep Red Sea? Should I write a screenplay? Where can I perform improv weekly to a paying audience. How can I become a theatre producer?

On Screen – Our Land

Yesterday I went to watch myself (albeit very briefly) in one of the AFDA 3rd year director’s final exam movie. The Labia was a hive of students dressed as celebs, friends, family, young and old, and casts and crew. It was properly exciting.

We saw two movies, with my appearance as an Afrikaans mother in Our Land, director and writer Casey Milledge’s tribute to father son relationships in our torn and divided country.

Although I had great fun and was very impressed by the passion and professionalism of the team on the day we shot, I struggled to visualise the film, and I admit here, I was anxious about how it was going to turn out. I shouldn’t have worried.

What Casey and his creative and technical team have managed to produce is a beautiful looking, hard hitting, stereotype avoiding and deeply personal political film. Shot largely in hand held close-ups and brilliantly edited, the pace, passion and heart of the movie is distilled and made powerful. The choice to make a black and white film, mimicking historical news film of apartheid, was deliberate but not obvious, and the touches of red slashes, so unsettling in the black, grey, white were shocking: A symbol of (bloody) transformation we were told in the Q&A afterwards.

Student films suffer incredible challenges. Performers have to be begged. Resources are terribly limited. Students are over stretched and are often involved in more than one project at the same time. None of that shows in this film. I was seriously, unreservedly proud.

A Friend in the Unlikeliest Place

Yesterday just happened to be one of those days that are so incongruous and strange they are a challenge to understand, let alone write down. But it was the kind of day that I believe will shift me and take me down an unexpected path of my journey.

Let me try. Big Friendly is out of town so my day started early, walking, feeding and watering the animals. My first appointment was in Wynberg, to meet with the CJSA (Cape Jewish Seniors Association) for an interesting chat/session. I met with a different branch in Milnerton in July and it had been a success and then I was asked to do the Wynberg one. I am not naive. I was asked because I said yes to the first one. Almost 30 ladies of a certain age (no men this time) were there to find out more about me, and resist playing improv games like I did the last time! I was as prepared as I always am. No idea about what I was going to do or say until I got there.

And then something amazing happened. In my introduction, and emboldened by the clarity Robin DiAngelo has given me about who I am and the enormous edge my White Privilege (not to mention the addition of Jewish Privilege) gives me, I said, by way of introducing myself, “My name is Megan Furniss. I used to be Megan Choritz (nods and sighs of recognition here). I am a writer, actor, director, improvisor. I am Jewish, anti religious, and very political. I want to state here, for the record and so you know, I am anti-Zionist and pro-Palestine.” Can you imagine? There was a massive communal gasp. One brave lady finally swallowed and said, “We don’t have to go there.” There was a shocked and relieved murmur of agreement.

A lot happened in that session. A lot.We jumped through my family and ancestry, flew through my career highlights, touched on Cape Town history, and family, and District Six and Woodstock. We joined dots, dived deep, and even ‘went there’ politically. There were many details, and many moments, and hard questions, and hilarious interludes. There were feelings hurt, and hearts won over. In the group was a shiny, funny, clever, vocal powerhouse of a woman with a lot to say. I haven’t asked her permission to use her name publicly so I won’t, but we got each other. She was excited by me and my points of view, and I was thrilled by her tenacity, and cleverness, and out-there-ness. She was my tribe. I left that time there shifted. As much as I had come to share my stuff with them I felt differently seen by a community that I have constant struggles with. I had to dash, with promises to return.

Then I flew over to the Golden Acre to take part in an hour long interactive improvisation performance called Film Me In as part of Infecting the City. Honestly, from the ridiculous to the incomprehensible. It’s been a while since I performed in the Golden Acre and I had forgotten what an awesome space it is. I was standing there, in the big open space we were performing in, trying to encourage people to participate, when I felt a tap on my head. My new friend from the CJSA meeting had taken a trip to town to see what I was up to! This woman had brought herself to the Golden Acre, a place I can guarantee her fellow community members hadn’t visited in years, to come an check us out. I love her.

My day ended with me falling asleep in front of the insane, hideous and demented impeachment hearings where Americans tore into each other and behaved like lunatics in support of chief batshit crazy, psycho, abuser Donald J. Trump.

A Completely Weird Obsession

This is a confession. I am obsessed with the American impeachment hearings. I watch them like other people rubberneck at car crashes. I watch the live stream like people who obsess about watching people fall down, or listening to hair brushes on skin or watching pimples being squeezed. I watch with a morbid and ignorant fascination because I have no real idea about how US politics actually work, other than the policy and the people seem to be entirely at odds with anything else in the real world.

I am amazed at how conservative all these people are, including the Democrats and especially those with positions in any foreign office. Everybody genuflects at anyone in uniform, and especially those with medals on. The Democrats, obviously, the impeachment proceedings are their’s, are a strange combination of self righteous and polite, with a smattering of disbelief and a peppering of snivelling. The Republicans are raving lunatics, rabid and champing at the bit, full of bluster and noise and defensiveness. It seems to me they are playing to an audience who don’t really care about the truth and who will support their lying, cheating, narcissistic buffoon of a president at any cost.

What does seem particularly creepy is how the Republicans lay into their own people if they think they aren’t playing ball. Ambassadors, government employees, non partisan civil servants have been lambasted, made fun of, bullied and threatened. It is vile.

I follow the threads on twitter. It’s terrifying how aggressive and threatening Trump’s supporters and Republicans are. The Democrats are also their own worst enemies; they whine and moan and complain like children who are telling tattle tales.

I can’t stop watching. It’s better than Game of Thrones. And more twisty.

 

Page 1 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén