Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Author: megan (Page 1 of 272)

Hooray May Improv and Live Performance

This May will be a huge milestone for me. I return to the stage in a tiny improv festival after over a year of no live improv, and I perform a strange and wonderful creation called Murmurations in front of a live audience. I am nervous, excited and a little bit overwhelmed. What I have taken for granted for most of my life is now a gift that is special and precious.

Our ImproGuise mini improv festival takes place from 6-8 May at The Galloway Theatre at the Waterfront Theatre School. Here is what you can expect on each night.

6 May – Game on! – Based on ou hugely popular short form, Theatresports, this is a super charged and fun improv show with an emcee, judges from the audience and 2 teams, competing in a series of short and outrageous improv games based on suggestions from the audience. Yes, this is the one you always ask for.
7 May – Superscene – This fast paced, highly competitive format is also a firm favourite with ImproGuise fans. Here 6 improvising directors compete against each other with scenes and pitches to the audience for the huge honour of last one standing to perform the final Superscene.
8 May – Fake Place – This delightful longform format sees us highly skilled improvisers exploring a fictional place and playing all the loveable and eccentric characters in it. Heart-warming and gut- wrenchingly funny.

What’s not to love? What we are going to need though, is you. Our faithful, the promisers, the followers from a distance, the wannabes, the improv lovers, the we-haven’t-been-in-a-while-ers, the students, the moms, dads and kids, the whose-line-is-it-anyway fans. We need an audience. A socially distanced, fully masked, totally protocolled audience. Please book. Book here. https://tickets.tixsa.co.za/event/improv-festival and come celebrate with us.

Then, later on in the month we have one night of improv at one of our favourite venues, The Drama Factory in Somerset West. Same deal. Best improv in a totally fabulous venue. So many options to see us. Come. Laugh. Enjoy the crazy, in the moment creativity.

I will write a separate and fabulous post about Murmurations with Louise Westerhout at Theatre Arts later.

Open Letter to City of Cape Town regarding Cissie Gool House

This is an open letter to the City of Cape Town, mayor Dan Plato, the DA run municipal government of Cape Town, the ward councillors and developers with any agency around who gets to live where, when and how.

I live two blocks away from Cissie Gool House. I walk past every day when I walk the dogs. I know people who live there. What an amazing and almost miraculous thing has happened there over the last four years. A community of sidelined, separated, unseen, and needy people have done the unthinkable, in a building abandoned and left to decay. Children play. Washing hangs from makeshift lines. A veggie garden has sprung up.

I am not naive. I live in Woodstock. Petty crime, drugs, theft and even gangsterism are part of this neighbourhood. It always has been like that. Neighbours two houses up were bust for having a dagga farm behind closed doors. The police are ‘invited’ to my street on many weekend nights when the students’ parties get out of hand. We look out for each other. We know each other. We wave. Mostly. Those behind new high walls, not so much.

I know that people in streets close to Cissie Gool House have complained about noise, parties, fighting, drugs. Like me. It’s normal.

Law enforcement have been gathering for daily meetings at the park across the road from the main entrance to Cissie Gool. They are a ‘show of force’ and it is unsettling and nasty. I know that they are getting ready to evict the occupants. It is coming, I just don’t know when.

And every day my fantasy is exactly the same. Imagine if, instead of the bullying, violent evictions that will leave the building abandoned again, while those who represent the city pretend to be ham strung in the area of providing social and low cost housing in the city and close surrounds, the city sat down with the occupants and said, how can we make this a viable reality? How can we help you? Imagine. Imagine how much less the city would have to spend. Imagine how much less policed this would have to be. Imagine. Imagine people in the area bringing their children to Cissie Gool aftercare. Imagine people going to pick veg, or plant veg. Imagine going to the party instead of complaining about it. Imagine. Imagine spending the littlest amount possible to make Cissie Gool House an official low cost housing option, with those who already occupy it being part of the decision making process. Imagine. Imagine people living legally, close to where they work. Imagine people not having to leave their neighbourhood, after many were forced out of previous accommodation because of rampant gentrification and price hikes. Imagine solid community engagement. Imagine a solution instead of a fight. Imagine metro law enforcement sitting inside the fence. Protecting not harassing. Imagine something like District 6, but not being torn down. Imagine. This is our chance to do it differently.

I implore you ‘stakeholders’ to embrace, engage, discuss, be solutions driven. That is what I want from elected officials. Work for me. Work for us.

Woodstock resident

Megan Choritz

The Proper Death of SA Theatre

Last February, before we knew what was going to happen with COVID, I had a conversation with a theatre owner and friend about how I felt like my heart had twice been broken; one by my personal circumstances and one by theatre. I felt like I had suffered a theatre breakup and it had been devastating, messy, and deeply painful. I struggled to articulate it at the time, but what the breakup was about was me losing faith in my ability to carry on regardless. You need a seriously thick skin to do theatre. And my skin had ruptured.

Then COVID came and nailed closed the coffin for all theatre makers. While the restaurant and tourist industries were spoken about and bemoaned, the theatre makers, stage managers, theatres, directors, FOH teams were in their own tiny circle of hell and I couldn’t ever really figure out why theatre got so little attention.

The NAC and the department of Arse and Culture did, and continue to do, what they usually do. Mess up. Theatres that were dark have now closed permanently. The closing of The Fugard was announced earlier this week, with much sadness, and even anger. But who is fighting for theatre, and begging for it, and needing it, and wanting its resurrection?

I think it is only the theatre makers who want it to come back. And here sits the uncomfortable, hideous, miserable truth on a pointy rock that is its own hard place. Unless theatre goers; uninvolved, unconnected, true audiences passionately want, longingly yearn for, and are even prepared to lobby, fight and beg for the return of theatre, it really cannot, and won’t return from the dead.

Alcohol, yes. Cigarettes, yes. Restaurants and bars, yes. Theatre? Naah. Not so much.

Unfortunately, the desperation and totally illogical passion of theatre makers has obscured the most basic and obvious reality. The person in the street couldn’t give two Hamlets and half a farce for theatre.

In a weird way I am pleased my breakup with theatre happened a year ago, and I have been able to lick my wounds in the privacy of my own home. I will make theatre on demand, or not at all, from now on. And only if there is an audience who really wants it.

Manifesting

I manifested something today. Not a big thing, but a niggling, back of my mind, need to get to it thing, that I may or may not have written down somewhere. Anyway, I manifested it. And I know that I do this all the time, without too much effort. It is more about recognising it when it happens.

Next week it is my 56th birthday. Last year my birthday fell on the day before our first, radical lockdown. I was a gibbering, zombie of a wreck. My entire life had been upended, I had no idea who I was, where I was or how to proceed. A year later I am a survivor. I am broken, bent, but learning my new shape. And I am mostly, miraculously, because of friends and family, and therapy, and resilience and a touch of true insanity, and animal love, ok. I am ok.

I have managed to do some stuff, and survive some stuff, and even make some stuff. One of the things I have been doing more of, and doing more powerfully, is my ‘tarot’ readings.  I use the word tarot loosely because of my original, untraditional deck – The Secret Dakini Oracle. And I am getting ready to welcome a new tarot deck into my life, and the lives of those having readings with me. Now, it is not very good to go off and buy your own decks (even though I am sure that is old magic, and not even necessarily true). I received the Secret Dakini Oracle in the most profound and special way (Peter Susman, I will never forget) and I am putting it out there that I am ready to receive another deck. I am manifesting it.

If you have a deck (not the Rider Waite traditional one) that you don’t connect to, or have outgrown, or if you have a suggestion about a deck I should be calling my attention to, just hold me in the space of receiving, and let’s see what happens. I will totally keep you posted.

Karima Brown, Balls and What Ifs

I exhaled the breath I was holding for Karima Brown. I exhaled and had a cry. I did not know Karima Brown, but I really looked up to her. She had big balls, and I was always amazed and a little envious at how fearless she seemed. Even when she was in the thick of scandal and controversy. Even when her opinion was totally unpopular. She was loud, clear, brilliant, dogged, impatient, impassioned and dedicated. I can’t imagine anyone filling her boots and I am going to miss her.

And now to flip over to something completely different. I was looking at posts in her honour on Facebook when I saw an article posted by an Australian friend about the Australian attorney general and the allegations of rape against him. It is an extraordinary article that looks at the phrase “what if he didn’t do it?” and its implications; how his life could be destroyed if he was innocent. Then it turns it to the survivor – the ‘what if’ that people are NOT asking. What if he did do it? And there lies the rub. This life; this destroyed, unbelieved, endlessly ruined, damaged, disgraced, scarred life is sacrificed at the altar of his reputation. And that, my friends, is the bottom line. That is the whole story.

So in the wake of Woody Allen’s abuse story recycling, is it not enough to ask, what if he did do it? What if he did? That is where the horror lives. That needs to have as much weight at least, if not more, than the what if he didn’t.

But reputations are considered more important than the possible victims of rape, assault, molestation, violence, anal penetration while unconscious, and a myriad versions of these. In fact, reputations seem to be the only thing considered. Just ask, what if he did?

Enough is enough. There are not enough good reasons why anyone would make this horror up (and I am not saying it doesn’t happen), but honestly, are we then obliged to believe every man who denies allegations against him? Come on. Come on friends. That’s not how it works and you know it.

The Split

Yesterday, on my way back from an indefinitely shut SARS office I witnessed a line of people, going around the block, to the SASSA building. These people expressed in physical sloping, the unlikeliness of success. I saw a line of desperation. A line of hunger. A line of no future, just a bleak and terrifying present.

And while I was looking at this line I was listening to an economist on the radio talking about how the COVID pandemic was highlighting the importance of life insurance, and how we all need to be frightened into making the right investments. This white, educated, articulate man was talking as if the country was made up of people like him. Only people like him. Life insurance? There was no hint of irony in this man’s perspective. There was no vague nod to the fact that he was talking for and to the 1%. He spoke with the authority of pure blindness to the reality of our country and its suffering majority. And it was terrifying. Because in that moment I saw that hunger trumps decency, that crime is a desperate act, and that life can be not worth having. This is wrong. This is fundamentally, hideously wrong. This conversation should not be had on public radio at the same time that desperate people are queuing for R350 that they have already been told is not there for them.

We have to shift. We have to move. We have to transition. It is far too late. There is no more time. Life insurance? No. We need a new plan for the poor, the desperate, the unseen. And we need those who talk about life insurance to keep quiet for 5 minutes and listen.

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