Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Bruce Springsteen

Dear Bruce Springsteen

This is a letter to Bruce Springsteen. If you know how to help me circulate it so that it may, against all odds, get to him, please help!

Dear Bruce

I’m writing to you as a friend because that’s how it feels. That is the genius of you, I know. That is how all of your fans feel. It feels like I grew up with you and that we’ve been together, as friends ever since I met you, through a friend, when I was twelve. That is 42 years ago. It’s a lasting friendship.

You were the background to my rebellion; growing up white in Apartheid South Africa, you were the voice of my freedom, the echo of my first heartbreak, the shocking reality of my politics, the narrative of my wildness, the love song (If I Should Fall Behind) at my wedding, my solace when my father died and the poet on my inner journey.

I first saw you live in Harare at the Amnesty International concert. (It was my friends and I who had cheekily painted the ‘We love you Brian Springsteen’ banner that made you laugh. It was many years later that I saw you again, first in Cape Town and then in Johannesburg. I couldn’t bear not seeing you in my hometown and so I flew up for that concert that was like a baptism in the rain. Nothing could have prepared me for how personally I took those shows.

Your words and music have been a profound and enduring inspiration to me. So, when my play Lost Property was chosen to be read at a tiny developmental play reading festival at the Jersey City Theatre Centre on the 31 of May, I couldn’t help myself.  I have been fantasising about you being there. I know that it is beyond ridiculous, and beyond all realistic expectation, but I had to ask. Bruce, if you are in that neck of the woods, and would like to come to hear my play being read, I would love to have you there.

Lost Property is a tiny two-hander dealing with land, and home, and houses, and ghosts, and gentrification, and loss. It is deeply personal, and political and also strangely whimsical. And I think you may like it.

Much love and gratitude


Why last week’s 3 Springsteen concert splurge changed my life forever

There are many ways I could tell you about why I went to see Bruce Springsteen 3 times in one week. The minute I heard he was coming to SA I knew I would have to see him. He is my guy. He is the one I would never miss. I have been waiting for him since I saw him in Harare in 1988.

I waited in line on line and only managed to get the shittest seats for what was then the first concert in Cape Town. I knew that wasn’t going to be good enough so I made my friend in Joburg buy me a golden circle standing ticket there too. And then he added an extra concert in here in Cape Town. More and more the notion of him starting his world tour right here, where I live, took hold and I found myself buying the most expensive ticket I could for the very first, added concert too. So last week I saw Bruce Springsteen 3 times; twice in Cape Town and once in Jozi. There were hard-core fans who saw all four, and did roll call to be in the pit, and had their requests played. But I went 3 times and my life will never be the same.

There were a couple of really joyous highlights for each concert that made them special and unique. On the first I met a woman who had been there in Harare in 1988. I sat next to a couple from Madagascar who had come to Cape Town especially to see him. On the second I went with Big Friendly, who witnessed and shared my love. On the third concert in Jozi we were blessed by a special 3 song matinee for those of us early enough to be there and I wept and shook with special happiness.

Of course there were things that frustrated me and made me sad. The almost 100% white, middle aged audience had come to see what they thought was Bruce Springsteen. Dancing in the Dark and Born in the USA. They didn’t understand why he didn’t play more of his hits (from that album I guess).  There were those who were irritated that he started late in Cape Town and left during his hour long encore. There were fist fights by drunks right next to me in the Jozi crowd. The support act in Jozi made me skaam.

But. But. But. The reason I will never be the same is because of the outpouring of love and respect from that most awesome man. He loved us. He thanked us. He saluted us. He played (for hours, and in the rain) for us. I have never seen or experienced a more generous, magnificent, loving man to his band, and to his audiences, all three that I was part of. I walk away with the best lesson. How to love my audience and my fellow players. Thank you Bruce Springsteen. I love you.

Improving Everything

It is the crack of dawn on Sunday 26 January. I am almost out of bed, to walk dogs and then to prepare lunch for friends-like-family. But after all that I am going to see Bruce Springsteen this evening. I am going alone. It is first concert of this tour, and it is here in Cape Town, and even though I have tickets for Tuesday night with all my friends I am still going tonight. Big Friendly bought me this most expensive ticket. That isn’t all. Next Saturday I fly to Jozi in the morning and go with my Jozi friends and family to the FNB stadium to see him a third time. Because he is the one. He is my guy. And I am making it happen because I love him.

In between Bruce Springsteen concerts we are starting our 2nd ever improv fest. I think this is huge, and awesome. On Wednesday we kick off with one of my favourite genres, Western, and I am so excited to get all dark and dangerous. Thursday nights (in our 2 week fest) are Crime nights, where a made up crime will be dissected and discovered, made up in front of the audience. Friday nights see the return of Family Musical, and Saturday is dedicated to Superscene, both extremely popular with our audiences last year.

The bonus cherry on the top special amazing end to this coming week is that I will be seeing my magnificent new love, my then two week old niece, Leeya. Oh the joy.

A bit like jumping off a cliff…

I keep thinking about how last night I felt like I jumped off a cliff. I was standing with my back to the audience, Bruce Springsteen (my favourite, yet all too close music) was playing, and it was a scene for one actor. My instinct told me to go as far away from my real self as possible and I jumped. I turned around and I was literally somebody else. I had jumped off a cliff and into another character. Who was she? I had about half a second to find out, because I opened my mouth and a voice and accent and situation all came out. And carried on for the next two or three minutes. Then Bruce Springsteen started singing again and that scene was done.

We were performing Little Space Between, an improv format with scenes and situations about intimacy, sex, relationships and emotions. On the last Thursday of the month some of the more experienced improvisers in our team get to push the boundaries in more risky, experimental improv at The Alexander Bar. It’s a delight to be able to do this kind of playing and I think we’re getting better and better and braver and braver.

Big thanks needs to go to our tiny but brave audience, who take a chance with us, relish the successes but are generous and forgiving of our failures. Of course not everything is going to work. It is improv after all. A bit like jumping off a cliff and landing in a sea of unexplored ideas, feelings, possibilities. All you have to do is trust, and choose something.

Screen Door Slams – Michael Copley

I have no idea how Michael Copley died (the news of his passing has spread on facebook and twitter) but I am completely shaken by it, and I want to say goodbye here.

Michael Copley was not a close friend of mine, but he was a long time institution. I saw him intermittently, mainly bumping into him at the Gardens Centre, and we worked together a couple of times; him as an actor and me as Art Dept, my all time worst work on movie and ad sets.

Michael and I shared a deep and lasting love for Bruce Springsteen. Every time I saw Michael he would quote a Springsteen song; and once he ran after me through the aisles of Pick ‘n Pay singing the whole of “Badlands” at the top of his (deeply beautiful) voice. Once he did a beautiful, spontaneous “I’m on Fire” while I tried to get to my car in the Gardens Centre parking lot.

I saw him at the Gardens Centre on Thursday. He called me over to where he was sitting and sang me, “Screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways, like a vision she dances across the porch, as the radio plays.” I replied “Roy Orbison singing for the lonely, hey it’s me and I want you only.” And I left with a bounce in my step; Thunder Road is my all time favourite Springsteen song.

Michael, I have no idea what happened. I hope you’re on your own Thunder Road, with the wind in your hair. Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night.

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