Over the years I have worked with a number of wonderful students each of whom possessed great talent as performers.
Drama is a fabulous subject, creative, a great buzz and scary as all can be.
My work brings me into contact with students who use it not to become actors but rather as a tool for improving their self esteem and confidence.
No one would ever say it is an easy subject.
It can sometimes look that way until you find yourself in the grip of an impending performance date.
Individual work is the hardest of all. It is just you the performer and no one else. You are literally out there alone.
For me it is the challenge of discovering the character. Making him/her believable and leading the actor to deliver a sustainable performance.
Micah’s Angel Wings is another one of my favourites. It was put together with a student named Kelsey. She would come to rehearsal each week and sometimes we agreed and sometimes she would come in and say no I want the piece to go like this or for Micah to say this a different way.. What she did was always my intention, to have my performers put their stamp on what they were doing. I learned to listen to their ideas and not get precious about my work. I have always written ideas for students and have encouraged them to make the work their own. I have enjoyed the notion of creating characters who stretch the imagination, after all insanity has very few borders. The more incongruous the character the more fun you could have with them.
In this piece Micah has been sent to her local parish priest to explain her predicament.
Micah’s Angel Wings
Micah visits her local parish priest with a real problem:
“Hello Father Murphy
My Mum, God bless her, thought you might be able to help me Father.
Hmmm…its about the …you know…the…..
I woke up….It began…..with a stabbing pain between my shoulders blades.
It just got worse.
Then when the pain was excruciating, honestly there was blood everywhere.
It was all through my bed and on the floor.
I didn’t know what to do!
I thought I was going to die.
Now I am no angel.
I stay out late.
I drink … too much.
I smoke, I party, I love men, though they do tend to freak when they see them.
You see when I get a little bit excited they just pop out.
Guys get really freaked with the three metre wing span.
I think it’s a size thing.
It’s impressive but intimidating.
I mean they are attractive, and I do get the sense of awe about them.
So you may ask…….
Sorry.. can I just.. excuse me..
(PAUSE) SHE RUBS AGAINST THE BACK OF THE CHAIR)
They do itch sometimes…
So you may ask what I’m doing with angel wings?
Now my theory is that in the bible Christ favoured the down and out, the least would be the greatest and the meek would inherit the earth all that sort of thing.
I just don’t know what I’m doing with them.
I did look into having them removed, but not one doctor or surgeon wanted to have a bar of me.
There was this fear of the unknown, God’s wrath that sort of thing.
So they all took the safest option and showed me the door.
They also think the wings are connected to my nervous system or something and it could be detrimental to my welfare to poke around in there too much.
So it would appear I’m stuck with them.
I did have a go at flying, you know stood on a chair in the kitchen and contemplated the moment then stepped off…
Bit of an anti-climax really.
From greater heights was a problem as I’m basically afraid of pain.
There are a lot of weird people out there in society.
They see me with wings and drop to their knees, praying for a miracle.
When it rains they think I must have done something.
So I have to deal with adoration and praise, and a lot of people grovelling about my feet.
It was fun at first.
But now I find it so tedious to be walking down the street and have people wanting to touch me, believing I can cure their cancer or fix their ingrown toenail.
‘I can’t even fix my own problems, let alone cure your bloody cancer.’
As it is I can’t go to clubs.
Swimming its almost impossible.
You try swimming with the water logged wings and a beach full of fanatics all baying for a miracle.
So now I sit at home.
Waiting for revelation.
Something has to happen.
Mum thinks they are there for a reason.
Says we have all been blessed.
“You Mikah” she says “Have been chosen.
God works in mysterious ways.
Who are we to question his infinite wisdom?”
Mum has become very religious since the wings.
When she dies she thinks God will say “Julie you have been a good girl, come in, sit down, have a cup of tea and a lamington.”
I watched some angel movies.
They all have power, and majesty, and beauty and presence.
Then I look at myself and think if Hollywood has it right then I must be in the early stages of angelhood.
I have no power at all!
I can barely lift a suitcase, I have no majesty (whatever that is) and as for beauty, well, I’d say I’m a work in progress.
But the one thing that bothers me the most is that in some of the movies I’ve seen the angels have so sex.
They can’t, there’s nothing there.
Now that’s a real worry.
A fun time party loving girl like me has reservations about sex becoming some kind of option.
It must be God’s way of removing them from temptation.
But for me, so far so good.
I have adopted a morning ritual, out of bed, have a look, sigh of relief…all’s good…and working and off to breakfast!
The other day I thought to myself, what about me has changed?
I have begun reading the bible, I feel kind of obligated.
The Old Testament was a bit of a drag with all that begetting and pillars of salt and God wreaking His vengeance on anyone who defied his all encompassing word or looked sideways.
The new testament is better.
That’s my sort of God, loving and forgiving.
I’m not sure where it is all leading me, it’s certainly been an interesting time for all concerned.
My clothes all have to be adjusted and my friends are not all I thought they were.
I don’t see why they can’t just treat me the same way, pretend I’m in a Halloween costume, something like that maybe.
I’d love it to be back like it was before the angel wings.
My life was my own then.
But now I have this fear that’s its ultimately going to be me and God against everyone else and that’s scary.”