Hello again, back after a hiatus for blogsite renovation. It’s been a stressful period, not only the digital hassles of redesigning the blog but also preparing for and doing the first four local previews of our new piece, Survival.
I’m the designated digital point-person for computer stuff, but I’m also the sole and only person present in Survival. Yes, there are two characters, Lou and Bozo, but they are both voiced and embodied by me—dependent on the competent functioning of my brain to make it through the show.
I love them both. Lou is a sturdy, sinewy, capable West County woman of 77 years, weathered, sardonic, and immediate. The situation is a talk by Lou on “Survival.” She asks, “You look at me and you wonder, what qualifies me as an expert on survival? Hell, I’m seventy-seven, that’s like a PhD!” But the issues are daunting, and at times Lou runs short and morphs into her inner Fool, Bozo.
“What’s great about clowns, we do stuff. We don’t sit around and say what’ll I do, what’ll I do, we gird up our loins and take a deep breath and rev up out engines and do something stupid!”
And we all want to believe our gurus, whether they be clowns or Fox News. But Bozo’s complete trust in how-to books or Cabinet-level advice keep bringing Lou back closer and closer to ground level, including the difficult life of her friend Allie.
And here’s where we start walking the edge, the tight-rope. “She knows about survival, she’s the real expert,” meaning that Allie’s tried suicide three times and survived all three. We shuffle into dark territory, although with the breath of comedy. After one performance, a woman said, “It’s our whole society, in a comic frame—we’re walking into suicide.”
But Lou is a survivor. May we all be.