In this post I thought I’d share my experience performing “The Fall” over the course of our eight shows at the Toronto Fringe. We’ve finished a fantastic run.
I’ve performed in curated shows composed of many short pieces, yet “The Fall” is my first experience with a full-length work. I’m curious about durational work, and although there was a lot going on over the course of this piece, I could commit to the world and the journey of the piece for the full fifty minutes; I became immersed in emotional depths of the piece – this experience unfolded differently than a short work.
Getting to do the work eight times over the course of two weekends was fascinating. The piece transformed! It felt like it sunk in and we got more comfortable taking our time, finding play and lightness throughout the piece - especially an opening section involving a crash mat. Performing eight times also made me aware of small energetic fluctuations in each of the shows. I noticed this had a larger impact on the piece as a whole, for example during our second performance weekend it took time to ground ourselves and reacquaint ourselves with each other and the space. Indeed, doing the piece this many times gave me the opportunity to grow and explore within the work, but it also gave me more of a chance to question the choices I was making, and judge my performance.
It was interesting to experience different things going wrong in the show, and feeling very connected to the rest of the cast as we problem solved collectively. The most prominent energetic disruption was when we were missing Rohan in our final show. Rohan was performing in two Fringe shows and miraculously only had one scheduling conflict! Rohan’s absence left an energetic hole – I didn’t realize how many times I connected with him in the piece until I found myself staring into an empty space.
It was also interesting to encounter and work around site-specific challenges during the show. For instance, hot, bright sunlight sometimes shone directly into the audience’s eyes during our evening shows. Humidity accumulated inside the gym space from outside weather and our own sweaty bodies. Regardless of my feelings about my individual performance in a run or any environmental challenges, I have a lot of faith in the power of the work as a whole, and I think it was impactful to audience members regardless!
How am I feeling now? What questions am I left with? I’m feeling incredibly inspired and grateful to have been part of this process! And like I could use a long nap. I’ll have one final blog post summing up my overarching thoughts from everything that’s happened this summer so keep checking back!
- Clarke Blair