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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thinking of wolves and sheep


1/9
Danielle is finally back. Hallelujah! Rafael needs to talk to me about security measures. Needs my backing to enforce the list. Keep people away from restricted spaces. Susie the social worker is with him. I see Jeff and invite him over. And talk about how a union security person and a social worker on call are a necessity. Won’t do it without.
Out on the steps, a man is asleep. I tell him he’s got to get up. He says sure, doesn’t move. I come back again, and he gets angry. Man why you always fuckin’ with me? Why you can’t leave me alone? This a church, man, lemme be.
Look up the street sir, you see anyone else asleeep on the steps?
Nah man, them other churches, let people sleep inside  there, you won’t even let me be on the steps. You keep fuckin’ with me. 
I want to say, Dude, I got like a 100 right inside. But I say, And they all went through a program to get there. Time to go. He grumbles some more, goes. Gary is sitting in the south doorway, waiting for Anthony. He gives me a thumbs up. I try to explain this all to Jeff. If someone's asleep there during the  day, there's somethingelse going in as well/
Later, I find Gary asleep. Gary, I can’t make someone else leave and let you sleep here. 
Just waiting for Anthony.
You got a place to go, right?
Yeah, just waitin’.
Stay awake, ok?
He nods.
I walk Jeff across the street to get a coffee and a tea and explain that tonight is going  to be different. Kevin has his show. We can’t host spokes tonight and Kevin has his immersive experience up until 11PM. We’ll make it work.
Martin drops by to talk before his flamenco troupe heads out to Portland. He’ll be meeting with Amanda while he’s there. He had a good rehearsal last night. Anxious to keep our negotiations going.  
Finally Danielle and I have a chance to talk. Much has gone on while she’s gone. Much to catch up on. The phones keep ringing, hers, mine, the office. The presence of #ows and their large footprint is a bit overwhelming. 
When it gets too crazy, I just go out and sweep. 
Micah from Kevin’s production is here to do set up work. They’ll be quickly setting the stage for their night production. Lights to hang, projections to set up, quick sets to construct.
In the late afternoon, Kevin is trying to get his performance up and ready. Meeting in the session room. Too much noise above in Mc Alpin. The twins are screaming. I go upstairs, a young woman is swinging them around, Dan hanging out nearby. I tell them there’s a show being prepared and they’ve got to calm it down. I assume she’s an occupier.
Later in the sanctuary, she says, with a half smile, There’s the mean man who yelled at me. I smile back and say that I’m not a mean man and start talking to her like she’s an #ows, trying to explain that there’s a show and it turns out she’s actually with the show. Her name’s Heather. The twins’ mother is Heather.It’s confusing. 
Dan tells me Heather (mom) is at the doctor’s and he’s got the kids. And they’re heading to Brooklyn and he’s waiting for Berik who wants to hire him to DJ. And that’s the crazy afternoon, actors and #owsers and some who are both and church people and artists all mixed up. Can’t tell one from the other. And Berik finally arrives, brimmign with ideas for fashion shows and art sales and its getting late. 
A steady stream keeps coming looking for spokes, Send them down to the Brecht Institute where they’ll be tonight. 
I head for a pint and a little ‘bama-LSU before Kevin’s run through.
The Den is an intriguing performance to say the least. Aligned with the full moon. Audience members gather at Soldier McGee pub down Amsterdam and are brought one by one into the space. You start with a mad professor in the chapel, at the pulpit, lecturing on graphologic, phonemic systems of writing, symbolism, meaning. Then you’re led up to the 4th floor gym up the back stairs. Looking at the peeling, blistered paint, I remember trips up those stairs and the Tenant. There are projections of spring, actors on all fours howling, playing wolves. Led down to Mc Alpin. Its winter. Sheep in the middle. The wolves attack the sheep. Down into the Session room, the hospital. A foot washing, cleansing ritual. Then disorienting night vision goggles are put on and you’re led by hand into the sanctuary where the wolves have returned and there’s a crucifixion/resurrection? scene with a sheep/lamb? and then a nude woman appears, hands you a flower and leads you out to Amsterdam. Hmmm.
I see what he’s got going on here. It’s like the audience member is an initiate. It’s ritual space. (Back to you, Bill, you should be here.) I leave to catch the end of the game. (LSU’s got nothing.All ‘bama.)
And come back at 11:30. Occupiers lining the steps, waiting. Kevin’s about to take his last audience member through. As the journey begins, he invites the occupiers in from the cold. I sit in the chapel, half expecting Trelkovsky and the Tenant cast to appear and he leaps to his death one more time. But it’s wolves, a lamb and a naked woman with a flower. And as the audience member exits, the cast applauds.
I have to ponder this. Over 30 cast members perform for an audience of one, one at a time. Who is whom? Roles, proportions reversed. Who is the perfomance for? I love the counterintuitivity of it all. Turms out other troupes are playing with this form. One of Kevin’s crew was with the Shakepseare/Hitchcock immersion Sleep No More. Kevin was drawn here by the Tenant. Glad we can do this now. Won’t be possible later.
Occupiers help Kevin load out. 
#ows dealing with issues. People keep psuhing me to cut separate deals, make exceptions. Some make reasonable moral arguments.Though Jason (the angry one, not the thoughtful one) is getting aggressive, getting personal. I tell him, them, I can’t do it. Can’t choose one over the other. Has to be  a community process. I won’t subvert that. Jason (angry) tells me it hasn’t been democratic around here. Clearly part of a group of anarchists who want to overthrow Jason (thoughtful) and Jeff and Stan. 
Freedom for one is oppression for another. I still can’t understand why a thief or abuser (there are both) would want to jeopardize the whole community. I think I just answered my own question. People continue to press me. I keep pushing it back to community. I’m thinking about wolves and sheep.


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Read dnainfo.com's article about our new boiler: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120110/upper-west-side/westpark-presbyterian-churchs-new-boiler-boosts-temps-spirit

2 comments:

  1. http://www.dnainfo.com/20120110/upper-west-side/westpark-presbyterian-churchs-new-boiler-boosts-temps-spirits

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting. Wish I could have known about it and seen it

    John Hudson

    ReplyDelete