I am writing this post in sweaty anticipation. In about 8 hours we will know who the 45th president of the United States will be. Either a “racist-mysoginist-cheeto-dusted-human-trash-fire” or a highly educated and experienced politician ready to lead this country into the the next wave of economic, social, and political success. (I can’t take credit for that eloquent description of Republican Nominee Donald Trump though. click the hyper link to watch Daveed Diggs lay down the facts.)
Tomorrow when I wake up I will know who the 45th president of the United States will be. Then at 7:30pm, I will sit down to see ‘Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again’ by Alice Birch at Company One Theater in Boston. I don’t really believe in fate but I think the next 32 hours of my life are going to be shocking.
I wanted to share some thoughts about entering the space of theater with a mindset of ”wanting to be changed” or rather“expecting to be changed”. I think having expectations going into any theatrical event is extremely dangerous. I often times look at the pieces of theater that have moved me the most and it has of corse never been when I expected it to move me. I remember going to see ‘Disgraced’ at The Huntington Theater in Boston expecting to have my whole world view altered. Of corse, I was greatly disappointed because the things I was expecting to learn we not brought to my attention. I spent most of the show tracking the reviews I read and looking for the moments that my friends had raved about that I seemed to have missing the whole show.
I think this is a great learning lesson for theater goers as they see different works. Everyone is clearly different in the way that they process pieces and immerse themselves in the work. However, one thing I know is that we as a theater audiences can poison our raw experience by expecting an emotional response that does not come naturally. It can be a matter of being fully present and learning from a piece of theater or being consumed in ones ego to the point of feeling discouraged by not “learning enough”. At the end of the day I encourage theater goers to be moved by the piece as it stands in time. The other option is to bring in a load of expectations and prepared to be disappointed.
As I prepare for tonight and tomorrow I am looking forward to receiving this piece exactly how it comes to me. Letting the art so work on me, not me do work on the art. Or something like that. Who knows. I just need tonight to be over and tomorrow to be here.