Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gossip Girls

This evening on the bus ride home, I participated in a conversation about two people - a couple. I won't go into the details but the conversation pertained to their history together and their private life that was made public through an event that occurred long before I came to meet them. My partner in this conversation was rather generous with details and opinions while I, though not entirely without opinion, tended towards the more passive role in the conversation - with more or less a "to each his own" attitude. Well, rather, with a "to each his own, but still... that's embarrassing" attitude. Having been the topic of malicious gossip more than once in my life and having also taken on the role of gossiper several hundreds of times, I can say with all confidence that, although my friend expressed a more opinionated point of view, my comments were of an inquisitive nature and not of the destructive or malicious quality that is often associated with gossip sessions.

Stop reached, I exited the bus and ventured home without giving the matter any further consideration. Just as I reached my front door my friend phoned me, a bit panicked.

"You'll never guess what just happened," she said. My heart froze as I imagined her having been accosted by one of Vancouver's many, many late night drunks. "(Blank) and (Blank) were on our bus. They were sitting right behind us." As it turns out, they got off at the very next stop and she saw them pass directly in front of her. "Should we apologize?" She asked, guilt ridden and frightened at the prospect of having been overheard. (She had been speaking pretty loudly and was pretty certain that they, along with the entire bus, had heard her.)

As someone who generally feels guilty about just about everything, in this instance, I do not feel any remorse for what I said. It didn't occur to me that I should, even after she broke the news to me. I can understand though, based on her intentions and comments, why my friend might feel concerned.

She rehearsed her apology speech to me and seemed bemused as to why I wouldn't feel bad. "Well, I guess I should apologize if they overheard me talking about their private life," I said. "But if they hadn't been on the bus, would we be having this conversation?" The issue wouldn't have occurred to either of us had the couple chosen to exit out the back.

In bringing this matter up with N, I found that he was of my mind. I was talking about them in any way one talks about the lives of people who are not there. We all do it. "This happened to so and so. This was the result... Gee... that's too bad. I think that what (Blank) did isn't what I would do, but that's all one." The difference is, the subjects may or may not have overheard. I don't like to do things that could make nice people feel bad but at the same time, I don't think it would make anyone feel better to receive a false apology. Plus, I don't even know if what I said, or the fact that I was involved in the conversation, had any effect on them.

Yes in truth, I facilitated and participated in a conversation that was about the private life of a couple. I enabled my friend to express her strong opinions. I listened to her opinions and didn't tell her to stop. I offered my take on the matter. The end.

So the question is, should I apologize to these two people when:

1. I don't feel any remorse
2. I wouldn't apologize if I didn't know that they may have overheard
3. I don't even know if they did overhear

Of her gossiping ways, my friend said "I knew I was going to get caught one day." That's how she feels. I guess I'm writing this because I don't really feel that I've been caught doing anything. Perhaps this could all change when I see the couple tomorrow and they potentially give me icy stares but for now, I'm not overly concerned with the fact that I listened to a story and expressed my opinion.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lanch then Launch Pad

This year's Ottawa Fringe has been launched! You can find info here. Now, with my biggest bit of Fringe work done (until the opening of the festival), I can finally get super excited about this year's Fringe as well as move on to the Launch Pad and Influx staged reading series for this year's Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Info here
Stay tuned - more to come!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

prodigal blogger

it has been a year since i last published to this blog. i suppose i should just give it up but something compels me to keep it. i feel like perhaps i should be posting my insights, adventures, encounters, endeavours though i have been too busy to make it a priority - particularly since setting back off down the road of academia - too worried about posting some true opinion that will burn a bridge or say something i want to take back later. like, lately, i am asked "how is your MFA going?" well, if i told you my feelings i might be hurting those of someone else, people who are trying their best to do a great job in a staunchy, old academic environment. if i relayed the facts, such as, i am in such financial straits that i have stopped sleeping, i've spent only 7 hours this term doing any actual directing (projects that were, for lack of a better term, forced upon me), the rest writing, giving seminars, critiquing terrible plays and building bridges out of toothpicks, it might give the impression that i am wasting my time. if i stated, as you might infer, that i am frustrated and disappointed with the above facts then would i be belittling the other opportunities that this year has afforded me? - experiences that i otherwise wouldn't have been given had i not embarked upon this two year deal with the academic devil: working alongside an internationally renowned master teacher of Shakespeare, not for one but two consecutive groups of professionally geared actors; assistant directing said master in one of Shakespeare's best loved plays; coaching movement for a french theatre company's production a play so beautiful it didn't matter that i couldn't understand half of what was being said; meeting, interviewing and observing a slew of national theatre artists; developing a vocabulary and extremely valuable toolkit to compliment the strengths and skills i have acquired over the years; being afforded the opportunity to direct classical productions with huge casts and good production values; being contacted out of the blue for unsolicited work; to test out teaching skills and theories on a whole new generation of theatre artists; to act as a motivator, mentor and friend to said students; to alway have the excuse when contacting people for something i want or need that "i am an MFA in directing student" (i hate cold calling). i believe that this time of suffering and hardship, lack of sleep and food, will pay off in dividends when i finally can put those three letters after my name. i am on a path to manifesting a greater goal right now and when i get to the end this suffering i'm enduring now will be little more than an anecdote... i hope.

"why do you keep hitting yourself?"
"because it feels good when i stop."

"why oh why oh why did i go back to school?"
"because it will be worth it when it's over."
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