Working for MinaOctober 31, 2012
I have a moment, briefly, today, to explain to my friends here at home, that I need to recover. What from? they ask. The work, I tell them. What was the work? they enquire.
Learning my lines? Filming myself prancing, and deciding how best to cower, and what sort of monster my limbs know best in themselves… That wasn’t work.
Rehearsals? The terror of watching while a troupe of beautiful human beings pick out elaborate dances mid-air, hurling themselves at a concrete floor, inches from catastrophe, airborne and dazzling and surely impossible, and all in time with a high-throned thunder of loud live music… This was not work.
Coming to know the streets of Dublin, the best coffee houses, where to find costume, printers, and booze by bicycle… Being embraced by such a place is not work.
Writing the piece? Fetching a feminist reading of extracts from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and adorning it with my own vague and hap-hazard verse, daily between a seclusion in a Sheffield mill and the very week of the three-night run of shows… I’d be a quack if I were to sincerely consider this work.
Performing for the full house each night, as sincerely as we could, was too delightful for what most people call ‘work’.
Was it the chance to meet and come to know such a rare, able and fine group of souls as I did, was that the work I’m talking about?
The drinking and carousing was incremental as the shape of the show took form, and the coherent quality of my wonderful colleagues became acute to my mind. The celebrations, that swelled their banks to a concert at dawn (where I also performed) after the final night, were endemic. But this was not work.
What remained of me pondered none of this, on the night-coach to the airport. I stood in a Ryanair line, with Estel’s music, David Bowie and all manner of Dublin-toned wailings, through a check-in silence. I dragged my bags by the neck, past the closed stores and call-outs, caked in a tingling inertia. One way or another, I made the gate, for the dawn…
and it was hard work indeed.
Well done, everyone: