Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gala Night at the Baxter Theatre in SA and my travels... What days...what a night.

(This was written late Sunday the 15th)

I have been very excited about today.
Today was the day that I got to see all the other acts as we performed in a gala for the FNB Variètè Festival here in (yes, I have heard it one million times now but often does a gal get to do her act in...) South Africa.
You see, all of the artists do our gigs at the same time so we can't see each other work. The FNB is an eclectic festival featuring Marc Lottering, (who hosted the gala as well as performing in a cabaret act) and he is the number one stand up here in (yup) South Africa, and Godfrey Johnson (who is working with Lottering) who is a number one cabaret performer in SA, Tina C, as played by Chris Green, who just finished a sell out run at the Sydney Opera House and Shimmy Issacs, an up and coming FABULOUS stand up who does a majority of her act in Afrikaans.
Just top notch talent...and I was closing...and it made me shit my pants a bit.
The Baxter Theatre, where we did the gala, is lovely and is a theatre that was very important during apartheid struggle, featuring plays, works, dance pieces and other artistic endeavours that centred around the themes of the struggle against oppression.
I looked at the posters in the hallways near the dressing rooms and felt humbled to say the very least.
I sat in the audience for the first act of the gala and watched Marc come onstage as MC and receive that amazing reception that is due an artist of his status and caliber...and the crapping of the pants began. In his act he speaks in very fast English mixed with Afrikaans, and the audience ate it up...he is absolutely hysterical and has the confidence of one who is at the top of their game. It is amazing to hear stand up in a different language...hearing the cadence of the stories and the build up to the punch line...Marc is a great storyteller...and you don't have to speak the language to get the story.
Tina C came on and with a bravery that I can't imagine, Chris Green portrays an over 40, post plastic surgery, country and western star from the American Bible Belt...who reminds one of a Texan version on Malibu Barbie...singing about the economic downfall and other issues close to her sequinned heart...and before you know it the whole audience is line dancing...yes, all 600, to a C and W version of 'Dancing Queen'. Riotous.

Godfrey came on and joined Marc for their set. It was so interesting to watch two wonderful performers from different entertainment worlds come together and put together a piece...witty, funny and so musical...and again...featuring some humour that is very specific to SA.
The crapping continued.
I ran down to my dressing room during the interval and put on my dress...and I just tried to grasp it put it all in proportion...there was a great gravity in my all felt very important all of a sudden...that I was in a show with these amazing performers and I felt a world apart. I want to make it clear here that all the performers and people here could not have made me feel more welcome...I just felt like I had walked out of my comfort zone. AND it became clear how far outside said zone I was when Shimmy got onstage and the audience went wild for her...but as I said earlier, her act was 98% in Afrikaans so I could not understand it ...but I knew she was killing...and I was next...I turned to Cooch and said with full meaning, "I can't remember being this nervous before..."

I was filled with "will they like me?"..."will they get me?"..."this is a whole different I accessible enough?"..."lord, oh lord...I have come so far...I so want to kill this....please, let me kill this..."
I stood off stage, going over my abridged 15 minutes of material in my head, and Sammy the stage manager handed me my mike and smiled. I drew a large yoga breath and thought, "enjoy yourself"....
After Marc introduced me I bounded onstage in my Fashion Crimes dress and high heels and looked out into the mouth of this huge audience...yes, as i said, they were suitably huge...
And I just went at it...
Magic...from the first laugh to the last...
And, at the end when I threw my hands in the air, I closed my eyes and took it all in...there was an unbelievable was something, let me tell you...I took the moment...and I looked out and saw that most of the audience had their hands up as well...and there were chants of "more" as I ran offstage...had a little cry....
They got me...and I got them...and how we made fancy magic together.
Thanks to the universe...
this journey constantly surprises and amazes.

George took this pic...I am in the spotlight...but look at was amazing....

Speaking of amazing.
I wanted to meet some penguins...and then I did...what a day off we had...not only did I meet penguins, but also baboons, a sprinkbok,  saw a whale, lots of seals, ate ice cream made from a 2000 (?) year old recipe, laughed and laughed...saw the most amazing sunset I have ever seen...drove through a rainbow...

Here are a couple pics from the last couple days... Betty's Bay, Robben Island, Imizamo Yethu many places...I am full.
Thanks for reading...I am 3 shows away from finishing a 44 show, 5 City, 4 country longest yet. I can think of no better way to end it.
What a year.

Sharp's Bay...the weather is a comin'

Our little group at Sharps Bay...SO WINDY!!!

George and I at Sharps Bay!!!

Hello Penguin Colony in Betty's Bay

Mama and Baby at Betty's Bay!

Sundown on the way back from Hermanus where we saw 2 whales....

We drove through this rainbow...WE DROVE THROUGH A RAINBOW!!!

George, Rob and Myself at Cafe Jack in Betty's Bay...we laughed our shit off here....

Hout Bay

George and I go to Imizamo Yethu Township  and our guide is the fabulous Afrika Moni...we found out a day later that two police were shot here a day before our visit...we were greeted ALWAYS with kindness and joy every where Afrika took us.

Imizamo Yethu...this house isn't much bigger than the house the people live in...but they always paint it when they paint their house...

This lady was lovely and filled with humour....

On our way to Robben Island, which was a leper colony, insane asylum and home to hundreds of political prisoners during Apartheid....

The waters were VERY choppy on the way over....

The Yard.

The Yard

The gates

Block B, Cell 7 which Nelson Mandela lived in for 18 years...and wrote "The Long Walk to Freedom"...he his the manuscript outside in the garden that he planted.

Block D. The man in the centre is named Sparks, he was a resident of this Block for 7 years. His crime was terrorism. He was a member of the ANC. It was amazing to hear him tell his story. All of the guides on the island are ex political prisoners.

1 comment:

Ja'mum said...

I am SO proud of you...your description of how you felt at the audience's reaction to you made me cry! Of COURSE they loved could they not? Seriously!