Fragment: Audience 

As a young person, whenever I was involved in theater as an actor I became restless and claustrophobic. I might have lost my path in theater, in fact, if not for random individuals who cajoled, enticed, dragged, pushed me back into theater off and on for 20 years until one Sunday night, I saw a performance poet on TV and knew that I wanted to be able to perform solo, put a whole world into my body and recreate that world on stage so audience could be my captives and see things the way I saw them. 

But that’s not the way it works if you don’t want to totally suck as a solo performer. 

I found that out immediately upon performing a piece that I’d written (after many rewrites, Finding the Golden Thread) onstage by myself the first time. I felt more like the servant than the master. I knew right away that not only is the audience not there for you, the audience creates as much energy in the room, fills the air with as much subtext as you (hopefully) do. In other words, the audience/solo performer relationship is a mutual exchange. As a performer, you owe your audience. 

That is one of the most important things I know. 


Artist’s statement: collaboration


Last week one of my videos was used in a mashup that I was not consulted about by the person who made the mashup. I was upset about not being consulted. And, well, I’m not shy about expressing my opinions. 

I write and make art about things that people used to get burned at the stake as witches over. I have performed hourlong, autobiographical solo shows about mental illness. More than once after my show I stood at the theater door, for 2 hours, twice as long as the show was, while, one by one, people from the audience queued up to speak to me privately about things people like themselves or a loved one (and I) are supposed to feel stigmatized and ashamed about. 

That secrecy still makes me sad, which is why I blog as a mentally ill peer and make most of my social media posts public. I have nothing to hide and people who are interested in what I’m saying shouldn’t feel obligated to be open about and or “friend” me. 

Theater is collaborative. I am grateful for my 20 years in it. But I am a solo artist now with probably not much more than 20 years left. I intend to spend my last years doing my own thing my own way, answering to noone. That’s the way it is.

Still, “Nobody,” VOICE pre-production

By Danish Filmmaker, Danny Germansen: KICKING DOWNWARDS

Available now from Brujo Art Company, KICKING DOWNWARDS.

“Being a victim of bullying while I was depressed and suffering from mental breakdown. I have been hunted by these impressions and has now done two videos about how some people treat another person when they discover that person is weak. I experienced that this is very common and that many people do this.” Danny Germansen.

Actor, Marek Magierecki. Camera, Steffen Graumann.