Early at St Pancras, I play the piano. A woman asks what I am playing, and asks to record me on her phone.
I am here for Claire’s drama workshop “Mega-me”- be all you can be. Writing, now, on the train home on Monday morning I am happy, singing “Slow down, you’re going too fast” walking along the platform- I am my father and my father is me, he lives on in me. Earlier today, Jack asked how the funeral would be and I said we would be conventional and correct with each other- then, it is an interaction, a meeting, there is always hope. I saw a friend who told me she was going to a funeral, and I said I had a funeral this week.
I wondered whether to say it, but- “We both thought we could trump the other, didn’t we?”
Walking to the workshop in the sunshine on Remembrance Sunday, I passed some Army cadets on a street corner, with two adults.
He: Then we do a Hałt.
She: We all stop, yeah?
I would not have thought that jargon, myself.
Last night in the pub after the workshop, I met J and Arianna. She is a lawyer, qualified in Greece and now seeking qualification in London. She is angry about the government in Greece, forcing Austerity on the people- judges were told, “Tomorrow your wages will be halved”. There is no democracy, Papandreou was a fool, the Germans tell them what to do. She hates her country’s weakness.
-Tell me about Golden Dawn.
She does not understand, until I say we translate the party name into English. Fascists, she spits. I am perturbed that they should be shot. Later, she plays the guitar beautifully: she would like to be a musician. Law is a career for her. Everyone just does it for the money.
We did improvisation games with Dick, the same ones. In the group, we speak as moved, to count to 20: if two people speak at once, go back to one. Three line scenes: step into the middle, and speak. Don’t think of what you will say beforehand. Whatever we say in the moment is alright. One wants to say something clever and amusing, of course, and also I want to get beyond editing and censoring what I say. The thought comes, then the calculation: can I say that, could I say it better- and the moment is gone.
Once, in a three line scene- one speaks, the other responds, the first wraps it up- I spoke as the moment inspired. Allowing the other to speak, and responding, is more difficult. A question takes the energy out of the interaction, adding nothing, as bad as a denial or refusal. Can we accept what happens, and give back?
In a circle, we “pass energy” to each other. First we go round the circle: one gurns and gestures at the next, who copies the movement and expression and noise, then turns to the next to make a different movement to be copied in turn. I find myself mirroring the gestures each person makes: perhaps there is a shared emotion of the whole room in that moment.