if I could have hidden to stay for a second show, I would have. Again and again.

Air Empathy
by Jeffrey McDaniel

On the red-eye from Seattle, a two year-old
in the seat behind me screeches

his little guts out. Instead of dreaming
of stuffing a wad of duct tape

into his mouth, I envy him, how he lets
his pain hang out. I wish I too could drill

a pipeline into the fields of ache, tap
a howl. How long would I need to sob

before the lady beside me dropped
her fashion rag, dipped a palm

into the puddle of me? How many
squeals before another passenger

joined in? Soon the stewardess hunched
over the drink cart, the pilot gushing

into the controls, the entire plane, an arrow
of grief, quivering through the sky.

I love things I cannot control. Our weekend in New York was like a bullet fired from a gun, all velocity and shredding hours, with a sun hard as butter and heat like a prayer. We landed at six in the morning, then stayed up until the same, wandering through fictional landscapes and following Banquo and Rebecca, Macbeth and his wife naked in the bath, through an unbelievable space, caught up in the show like we were enchanted, the actors all hunters luring us through the forest, (fifth floor, outside the sanitarium), all the better to cut out our hearts. Add us to the taxidermy collection. Add my skin to the leather in the foyer, to that of the birds I pressed to my cheek in the jail! Feathers in the wall of the padded room. Alchemickal symbols carved into the bottom of every drawer. So much murder! What were some of those places for? So much like a butterfly caught on my silent, silent tongue. Perfection in every direction, dusting my knuckles on it, cutting myself open on the show. Raving in the disco, fire in the eyes of our hands. The crazed beauty of every single moment. I regret that I only have one life to give to Sleep No More. I regret that I didn’t find any human teeth in the candy. Or the children’s bedroom, drenched through the one-way mirror with blood. Instead I saw him kill the king twice, a cruel orgasmic smother, pillows and fists, blood on his hands, the water splashing on the hem of my dress. Instead a witch took my hand, pulled me into a bedroom alone, and locked everyone else out. She seduced me, we danced, she pulled me into a closet, then out the false back, the closest I’ve ever felt to fantasy, coats everywhere, her fingers in my mouth, then through a metal door, a loud slam, she lay down on the cold silver table, it was a morgue.

Later, after the show, we didn’t go home, but we didn’t go to our Brooklyn Burning Man party either. Instead we found ourselves drenched in the fierce, stammering lights of Times Square, waiting for Anthony, dancing to music only we could hear, sharing our earphones with strangers, a tiny flashmob party of two. It was on, it was late, everything was beautiful. I wore my mask over my shoulder, a bleached porcelain epaulette, the bones and angles of where we’d been on view to the world, our strange masque, a visible mark of haunting, physical and solid and near. Eventually he arrived and we conquered the city a stride at a time until the night bruised under our feet, our conversation running like rabbits. Finally we paused at a 24 hour diner, one I remembered passing by the night it felt like my best friend died, and let the time crash in over our heads like the tide. The sun was up when we rolled into bed, too tired to pull up the sheets.


just a trim

“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” – Paul Brandt

As unlikely and unexpected as it might be, I have even more good news! Not only am I going to Burning Man, I’m going back to New York. Not as time-serious a trip as last time, but a weekend jaunt concocted just to see the PunchDrunk show, Sleep No More, an astoundingly intricate 100 room retelling of Macbeth.

Ridiculous, a bit, as it was playing while I was there, but I didn’t find out until after my trip, when Mordicai attended then posted about it, so now I’m flying all the way back just to see it! It’s wiping out my emergency savings and much of what I earned as the photographer at Mishka’s wedding, but I figure that after three years of scraping, living in crazy poverty to pay back Heart of the World, it’s about damned time I starve for a good reason, something that makes me happy instead of twisting me bitter. It also helps that I’ve been managing to move forward with surprising rapidity with Burning Man prep. Though I’ll still probably be scrounging until the last minute, (still no ride, still nowhere set to camp, etc), I think it will all be okay. I don’t think there’s going to be any reason to panic.

In a lucky turn, Tony’s going to come with me, which also makes my heart glad. I was willing to go alone, but I suspect it might have been a little bit of a tragedy, as Sleep No More is designed, down to the last bit of insane writing on the wall, to every minuscule atom of splendid performance, to be shared. Everyone that goes in walks a different path, discovers different scenes, finds different hidden treasures. Everyone gets a unique narrative, an incredible, very personal experience, so it’s extra important to be able to share. (I would probably go twice if I could even remotely afford it). I’m also getting contact lenses for the first time, all proper like, just so I can wear the mask. I’ve only worn them once before, found the learning curve to be a little bit crazy, but this time, I can barely wait. I’ve been dancing everywhere, ever since we booked our tickets.

We fly out of Seattle late Thursday evening, and arrive first thing, the morning of Aug 19th. (We’re staying in Greenwich and leaving Monday evening.) We have tickets to the Friday, 7 pm, Sleep No More show, and for the Sunday’s Fuerza Bruta, (because Tony wanted to see it, after my rave reviews). Besides that, we have nothing planned.

Are you there, too? What are you up to that weekend? Let’s visit!

This week: stuffed with potential.

In an effort to prod myself out the door more often, I’ve started scouring the city for events again. The next trick will be to actually go to some of them. (Ex. I intended to hit up the PuSH opening gala last night, but spent time with A. then Lori instead. Fail? Not fail? Still social, though stayed in. Tough call.) That said, here’s some good ideas I’ve chalked in, but haven’t solidified yet. Who’s in?


7:00 + 9:30pm – Half Price Tuesday, The Green Hornet by Michel Gondry at The Rio. $6. (With A.)
7-9pm – PuSH: Boca Del Lupo‘s free La Marea, Gastown, zero-hundred block of Water Street.


8-11pm – Jack and Martin from Maria in the Shower, an intimate duo show at The Helm restaurant, 1180 Howe Street. (With Jess.) Company bailed, stayed in.


12pm-6pm – PuSH: Iqaluit at the Woodward’s Atrium.
7-9pm – PuSH: Boca Del Lupo‘s free La Marea, Gastown, zero-hundred block of Water Street. (With Beth.) Went to Bin 942 after for delicious tapas and killer chocolate fondue. Holy hell, I had forgotten how completely magical a raspberry tastes. There are no words.
9:30-late – EXCISION (Dubstep Invasion Series) at Gossip, 750 Pacific Blvd. $25.


9-late – Isaac’s Freaks & 45’s Formal birthday party. (With Tony & ?.)
12am – City of the Lost Children midnight movie at the Rio, (subtitled). Admission is $8 or $7 in costume. Stayed at the party.


8-12am – The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra with Jess Hill at Cafe Deux Soleils. $10-15 sliding scale at the door. (With Tony & ?.) (Sold out before we arrived).
8:30-12am – Stay Wet: An anti-celebration of the 82nd anniversary of the Dry Bill, featuring The Furniture, Blackberry Wood, Antiparty, and The Brass Action at The Railway Club.
9-12am – Karaoke at the Main St. Legion, 3917 Main Street. (Added to this list by request.)

10-2am – SinCity at Club 23 West. (With Tony & A.)


2pm – PuSH: 46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes, UBC Frederic Wood Theatre. 2pm. $12.50 General, $5 Kids under 12, $25 Family of 4 (max 2 adults). Box Office 604.822.2678
3pm – Day for Night: Full Moon in Paris by Eric Rohmer at the Waldorf Cabaret.
Went to brunch with Tony and A., then for hot chocolate at Cocoa Nymph.

today’s headline has me in tears

For those of you who are still unaware, the three children that died in the cabin fire at Shuswap Lake belong to Kim and Johnathon, the co-founders of Vancouver’s Electric Company Theater.

I am shocked and so, so sorry. They have all the love in my heart.

I can’t stop crying. I might have to go home.

thanks for the reminders, chandra. you’ve saved me.

The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan, Performance Works, (1218 Cartwright Street, Granville Island), April 21 – May 9.

“Following the 2006 sold-out hit Famous Puppet Death Scenes, The Cultch will present The Trouts’ new show, a radical re-imagining of the Don Juan legend, a refraction of the many manifestations of that old ghost, who haunts us in our dreams, anxieties and fantasies.”

The Ghost of Don Juan is summoned from Hell to repent for his sins, and to tell us the tale of his nefarious life so that we may avoid his fate. But does he truly repent? Is he a monster or a saint? He will attempt to save us from our amorous errors, and deliver a sermon of universal love. In the end, we are liberated from our fears, and what we thought would be a simple evening at the theatre becomes a transcendental orgy that will change us forever.

Most nights, anyway. Depends on the audience.

Tuesday to Saturday: 8:00pm, Sunday matinees: 2:00pm

Tickets from Ticketmaster, (604-280-3311):
Adults (+s/c): Advance: $26; at door: $30
Students/Seniors (+s/c): Advance: $22; at door $26

I’m likely going to be buying my ticket this afternoon. Tuesday, May 5th sound good for anyone?

the dusty flowerpot cabaret is what the kids call the bomb

The Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret, makers of a magical and fantastical world,

in collaboration with

The Pivot Legal Society, purveyors of justice and equality,

present to you…

The Listening Jar.
(facebook event page)

Thursday February 26th
until Sunday, March 1st
Doors 7:00pm Show at 8:00pm
Followed by a dance party and social

Russian Hall 600 Campbell Ave. in Strathcona
Advance Tickets $16

Also available at
Pivot Legal (678 E Hastings)
$20 – $30 sliding scale at door

One performance by donation
Saturday, February 28
Doors 2:00pm, Show at 3:00pm

I’m lining up between noon and one o’clock on Saturday with treats from the Elizabeth Bakery.
Come join me for a line-up picnic! Bring sandwiches!

“now that these days have conspired against us, we keep our fists up”


365 2009: 18.01.09
365 2009: 18.01.0

The PuSh festival starts today, Vancouver’s most fascinating little performance festival. Two weeks of perpetually rewarding dance, theater, music, and, this year, astonishing puppetry. (festival event calendar). A slice of my heart is breaking that I’ve no resources this year to make it to anything. Shows have been especially calling to me, too. Ronnie Burkett’s Requiem for a Golden Boy, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Woodpigeon at Club PuSh, and a rare concert by one of my favourite bands, the beige, who are playing at Performance Works at 11 pm next Thursday. After all, what’s life without marionettes, otherworldly collaborations, and stripped-back sweetheart jazz?

darling allow me to introduce someone i met in the hallway
they say they remember when we first were sweethearts
lightning around us
and i knew you were the one for me

I’m going closing night

Some friends of ours are starring in Spectral Theater’s new play, The Velvet Edge. (Read: Duncan Shields and Erin Puckey).

Held at The Chapel, 304 Dunlevy, the same funeral-home-now-arts-venue that the Carnival of the Arts was just at, it’s got a cast of nearly twenty, the guarantee of at least one flawlessly hot girl, Naomi’s costumes are without-fail incredible, and there’s both nudity and blood. How awesome is that?

“An English novelist comes to an asylum to hear the story of one inmate who, after a journey into the decadent heart of 18th century France, was charged with the murder of his wife, but committed due to his presumed insanity. As the inmate recounts his bizarre and terrifying descent into debauchery and madness, the audience is drawn into the scenes of his past. Could his delusions be in fact, a terrifying reality?”

Tickets are $20, which is steep, I know, but Duncan, who is in it and should know, claims, “This is going to be an adult theater show at adult theater prices. This isn’t schlocky horror. It cost a lot to put on and it’s a visual spectacle. It’s worth every penny of the $20. People are going to be talking about this one for a while.”

November 5th – 6th & 8th – 15th

Tickets $20 (minimum donation)

Doors at 7:30 PM Show at 8:00 PM

Written by Blake Drezet and Directed by Des Hussey & Blake Drezet

Warning: Coarse language, scenes of violence, suggestive scenes and nudity.

Reserve your tickets by calling 604.569.2013, e-mailing info@spectraltheatre.com or RSVP through Facebook: Nov. 5th Opening Night, Nov 6th, Nov 8th, Nov 9th, Nov 10th, Nov 11th, Nov 12th, Nov 13th, Nov 14th, Nov 15th.

in other news

  • Making Canned Halloween Monstrosities

    The Here Be Monsters Carnival of the Arts is on again.

    David and I took Nicole and volunteered at the opening night cabaret at the Chapel, the re-purposed funeral home down behind the Princess Hotel. (A skeezy neighborhood, but venues are venues and you work with what you’ve got.) We had a surprising amount of fun for standing at a door and collecting loose change from people. The show was good, if a bit bizarre, the art had enough hits to make up for the misses, and I reconnected with Ashley, someone I liked seeing every week when I worked at the Dance Center. I’m looking forward to going back on Wednesday, Thursday and maybe Friday for the Showoff Festival, their “lite” version of Theater Under the Gun. (Tenth anniversary, no less, how time flies.)

    Would anyone else like to come? It’s free if you volunteer.

  • Making Monstrous Paper-Mache Pumpkins
  • she’s making us dinner later, too

    Lung‘s other best friend, Melo, is in from Montreal this week, so last night we took her to some of our favourite places, starting with a delicious dinner at Phnom Pehn, moving on to dessert at Cloud 9, (where the food is expensive and terrible but the view is unparalleled), and ending the evening with a late night drive around Stanley Park, stopping to take tourist pictures on the seawall in the dark. I think she’s wonderful. Not only is she incredibly fun, she looks like a Russian fashion model, tall, and solid, with the sort of black cut hair and pointy-toed boots I’d expect from a Red Mob girlfriend in a William Gibson short story.

    Today he’s taking her to Granville Island Market, the LuluLemon store, (she wants to shop), and possibly the Museum of Archeology. Does anyone know if there’s any Giant Sequoia trees within a day’s drive? I’m fairly certain they’re all either on the Island or down in California, but she says she read something about local ones. Apparently she’s never seen any truly massive trees before and really wants to see some trees bigger than anything else alive, as if real mountains versus Mt. Royal wasn’t enough size shock.

    Tonight David and I are going to the Pay What You Can premiere of Letters from Lithuania, a Mortal Coil Performance Society production at the Stanley Park train, before catching up with them again.

    Based on a true story, originator and performer Bessie Wapp recounts: “For generations, my ancestors lived in a small Lithuanian village called Varniai. Fleeing from the pogroms of Europe, my great, great grandparents immigrated to the United States in the later 1800’s. Of the large extended family who remained in Varniai, only a young mother and her three daughters survived World War II. After the war, they were reunited and the mother wrote to the only living relative she knew of, her brother-in-law in South Africa. But she didn’t hear back. Twenty years passed, and then word came from the son of the brother-in-law in South Africa. While sorting out his recently deceased father’s belongings, he had found her letters. But they were unopened: his father had kept them for 20 years but had never read them.”

    And as if that isn’t fascinating enough, it features friends who are A+ performers, stilt-walking, shadow puppets, and a klezmer band on a miniature train. How could anyone say no? I don’t think there’s a better ticket in Vancouver tonight.