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From Meg at last

April 28, 2010

From Meg at last

by Megan Finlay

images

Mela Carla


OK. So here it is, the long awaited news from Meg.

Things have been going very well here in San Fran.

Big news for those who don’t already know is that I have started a
theatre company here. It is called Rapid Descent Physical Performance
Company and we have so far had a fundraiser and done a showing of an excerpt of what will become our first show. It is a version of a NZ script called Skin Tight and has one female and one male actor/dancer, and our production also has a slide trombone player in it. We performed an excerpt of it in mid November which was really well received and now I just have to work out the finances to put on the whole thing. I was really excited with the work and felt that it was the kind of mix of theatre and dance that I want to keep working on.
I also loved working with the live musician and we created some great moments of him becoming physically involved with the action. Slightly difficult though once you start working with a performer so specifically in that they become very hard to replace if you should need to, ie a male slide trombone player who can sing and dance! But like I said I was really happy with the work.

I am also mid way through an application process for what is called a fiscal sponsor, which is a funding thing that allows smaller companies to apply for more grants by being affiliated with a bigger arts organisation. I have applied to a theatre here called Counter Pulse and the competition is pretty tough but so far we have made it to the second stage of interviews. This would be great to get, but like I said it is very competitive.

I have met a great man named Natty, who is working with me on the company. He is very switched on and an actor but I am confident that we will be able to safely steer a path through him not performing in all the pieces, and it is great to have someone else involved to help keep the energy going. He’s gay for all of those hopeful matchmakers among you.

In the American madness category comes a little bit about my trip to Burning Man. What happens is this. Thousands of crazy Americans (and other accompanying nationalities) [as in 50,000 of them!], drive out into a huge salt pan dessert between LA and San Fran and pay to attend a festival that involves outdoor art pieces. As well as stationary art there are what they call Art cars which are vehicles of all description, (many of which you can ride on), which drive about the desert. The main body of people come for a week but there are also lots who come even as much as months early to set stuff up. So, holding this art festival in your mind, now remove any Tate modern style wandering about with brochures and add a very strong focus on partying. MANY huge areas with blasting music and flashing lights, people everywhere drinking, almost all of the art cars having blaring music. Also there is a ‘no money changes hands’ rule, with the exception of ice and coffee. What this means is that people think of things to take to give away, as their way of contributing. So everywhere there are crazy home made bars with people giving out drinks, and lots of people giving away food. One of my favourite groups was one who came with a refrigerated truck FULL of watermellon, which they cut up and gave people slices of. I think I may have forgotten to say that all of this is taking place in what might as well be the moon. Very hot desert, with dust storms and quite cold nights. So, as you will see from the pictures people just let go and act as weird as they feel like. You can see people wearing absolutely anything you could imagine, or butt naked. The area it takes place in is quite big so most people take bikes and ride about on them, so it is nothing unusual to see 5 naked men wearing top hats and riding matching bikes. In fact that image is
nothing. Look at the pictures of some of the art cars and you will
get some idea.

So I went with Indy from work and we met up with a group of her friends from Colorado who were all really nice and the perfect group to camp with because it included some enthusiastic males who built a kitchen area as well as a dome for a living room and created a fridge of sorts and a grey water system and were very helpful, putting up tents and fixing bikes etc etc. Indeed one of them became my Burning Man boyfriend and as a result I was looked after very well and had someone to curl up with when ever we decided to get some sleep.

It was a crazy party week, with my taking both magic mushrooms and acid for the first time (sorry parents) and dancing and having a great time. I feel I can never explain the true nature of the madness to you all. People also have theme camps, which is just like it sounds but results in things like a yoga and massage camp, where they do yoga classes and give free massages. I quite liked camp affirmation where they gave you a stamp on your hand and then spend some time telling you how great an individual you were. My woman told me that I was very sexy, with a great smile and that she could sense I was also a kind person. Then another camp member piped up to say that my laugh was cute. I was true to my cultural roots and thought ‘crazy Americans’ but then rode away with a large happy grin on my face. So. It was crazy, and a great experience. Anyone who reads this and wants to come along, I will gladly take you with me when I go next year. First week in September.

So now it is 2010 and I am facing the San Fran year with a few projects. I got accepted into an event where 3 artists present some work and get feedback, so am going to do some more work on a physical Macbeth, (this time with live music too) and will be presenting 10 min of that in the first week of May. It was great to be accepted into the event, and it will be a good incentive to continue developing that project and a good environment to show some of it. The same company who do the event have a residency that I plan to apply for to do more work on the Mac project, so it is a good place to start. I am going to work on the banquet scene and plan a duet where Macbeth literally can not get Banquo’s ghost off of himself as well as all of the great possibilities that are in the 6 people who can’t see a ghost and 1 who can. Money work is good. Nice people, OK money and good hours. I really fell on my feet there. I am still doing yoga, not dancing very much but plan to change that, and am doing some meditation which I am enjoying and feel I get a lot out of.

The other life thing is that I have decided to brave the chilly waters of internet dating, because I am sick of feeling lonely and not having nearly enough male energy in my life. So I have joined a site very recently and should at least get to go on a few ‘dates’ which will be fun.

So that is going to be it from me for the moment.

I am going to NZ for a week in around 3 weeks, have been thinking that if the airlines do another sale this year I will go to London for a week around May and am looking ahead to a birthday celebration that you will be invited to in both Uluru and Sydney for my 40th in June 2011. I will email more about that in June this year.

Hope that everyone is doing well.
Love and best wishes from across the seas.

Meg

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