Nicola Gunn Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster
and duck, and humanity, and art, and audience, and Arts House to feel very clever with themselves that they programmed it and also how is it that Arts House is now the name of North Melbourne Town Hall? Is there a different North Melbourne Town Hall now? Because, and this isn’t related but because, now anyone who was in Arts House the building for Melbourne Fringe can say they had a show on at Arts House but they didn’t. Like, they called it that in the program didn’t they? They didn’t even say Fringe Hub or something, I think they didn’t anyway, so now all of them people get to say “BLIP! Sketch Comedy in Space! (Arts House)” *not a real show I hope. And also, so, is Meat Market no longer connected to Arts House? That is really my favourite space.
After the show I had a really nice Bloody Mary.
During the show I thought, many things, but also
Nicola cares. About what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. She cares that she does things well and she cares about her audience. In a year where I’m struggling to think of many Best or Okay times I’ve been to the theatre, it feels rare, and special to be cared for.
Here is a picture I found when I googled Nicola Gunn.
*watching the show I also felt, “wow I was lucky” to be apart of Green Screen in 2014.
(not to be confused with The Kerith Awards which will occur again when ever the Green Room Awards or The Green Room Awards are early next year)
(people ie. my friends are always very excited to receive Kerith Awards and probably put “Recipient of”, surrounded in leaf design on their posters I haven’t seen.)
(To be released as seperate posts until the year ends)
In no particular order except the following: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)
Lydia Lunch at Supersense
Two years ago I befriended this person because I saw a film clip of their band from 1979 at an exhibition at ACMI and it was like, this is the music that is for me. I’ve spent all this time going, “I don’t really like music” and now I’ve found it. Part driven by grief of a recently broken relationship, part madness, part the universe working in mysterious ways (for me, only for me, madness), I became friends with Stuart Grant of Primitive Calculators. One night he sent me this song:
And I was like, THIS. This is the music for me. This.
And then this year, just after my birthday, which must mean something, there she was. Lydia Lunch at Supersense, the new, interesting, cool-like I actually felt cool being there, and clever, I felt clever-festival at The Arts Centre. She was magnificent. Funny, strange, smart, wild, calculated. Best of the best of the best.
I felt really happy there.
*In a weird unexpected but of course! for me, only me, mysterious ways of the universe turn of events, early next year my partner Jude Boscoe/Jules Pascoe-who typically, for me, I met on a train followed by other “what are the odds” encounters-will be playing with James Chance, another member of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks.
*It all leads me to Lydia Lunch.
…next time on Kerith’s Top Performances of 2015 as seen by me and filtered through my brain and experience…more stories about me you didn’t know you wanted to know, more profound realisations of the self, more SHOWS!
In year 11 and 12 at a very nice Anglican Girl’s School I did Dance, Theatre Studies, Drama, History, English and Classical Societies and Culture. I also did Studio Art and traced thin bodies on colourful plastic sheets of paper and was happy I wasn’t doing Maths but worried because I wasn’t very good at art and jealous because my brother made a really amazing sculpture of a chair when he was at school and smug because I was the smartest girl in my VCE Dance Class and my teacher used my essays to show the other students how to write essays and embarrassed because I was the worst dancer in my VCE Dance Class because the other students were all full time dancers which is why they didn’t know or care how to write essays and annoyed I wasn’t in the school production of Fame because my family went to Italy when the dance auditions were – that’s year 12. In year 11 I was in Senior Choir, Swing Choir and Choristers, and out of school I was doing Grade 8 Ballet or possibly Elementary, and Contemporary Dance, and I was doing drama classes on Saturday mornings at The National and I can remember that because I remember going to drama the morning after I very willingly shared and did not lose or give away, my virginity. Planned, considered, overt consent, intense consent, probably too much for the other person involved who didn’t seem to see it coming. I think he might be married now and he has a very nice looking dog. As his cover photo. I’m looking at his Facebook page right now and I was about to say, “I don’t know if he’s married, we’re not friends.” But we are, Facebook says, since 2007 which is really nice isn’t it. He broke up with me via email while I was in Italy which was and remains to be very upsetting because it’s very rude and we really didn’t use the internet then in the same way we do now so it’s even More inappropriate. Then he got a friend to send me annonymous messages telling me I was a slut, I tried to get a tan, a short lived period followed where I thought maybe it should be my duty to take (and I’m sure I used that word) boy’s virginities including one that had already finished school and drove a car and I remember it like, God, I’m generous. Then I probably thought I love these low waisted mustard brown chords that flair at the bottom and you have to have a brazillian wax to wear them, I love my brazillian wax. I really loved wearing this one top from Kookai which barely covered me and needed double sided tape but was from Kookai so was very tasteful, and at some point I started listening to Tori Amos’s Little Earthquakes and Fiona Apple on repeat while having short but frequent baths to the soundtrack of Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera and I studied The Bacchae in Classical Societies and Cultures (Classics) with Mrs…I’ve forgotten her last name but I know her name is Amanda because apparently she had a partner who was a woman and her name was Candy and so they were Mandy and Candy I think, and I liked her and her classes a lot and that’s some and definitely not all of what was going on. **
**censored to save someone else and your embarrassment, to save the best material for my work, to save the best material to tell a new psychologist if they ever ask the right questions, censored to save warnings: sex, sexual violence, self-harm, suicide, mental health, alcohol-induced-vomit, Ani Difranco.
I loved The Bacchae when we read it at school. It is entirely possible I once wrote an essay about it on that day I came to school and had forgotten we had an outcome in Classics and so I had to write an unprepared essay (probably on The Bacchae) but still did very well. I also wrote a remarkable essay in my year 12 classics exam on Oedipus – a feminist reading that took the story and fate to be his mother’s fate and I thought I was a bloody genius and I still sometimes do. I loved The Bacchae and I hated the way (this is entirely my 16 year old understanding of the text I haven’t read since) the women were used.
The Melbourne Festival production of The Bacchae care of St Martin’s, Fraught Outfit and Theatre Works caused a small and for the most part incoherent to me and my very short attention span tiff among reviewers in the public-private world of Facebook and beyond in blogs I didn’t read, “the go girls!” or “mirror-mirror; fairytales of agency, greek mythology and Lacan” or with names and content nothing like that.
I didn’t see the show.
2 Stars. Would not see teenager years again or recommend.
We sat across from each other on couches
my body crossed in on itself
to a packed-down position
easy to travel
“I’m the second smallest girl in grade six”
a medal I wore, lost, traded.
I was crying, muddying up the room
“that must be very hard for you”
she kept saying and
and I hated her for not listening and we were glistening and her office was a short walk from my house.
Elsewhere you’re weighing up options
Damned if you and
someone else’s God can make some kind of deal
You shut up or
we shut up
it’s a life you could only dream of
at the same time every night
cherishing every moment
first class charter planes
I’ll take you there
you changed your name to something more glamorous
Madonna is not Madonna’s real name
you have to keep something for yourself
you have to give the people what they want
the tabloids can be brutal
all women are liars
and men are cheats
everybody wants to be famous
this is your moment
sex tapes or love letters
letters to the general public
an open letter to every monster within us
any monster we meet in closets, public speaking, doctor’s offices, no I don’t want to report this, all offices, officers of the courts, offices in the court, gentleman in court shoes, greasy meals made of animals in the food court, officers.
tom, dick, harry, me, silence, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you, stop touching yourself, stop touching yourself, stop touching me, stop, stop touching me, stop, stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop
I feel quite paranoid, much of the time really, being on public transport, waiting in lines, going to the shops, every time I see this man that lives in Richmond that always seems to be going for a walk when I’m going for a walk, more extreme times sometimes, those few days when there was a portal in my room on my wall but also something scarier in my cupboard that I didn’t tell anyone about, more extreme times than that, often when people are talking and I think they are lying, and of course when people are lying to me, many times when I have to make eye contact with people in conversation (but not at all when we just look at each other in silence). Particularly when I go to the theatre I feel paranoid, I’m worried that I will see people that I know but that don’t know me; particularly when I go to the theatre I feel worried that I will see people that hate me. And I think they do, I really feel like they do and I joke about it quite a lot but it’s a terrifying feeling really.
THINGS I THINK PEOPLE THINK OF ME
mean / rude / inconsiderate / inappropriate actually I don’t really know I’ve been fired for bullying and once I told someone that and they said ‘I can imagine that’ but I can’t really. I also got a warning for bullying at a different job because I tried to talk about a Union.
overly sensitive / overly emotional
I really didn’t like 1984. I was bored, it was predictable, the actors seemed tired.
I was bailed up just through the glass doors of The Arts Centre to be told in the sternest of tones “If you want to talk about something we can talk about it in private”. That’s not verbatim at all, it was a confusing and upsetting moment that felt like, “let’s take this outside.” The talking about was about theatre, that person’s work that and who I had named online to include them in a conversation so it didn’t seem like I was talking about them with out giving them a chance to speak (like I am now, for the sake of this story they are unpersoned haha). Why are we talking about theatre in private?
Don’t talk about why you’re putting on a show, keep that for yourself for reasons you’re not sure of or because you think you might say the wrong thing, don’t say the wrong thing, don’t say a thing at all, don’t answer any questions, get your back up, push them down, don’t allow questions, particularly not at you for doing that, don’t speak but tell them you understand, and if you don’t know you’re never wrong if you don’t tell anyone, so just don’t. Don’t even put on the show. Send out the promotional material with the appropriate words that make you seem caring, engaged, with the right edge that isn’t too edgy that it wouldn’t sell tickets and then sell the tickets and close down the show. Tour it to another city and repeat. And never be questioned on casting, choices, theatre, the audience, never acknowledge the audience except to say, ‘I made it for you’, maybe even mean that but don’t understand that. And no, never say what you think of any other show, never, keep that to yourself, never say if you feel hurt by it or want to engage with it, just say it was good, mean whatever you want just say it was good, better yet say it was amazing, say you’d love to work with those people, and always mean that.
I had a nightmare the night before I went that I went to The Arts Centre and this person I didn’t know pulled me out of the theatre and started yelling at me.
So basically I’m psychic or paranoid or everybody hates me.
32 Rue 32 Rue 32 RueSomethingSomething, I keep saying “32 Rue De Something?” and by keep I mean twice, when I asked my brother if that’s where he was going after we had an early dinner last night with my dad and then again when I asked that same question after dinner. Dinner involved salad with tomato and cucumber on the side in case our vegan diets didn’t allow tomato or cucumber that day and a moment when my brother asked if the feta on the side was goat feta and I felt sad for the goat/cow/animal and not machine it was made from. We had dinner at 5.30 after looking at things like this insightful work of plagiarism I had published in November, 1993.
According to my one google search research, where I misspelled John Giorno’s name and didn’t open any of the search results, this is two years before Kathy Acker and I would possibly meet at a dinner at our house in Brisbane. My presence has never been confirmed at this dinner but I definitely met John Giorno and liked him and his work and I can’t imagine where else I would be other than ‘at dinner at my house’ unless I was at ballet.
This exceptional piece of cut-up writing by a 7 year old Kerith Manderson-Galvin provides us with a fascinating peek in to the work that would follow. Here we see an early focus on gender politics, learned patterns of relationships, positions of power, violence, and of course her same interest in language and pirating stories that are not her own. “Unfortunately,” writes Manderson-Galvin, “he was a prince.” Two years later Kerith Manderson-Galvin would meet Kathy Acker over the dinner table at her parent’s house in Brisbane. “We don’t have a kids table in our family.” The connection was electric and certainly memorable for both parties, and it is touching to see Kathy Acker went on to continue a young Manderson-Galvin’s techniques, and Kerith, a young Acker’s.
After dinner I went home and as 32 Rue Vandenbranden began at 8pm at the MTC I wished I had felt bold enough to book the swiftix but I couldn’t because I hadn’t known until that afternoon it would be possible and I find it very hard to change my plans last minute and very hard to keep plans if I’ve made them but now every other night the show is $69, $59 for a concession which is still too expensive for me to buy a ticket, and realistically $25 is also too much and someone on my facebook just wrote, “go see this!” and I don’t actually trust their opinion but I do think I would like it because my friend Hannah whose opinion I trust more than most people about most things said she really liked another piece of theirs so it is a shame, I think, because I really would like to see a show that I enjoy so I stop feeling so anxious about going to the theatre. As 32 Rue Vandenbranden started, I watched an episode of Nashville, Season Three Episode 1. The music seems less good this season, and my favourite character Scarlett wasn’t in it as much but I felt more connected to her than ever now that I have blonde in my hair. I cried for the third time watching this series, and not just a ‘I’ve been tricked by your moving music’ cry, but a genuine stab of pain through my chest cry. I would have liked Rainer to choose Deakin, but I suspect we haven’t seen the end of their love affair, and I suspect Luke is a secret misogynist. It wasn’t the best episode I’ve seen of Nashville but I did really enjoy it anyway. And Hayden from Heroes was really, very good in this episode and has really proven herself as an extremely talented and committed performer. 3.75 Stars.
If you can afford it you can see 32 Rue Vandenbranden at the MTC for The Melbourne Festival until the 11th. http://www.mtc.com.au/plays-and-tickets/other-companies/32-rue-vandenbranden/
At 9.05pm, which I think is before the show would have finished I went to sleep which is very unlike me but I have been sick and was beginning to get a head ache.