Monday, October 28, 2019

DEATH as a "small man"

Two years ago today I wrote this on Facebook.
"I am a fictionalizing philosopher, not a novelist; my novel and story-writing ability is employed as a means to formulate my perception. The core of my writing is not art but truth. Thus what I tell is the truth, yet I can do nothing to alleviate it, either by deed or explanation. " -- Philip K Dick
Substitute comedy/comedian for novel/novelist and this is remarkably similar to what I aspire to do with my comedy. Tell my truth through jokes and hopefully get some of the underlying message to my audience. Who knows, maybe I'll change the world for the better in some tiny way?

I then proceeded to forget about it it until Facebook reminded me.

It definitely represents how I felt two years ago, but as Heraclitus of Ephesus noted 2½ thousand years ago "πάντα ῥεῖ" -- Everything is change (flow).

Since then I've changed. Yes, telling my story and my struggles through my comedy is still important to me but I've progressively re-explored my earlier themes. Ultimately leading to the revival of the 2008 DEATH character at Halloween last year.

Originally it was to explore if I could still do that character, but I discovered I liked having a vehicle that could say things I would never say as Julia. This led to my exploring it and writing new material for it & eventually to the decision to do a solo show as DEATH ... that did not happen as when DEATH talks about itself it's a bit of a whiny entity mired in self pity & making it entertaining for an hour would have been a daunting task. The concept developed through having a couple of walk-on set-pieces by DEATH's friends and colleagues to a full blown play The Grin Reaper played by Tessa Clement & myself.

Heraclitus again "Mortals are immortals and immortals are mortals, the one living the others' death and dying the others' life". All the characters in the play are potentially immortal, but must change as human world view develops and humans perceptions change. On the surface it's a story of how The Easter Bunny is struggling to fulfill her contemporary role but beneath that it is a story about friendship & loyalty to your friends and colleagues. DEATH is still the hero of the story, but no longer the whiny introvert, as The Big D risks its potential immortality to oppose the rules of the all powerful "Corporate" to help the bunny.

DEATH is an example of the "small man" caught up in a nightmare world and opposing it. On the other hand DEATH is not 1984's Winston Smith, it opposes corporate through passive-aggressive defiance and circumvention of the rules never challenging the system or even considering that the system could be changed. Ultimately the heroes win this small battle, but the system hardly notices their triumph.

Is this the story I wish to tell? In 2019 I'm comfortable with it. In two years time, who knows?

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