I’ve had kind of a weird week. Not bad or anything, just strange. My schedule is completely upside down; I keep thinking it’s Tuesday or Saturday or anything but what day it actually is.
Anyway, I will have more detailed posts this weekend about the two out-of-my-usual-realm events I went to this week (a beauty pageant and a Catholic school board dinner), but today I’m writing about Nostalgia.
The very first Evil Diva show I did was a recital back in 2001. Yes, when some of my readers were little more than fetuses (feti?), I was producing recitals.
I was little more than a fetus then myself (OK, I was 20), as was my friend Alex Eddington. He wrote a song cycle for me and our equally embryonic friends, the Downtown String Quartet (50% of which are now in the Silverbirch String Quartet, an excellent quartet in Northern Ontario), based on the children’s poetry of Dennis Lee.
Another thing Alex and I did together was an ill-starred musical called “Adieu, Friedrich Lips” – a parody of the musicological lecture recital that received mixed reviews at the Edmonton Fringe Festival in 2005. Lips taught me the first lesson of comedy: it doesn’t matter how hilarious you find it, if your audience doesn’t understand the context they won’t get the jokes. Anyway, I still like Lips a lot as a piece, though now some of the jokes are a bit too Canadian-TV-broad for my taste. Maybe we should revamp it as a Victor Borga-type show for universities or something.
Anyway, this Sunday me and Alex are going to be performing some of the Dennis Lee songs and possibly excerpts from Adieu, Friedrich Lips at the “Sunday at the Young” cabaret type thing following whatever show Soulpepper is doing that afternoon. I don’t actually know more details. It’s sort of a talk show? With live performances? Anyway, it’s 4:15 on Sunday at the Young Centre (the big ol’ theatre in the Distillery) and it’s free.
And you’ll get to hear me sing stuff written for me about a lifetime ago.
This gig kind of came up at the last minute, so I’ve been working hard to get up to snuff on the material. Weirdly enough, there are a couple of things that I used to have real trouble with (some coloratura/above high C notes in the Lips, some blues colours in the Lee) that are now officially My Bag. Which is nice.
In other nostalgia news: We are getting the Parkdale Revolutionary Orchesra back together for a gig on June 28! So I’ve been practicing for that as well.
It’s funny, in the moment you don’t perceive your life as a narrative. As I sit here typing this I don’t think I’m part of a story; I don’t know if this is the beginning, middle, or end of anything. I suspect it’s the middle as most things are. But in retrospect you do fit your life into narrative arcs: this was the beginning of the PRO story, of the Me Trying To Figure Out How To Sing story, of the Me And Alex Putting On Shows Together story. And it’s strange to go back to music that’s very much tied to these now-organized episodes in my life…and just sing it like it’s anything else.
And sing it way better now than I did then, but them’s the breaks.
And now I must go. I have to write two short scripts today and buy mosquito netting to keep tree fluff out of my vegetable patch.