Monday, May 26, 2014

Marathon


TJ Dawe from Vancouver, Canada presented this incredible one man Fringe show about recognizing your own blind spot and trying to address it. When the lights came up, TJ was on stage acting like he was running in slow motion. He joked that it was impossible to do that and look graceful. His show addressed the idea that people fit neatly into 3 distinct instinct types.

The first is the self preservation instinct. These are the people who are ready for anything. They plan ahead, bringing water along on a hot day or a sweater in case the air conditioning gets pumped up too high. When they pack for a vacation they bring pretty much everything in their closet, just in case. Hotels are booked ahead of time and even restaurants are reserved weeks in advance.

The second is the sexual preservation instinct. This doesn't just mean they are sexual, it also means they are obsessed with the creative process. They love the uncertainty of beginning a creative endeavor and they are risk takers, living on the fringe.  This creative process might have seemed like a fun playful idea 9 months ago but there are pains and uncertainty as the project nears completion. Then it is released into the world, beautiful and imperfect. These people are individualists they don't show off by writing a status on Facebook, but instead share their ideas on a more personal platform like a blog. The more TJ talked about the sexual preservation instinct, the more I felt like he was talking about me.

The third the social preservation instinct. People who have this instinct are energized by small talk at parties. They love gossip and knowing what is going on with everyone around them, even celebrities. This instinct can be a blind spot for someone with the sexual preservation instinct. Being creative, they don't have time for empty conversations. However beneath this facade of superiority is irritation and shame. They want to feel like a part of the group but they are always an outsider, looking in. When the creative person breaks through that social barrier and actually enjoys meeting people at a bar or on the green lawn of fabulousness, they want to feel rewarded. There should be an 80's movie montage that shows how they broke free.

All through his discussions about instincts he also talked about a high school foot race that was a defining moment in his life. Although not a jock, he began to run with a passion. This culminated in a steeple chase race against a team whose coach was named satin. At the starting line he suddenly realized satin wasn't the coach but a runner who looked every bit like a man. Ready, set, Go! The race spread out gradually with the fastest runners breaking away, the average runners clumped together as a pack and then there was Satin followed by TJ. It became clear TJ wasn't going to win but he decided to sprint at the end of the race to beat Satin. He reached down for that last minute reserve and discovered there was nothing there. Blind sided he stumbled across the line last.

He discovered there are no great victories as you struggle to expand your horizons and grow into a more social creature. It isn't a sprint to we won. It is instead a life long goal, a marathon. This was a show that spoke directly to my insecurities and creative blindness. I can not recommend this show enough.

There is only one more show of Marathon today at 1:45pm to 2:45pm in the yellow venue in the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St., Orlando, FL). Tickets are $11 along with the $9 Fringe button that is required for all the shows. Just GO!

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